Refuse to Give Up

Lead by example.
Be a mentor.
Educate yourself.

These are all things we’ve been told time after time. Reach your hand out to help the next girl after you, and the next one after that. Bear with it so that your children and your children’s children will be better off. We are asked: What can we do as community members to fight social injustice?

Listen authentically.
Meet people where they are.
Increase awareness.

These are all things we’ve been doing time after time. Emailing people in positions of power such as professors, police chiefs, even bosses. We speak on why certain words or actions have hurt us or made us feel less safe in places that should be like second homes to us. Though we feel uncomfortable and tired we organize. We hold discussions, rallies, panels, meetings, conferences, classes, and more just to make our voices heard. Then they ask us for the facts?

So we tell them. Again.

Diversity improves productivity, it fosters innovation, bears fruit to new growth.
Companies are 15% more profitable if they have women in leadership positions.
Women are just as qualified for positions as their male counterparts.

Yet. We still face inequality.

53% of men don’t feel a need to prioritize gender diversity because of the supposed unfair favoritism it places on one gender over the other.
77% of Fortune 100 board positions are held by men.
86% of American executive roles are held by men.

It can be tiring. Exhausting, even. To fight to get yourself to even ground day in and day out, yet still find yourself in a rut after years of battle. Despite this, refuse to give up. The work you do everyday is inspirational and is drawing more to the fight for justice daily. I see you. I see your work, your passion, your strength. And I am not the only one who sees this. If you ever need motivation, please turn to a loved one for rejuvenation. If you ever feel insecure, let a sister lift you up. We are all in this together, because the state of women affects the quality of life of both women and men alike. Unity amongst all women, equality for all.

(Taken from my experience at the Go Green Seattle Conference, and written in honor of Women’s History Month.)

Yemaya Chapter, Lehigh University

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