By Joce Blake
The great Mile High City is listed as #5 among the healthiest cities in the United States, according to Forbes Magazine. Every area in Denver has a host of gyms, golf courses, parks, and recreational areas, and of course, the beautiful Rocky Mountains set the scene, serving as a background and a playground.
With so many ways to stay fit, there is always a new and innovative trend in the fitness world. Whether you are a health nut or someone seeking a customized routine, feeling comfortable and enjoying your workout are most important, but not every space offers that experience. However, our very own Women of Denver member, Sheryl Langley, loved the fitness plan at FIT36 so much, she decided to open a new location after a year of high-intensity interval training.
Over a year, Langley dropped three sizes, and she says that it is all thanks to the “work harder and smarter” mantra that rings throughout the FIT36 locations. In just 36 minutes, the goal is to provide an intense but fun workout regimen perfect for any Mile Higher ready to see results and work hard. The 53-year-old entrepreneur and guru opened her FIT36 studio with hopes of inspiring others to “train to live” because she knows how great the muscle memory program works.
Inspired by this transformation, we asked Langley how it started. This woman of Denver told us, “The moment I decided to stop going the safe route and follow my passions to create the life I had only dreamed of. My year of transformation followed a divorce and there was a whole new life I was ready to create.” Langley recalls reading books that helped her overcome fear and self doubt. She also attended workshops on how to discover her calling and truest life passions. Langley went on to say, “I also joined a mentorship program to get the support and internal work I would need in making this big change in my life and believing in myself. I created a plan and knew I was willing to do whatever it took. Support was crucial, both with my circle of friends and my business mentors. In a short year, my experiences were beyond any challenges I had overcome in my entire life, and this was the transformation that has led me to where I am today, a stronger and more confident woman who is driven to live her passionate life.”
For every powerful transformation, there is a moment that is life altering and Langley recalled that moment happening at a workshop in Chicago. At this juncture in her life, she was considering her next move after being unhappy with her job at the time. “We all talked about what our greatest passions were and put them in the order of most important and I realized during that time that I was spending very little time in what really mattered to me,” Langley says. In that moment she asked the facilitators about mentorship and ironically they had just started a program designed for people like Langley who were looking to redefine their life. According to this brave woman, “That was the start of my journey.”
Social sciences have proven that giving a woman resources provides stronger benefit to the world. The resilience and strength that women exude is quite inspiring. That applies to Sheryl Langley. She too believes that as she shared with us, “Women have a sense of compassion and depth of being in touch with their inner self that allows us to connect on levels I feel some men struggle with (okay, most men). Women find and build their tribe and the level of support and love we give each other and the trials and tribulations we are willing to share with each other is a very special thing.” Above all things, we loved when the Mile Higher said, “We dream big and love to pursue those dreams. We are soft yet strong. Yes, being a woman is incredible!”
The Women of Denver was created to help achieve that very goal. For Langley, finding other women who shared her yearning to learn from each other has been amazing. “This group supports each and every member in every way you can imagine, personally and in business matters as well. To be able to share my story and experience with other members and inspire them has been something that truly transformed my life. Having a powerful support network has been a major ingredient for my personal transformation and WOD has been a part of that. The relationships you build at WOD can truly transform your life,” the Women of Denver member exclaims.
Becoming more passionate about inspiring others on a deeper level, you can expect to see Sheryl Langley doing more speaking and one on one life transformation coaching and mentoring. Langley believes that transformation challenges will be an integral part of her fitness business while integrating a full on mind and body transformation program that can be duplicated and used to help women and men who are ready to do the work on themselves both inside and out. She says, “It's going to be about focusing on the entire being and for me about slowing the aging process and helping others to focus on happiness that starts from within. From self care and self love.” We are excited for Sheryl Langley’s continuous transformations as she continues to make the world a more passionate place.
By Joce Blake
Picture a kitchen full of refugees working on lifelong, empowering skills—that kitchen is Comal Heritage Food Incubator in Denver’s TAXI development, located in the River North neighborhood. These young women are not just refugees but are also bright, intelligent entrepreneurs determined to change the world. Initially, the space was used to provide Hispanic women with job and language skills; it is now a safe place for Syrian women, as well. In the eyes of these strong women, intense ambition is their only choice, leaving behind a bomb-ridden home in pursuit of their goals and dreams.
We had the opportunity to have a conversation with Slavica Park, Director of Economic and Workforce Development at Focus Points Family Resource Center. Park was also once a refugee, so she understands the feeling of the unknown, and that understanding fuels her passion to pay it forward. Focus Points is responsible for the program at Comal, and it is more than deserving of the spotlight. We also spoke with one of the refugees, Sara Nassar, to see how this program is truly affecting lives.
WOD: What is Focus Points Family Resource Center?
Park: Focus Points Family Resource Center is a Denver nonprofit organization whose mission is to build better communities by strengthening families. Focus Points achieves that by providing programming in the following areas:
School Readiness, Adult Education, Economic and Workforce Development, Health and Wellness, and Community Engagement.
WOD: How did you get involved in the Focus Points Family Resource Center?
Park: I started working at Focus Points in May of 2016 as their Director of Economic and Workforce Development. I was very drawn to the mission of the organization and excited for an opportunity to re-engage in community work.
WOD: What is the importance of the community outreach program?
Park: Community outreach is important because it gives organizations a pulse on the community they are serving. If community outreach is not properly conducted, organizations are often unaware of what the community truly needs and how to best serve its members.
WOD: What are five things you want the world to know about the community outreach program?
Park: The Focus Points community outreach program helps ensure the following:
WOD: Where do you see the program in 10 years?
Park: I would love to see our graduates realize their dreams of launching their food-related businesses. Additionally, I would love for Comal to grow and become a true cultural center that bridges the cultural gaps in the city by engaging all communities in a conversation around food. I believe that our misunderstandings stem from simply not knowing other cultures that make up the fabric of our city.
WOD: Why did you choose Comal Restaurant as the spot to start this creative kitchen?
Park: I think Comal chose me! When I first started working at Focus Points, I met a group of community members who were interested in starting food-related businesses like catering, small restaurants, and food trucks. They had talent and passion; the only thing missing was the commercial kitchen. It was at that time I learned that Zeppelin Development had a vacant kitchen space that they wanted to use for social purposes. After meeting and planning for three months, Comal opened in October of 2016!
WOD: How did you come up with the idea to teach classes to the community spanning from cooking to culture?
Park: It was what the community asked for. Cross-cultural interactions are something I am truly passionate about. I have lived in three different countries, and learned that integration is a difficult process. One must have an international mindset in order to create spaces and opportunities for integration to occur. We have so much to learn from each other in order to help us grow.
WOD: Why do you think the program is essential to women?
Park: In addition to providing women with an immediate earning potential (50% of our revenue goes directly to women in the program), the experience gained sets them on a trajectory to successfully own their small businesses. Entrepreneurs in Comal are able to test out recipes, marketing strategies, and management styles. They build confidence and experience, all while having the opportunity to share their culture and their families’ recipes.
WOD: Why Hispanic and Syrian women?
Park: Focus Points predominately serves a Hispanic population, and therefore our first cohort was very representative of our community. As our operations got settled in the first few months, we realized we had the capacity to take on another day of lunch service, and decided to extend out to the refugee community. We focused specifically on Syrian women because of the current political climate. We wanted to show them that they are welcome here, and since their first day in Comal, our customers have been huge fans!
WOD: How did you meet Sara Nassar?
Park: I met Sara through Colorado Refugee Network Services. I reached out and asked them if they had any newly-arrived refugees who had a passion for cooking and wanted to be a part of our program. The very next week Sara and her friend Waala came to Comal and brought some delicious, authentic Syrian food for us to try. Their food was fantastic, and so were they. I am so impressed with the level of compassion, resilience, and drive that Sara has! I know she will be successful, no matter what she chooses to do!
WOD: How has working and learning at Comal restaurant affected your life?Nassar: Working at Comal makes me feel welcome in Denver, and helped me to learn more about the people here. Comal is such an amazing program—I love everything about it, from learning how to cook and serve in a restaurant, to meeting nice people. It's hard to pick my favorite part, but if I have to it will be the happy feeling I have when I see the joy on the people’s faces while eating what we are cooking. I am happy because they come every Friday. I am happy because we made something that makes other people feel good.
WOD: What would you like people to know about your life as a refugee?
Nassar: As a refugee, I have been in hardship, but achieving my goal by coming to a safe place and being here in Denver is priceless. I thank the god of the universe every single day. This taught me that everything is possible, and life has so much more to give than we'll ever know. I will work so hard, so no one will ever lose hope.
WOD: How has moving to Denver affected your growth and passion?
Nassar: The first thing I noticed when I was at the Denver airport was the sky—so big, so close, so beautiful. This city just gave me peace and hope. I am so excited to wake up every morning to continue living life again. I thought it was just because it's a new place, but no, it's real. I have been here for 8 months and I am not just feeling the same, but I am feeling better every single day !
WOD: What makes you feel empowered as a woman?
Nassar: What makes me feel empowered as a woman is having equal opportunities, and not being judged,stereotyped, or being treated as a human and nothing else.
By Donna Moriarty
I may be a dyed-in-the-wool introvert, but last night I had an epiphany about networking. I discovered I love it.
Okay, maybe I’m going a little too far. How about, I discovered that meeting people in a business or social setting doesn’t deserve the fear and loathing I’ve invested in it. In fact, it can be almost fun. I just need to remember a few simple principles.
I’m the sort of person who would choose a root canal over a networking event. Seriously. I have a really great oral surgeon who makes me laugh between bouts with instruments, and frankly, I would prefer that experience to a networking event that resembles some of the kind I’ve had.
But now I know there is a better way. Earlier this year I hung out my shingle as a sole practitioner of editorial services after decades of corporate and nonprofit staff positions. In those days, whenever I attended a networking event for my employer, I had no real purpose other than to schmooze, show the company flag, and just get through it until the boss signaled it was okay to leave.
Those occasions were marked by the most craven wallflower-ness. I would lurk in the corners of the room like some cobweb, scanning desperately for someone I knew or wasn’t too intimidated by. After glancing at my watch for the third time in 10 minutes, I’d sidle up to one of my colleagues and begin talking about how much I hated networking and was it time to go yet.
It’s easier to understand the root canal now, right?
It wasn’t until I started my writing and editing business that I knew I really and truly had to get over this phobia. So I did what anyone would do: I typed “I hate networking” into a search engine, and scanned the results for something that would put me out of my misery. I found it in Devora Zack’s wonderful book, Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected. I completely related to Devora’s insightful yet playful observations about being an introvert in an extroverted world. I loved reading her take on the differences between people who love networking (e-verts, feel free to wave your hands and yell, “That’s me!”) and those who hate it (i-verts, you can raise an eyebrow in recognition—or not).
I was so enchanted by her insights that I resolved to do a better job. I downloaded her book to my phone, registered for a local small business association’s holiday party—one of Devora’s tips (if I don’t register, I’ll find some excuse not to go), and then forgot about it until the day of The Event. I woke up in dread. I thought about it all day. I was on the verge of bailing. And then I remembered Devora’s book.
I opened my e-book to the chapter on The Networking Event Reimagined. Get there early. Hm, now there’s a concept. Instead of entering a room teeming with people, I could more readily approach the small number who were milling about at the start. Scan the nametag table to get an idea of who’s attending, and whom you might seek out for connection. Another excellent idea I’d never considered. Set a goal, even if it’s only two new connections. Ok, check. Two new connections, a low bar to be sure, but hey—training wheels. Survey the crowd before jumping in. Hand a plate to the person behind you in the food line. After a couple of interactions, take a break to regroup before starting another one. Ask questions, and listen. Know when it’s time to move on, and prepare a simple exit line.
Before long, I didn’t have to think about it; I knew what to do. Something about my confidence seemed to make a difference, too. A few people approached me, which made starting a conversation infinitely easier. I began to enjoy myself. I asked myself new questions, like, “Have I gotten the most out of this, or should I stay a little longer? Can I try something really bold, like approaching the CEO of a company that I’d love to land as a client?” By the time I looked at my watch—for the first time—there were only 15 minutes left before the evening would officially end. Well, shut up! I survived!
So all hail, @Devora_Zack, for rescuing me from a life of antipathy toward my fellow networker. All hail to the lively, helpful people at the business association’s holiday bash. And all hail to the quiet people out there who believe networking mastery is beyond their ken. It’s possible to do the impossible if you just remember who you are and what you are about.
And be a little brave. After all, it’s not root canal.
I’ve been writing since the age of seven, when a nun caught me telling an outlandish story, and said I would be a writer one day. After spending three decades writing copy and producing publications for various employers, I founded Silversmith Writing and Editing. I rarely meet a sentence I can’t improve, even just a little. A lot of website and marketing content, churned out just to fill space, really doesn’t try very hard. “Good enough” copy is stale, full of jargon and riddled with clichés. It needs a makeover. I like to tell my clients, “sit back, relax, and let me bring out your beautiful story.” When I blog, I like to tell stories from my own observations that can illuminate the dim corners of our everyday experiences.
You can learn more about Donna Moriarty at www.silversmithwriting.com.
Every voice matters.
That's the message carried forth by the efforts of Nanette Chezum, Founder of The Courage Corner - Domestic Abuse Awareness. Nanette is passionate about educating others on the issues surrounding domestic abuse, so that we can better support and protect those who may be suffering in silence.
Get to know Nanette in this WOD Impact Member spotlight.
What do People Often Thank You For?
People often thank me for speaking up and being a voice for others that are not able to speak up for themselves. Domestic abuse is a topic that many shy away from discussing for many reasons. I no longer have that fear and use my voice to shine a spotlight on this issue.
What's Been Inspiring You Lately?
Here is a bold statement that many may not make about themselves: I inspire myself.
I am proud of my strength and determination and my courage. I am inspired by countless people that I have met in the movement to end domestic abuse; not only survivors and targets of abuse but those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to improve the lives for so many.
What do You Love Most About WOD?
I am new to WOD, but I look forward to connecting with so many women with varying life experiences, goals and visions. Women supporting women in each of our journeys is an experience that can result in changing our culture.
Tell Us About a Recent Accomplishment You're Proud of?
Connecting with others and encouraging them to gain the confidence they need to move forward in life. Planting the seeds of encouragement in a couple of people that need the support to make life-changing decisions.
What Else Would You LIke us to Share About You?
I love to hike! Hiking is my favorite form of self-care. There is nothing like being out in the wilderness to refresh my mind and gain perspective. I may never know how many people read what I write or truly hear what I have to say, but I know I am making a difference. Being honest with myself has opened a new way of looking at the world and its inhabitants.
Honesty with yourself is work, but the rewards are so sweet. I want others to understand that you can heal. My story matters and so does yours.
How to connect with Nanette:
Written By: Susan Golicic, PhD, CPIC
We are wired for connectivity as human beings – but do we really need to be connected 24-7?!
Many would argue that personal technology devices such as smart phones allow us to connect with many more people much more efficiently. But does it really? Is a one way message through text really connecting?
Over 75 % of Americans own smart phones, a number that has been increasing each year. I have only had one for less than two years – this business was the impetus for getting one. I resisted for a long time because I was afraid of how much time I would spend on it – afraid some of that would be wasted. And I was right! Studies show we spend the equivalent of approximately 38 days each year checking our cell phone (picking it up, checking for messages, answering). That is more than a month of our year! And imagine the time spent for those that have more than one – a phone for personal use as well as one for work!
One reason so many use a smart phone is that it allows us to check email and other messages while traveling or away from work with the idea that can make us more productive…but does it really? Research finds that having your phone on your desk, in front of you – even if face down and silenced – makes you less productive. (Coach Glitz and I are both guilty of this when working together on Uninhibited Wellness programs!) We anticipate receiving a message when the phone is in close proximity and develop habits of looking for them. Now there are even smart watches that will prod us with each new message that comes through!
We need to take some time to disconnect from the devices and really connect with ourselves and others. Take a walk and leave the phone behind, move the phone to another room when having dinner with the family, don’t check devices when you are in the presence of those you care about, keep it in airplane mode when on vacation (so you can still take photos), and remove devices from the bedroom when you sleep. Being occasionally “disconnected” will allow for better focus, a higher flow of creativity and increased productivity with whatever you are doing! This is the topic of the book, The Future of Happiness, by Amy Blankson, an expert on the connection between positive psychology and technology. She also offers some ideas to more effectively use and not use our devices. We’re not asking you to give these things up – we’re just suggesting that you regularly take a break from them.
Find what works for you to take some time away from your gadgets. Remember, it’s really only been 10 years that we have had smart phones (Apple is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the iPhone this year). If you need some tips that can work with your schedule, contact us at Uninhibited Wellness, and we will help you find practices that suit you!
Susan Golicic, PhD, CPIC
Co-founder and Life/Relationship Coach of Uninhibited Wellness in Golden, Colorado
My life has gifted me with a spiritual journey through much change and heartbreak. I’ve been an environmental engineer, a supply chain manager, a business professor and now life and relationship coach, and through it all always a student seeking to learn more about myself and my purpose in this world.
Becoming a coach has enabled me to face my demons (feelings of unworthiness, discomfort with need, masking of my true feminine nature, to name a few!), embrace my authenticity, and create healthy and deeply fulfilling personal and professional relationships, especially with myself! My compassion, empathy and intuition, coupled with my experience and passion for self-development allow me to share this with others to help motivate them to build the confidence to become their best self!
When not serving clients, I am taking care of myself through running, hiking, exploring nature, reading, enjoying a good glass of wine, spending time with dear friends, and other self-care activities.
Written By: Jessica Schuurman
Having an online business can be hard. It takes time, energy and effort to stay on track and come out with your to-do list finished. Time and freedom is what we are all craving and working towards, but, more often than not we can find ourselves procrastinating because we feel our household duties have priority over our business. Or maybe being alone in a crowd of people in Starbucks or talking to your cat is just not interesting you anymore. Sometimes there is just too much going on in our minds and not enough productivity going on, resulting in a massive catastrophe of procrastination.
There are both pro’s and cons of having your own online business where you get to work from home. I am going to save the best for last so let’s start with the negative of having your home business. Firstly it is so easy to get distracted. You know when you hear the coffee pot beep that it’s ready for you to drink? So you get up to pour yourself a cup and right there beside the cupboard there’s an article with the title ‘What are you missing in your life?’ How can you resist right? An hour goes by and all you have achieved is reading the whole newspaper. Yet your work is still waiting for you at your desk to be finished. It’s hard when you have to schedule yourself for a period of time and the only one holding you to your schedule is you. Hanging out with friends and surrounding yourself with people are much more enjoyable than sitting at home with all of your chores screaming at you “CLEAN ME!”, “I’M IMPORTANT, TOO!”, “PAY ATTENTION TO ME!”
On the brighter side of things working from home can be the most perfect life created solely by you and you alone. Having the authority to make the decision of how much you want to create this month/week/day can be exhilarating. This is the perfect opportunity to work smarter and not harder. What do I mean by this? Well working smarter is a perfect way to utilize your time and efforts. Scheduling your time diligently and finishing your projects without procrastination is key. Ultimately working 4 hours non-stop you can finish just as much if not more than an eight hour day by staying consistent and on track. Last but not least, the JOY of being able to schedule your LIFE first and your business second. This leads us into truly being able to enjoy those Kodak moments. Spending time with your family and friends is really what life is all about.
So here’s my question for you; how do you think you can turn your procrastination to productivity?
There’s this place in Denver Colorado that has EVERYTHING you need: offices, desks, meeting rooms and places where you can record your videos. Your home business can now have a place to truly flourish: with places to work and people to connect, collaborate and cowork alongside, you will truly find yourself being the most productive you’ve ever been.
Nicole Skorka, the founder of Sunnyside Station, has created a community where entrepreneurs come to work and collaborate in an office environment. ‘A neighbourhood workplace to create, collaborate and cowork’ is their motto. With all the fun events and talk around the water cooler, you will not be able to hear your household chores calling your name from home. Maybe you find yourself stuck on an idea--no problem, now you just need to find a fellow member at Sunnyside Station that can help you brainstorm it out. Not only will you feel like you are in a place where you can be productive and get the most out of your time, but you will never feel alone again.
If you would like to find out more about Sunnyside Station you can visit them @ https://www.sunnysidestation.com
Contact me @ https://www.facebook.com/freecitymumlifestyle
Written by: Jessica Schuurman
With technology in all of our hands and our nose nuzzled deep into our social media feeds, it can be difficult to truly be ourselves. We live in a world where we crave for companionship and love only to push it away because of the lack of education in communication. We are familiar with having to type our feeling, but reading your concerns or happiness is not always the best way to deal with your thoughts. Sometimes others will take something you meant to be funny, rude.
So how do we overcome all the layers hiding our ‘pure potential’?
1. Knowing yourself from the inside out
Who are you really? Are you able to sit down and spend some time with just you? It is so important knowing the value of YOUR time. Getting to know who you really are and how you want to be portrayed by the world
2. Starting on the inside where you obtain the most power
Working on yourself is and always will be an ongoing project. There is no such thing as being perfect, but we can all try to be as close as we can. Your power truly lies within your heart. All that you can and will accomplish is buried deep just waiting for you to grab hold and take off.
3. Bringing awareness of who you are
Have you ever thought about who you are, who you want to be and how you want the world to react and treat you?
- How are you showing up to the world?
Think about how you portray yourself to others. Maybe you are very assertive and not knowing when to tone down, can deter opportunities from your life. Becoming aware of how you act and how others respond to you will truly help you create better opportunities and relationships in the future.
- Does it match with how you want to be portrayed?
Now after bringing the awareness to HOW you are showing up, is this how you want to show up? Are you too assertive without realizing it? Maybe you are really shy and you want to be loud and outgoing? You have your true self within you, exactly how you want others to react to you is what you can and will achieve if you make the choice to work hard at it.
4. Making that choice to be that person
In the last point I talked about making a choice. You do not have to do anything to change. Talking about who you want to be and actually taking action are two completely different things. You need to make the choice to choose your path in life. So choose to be better and do better!
Nothing happens overnight. Change is and always will be an ongoing process that every one of us will go through. Trust yourself and your heart, get to know yourself and truly begin to see the transformation your life will endure. There is no need for you to take such large actions right away. Change can start with simply starting a conversation with the cashier at the grocery store. By truly unraveling your layers to becoming the person you want yourself to be is the FIRST step in truly living the life you crave.
If you would like to read more about peeling back your layers to be your most authentic self in all areas of your life you can read ‘Naked Communications’ Written By Sage B. Hobbs. Sage is an Author, Coach and Speaker who strives to help you be your best self. You can visit her on her website and schedule a free consultation @ www.sagebhobbs.com
Contact me @ https://www.facebook.com/freecitymumlifestyle
Written by Joce Blake
When women support each other, incredible things happen. The Women of Denver Networking Party was the perfect example of that mantra. The atmosphere was encouraging, uplifting and full of positivity. The night began with laughter and intriguing stories as women networked and made some life-changing connections. From exchanging business cards to planning lunch dates, the excitement of gaining knowledge and relationships was overwhelming in the best way.
As the night progressed, we talked about what it means to be a strong, fearless and powerful woman of Denver. The Mile High’s 45th mayor, Michael B. Hancock, stopped by to give some words of encouragement and we can’t help but be excited about having “bubbleguts” and the desire and passion to be successful no matter the circumstances. He also assured us that now is the time and Denver is the place for women to create thriving businesses. We are planted in great soil and the best is yet to come.
Panelists Kumasi Aaron, National Correspondent, Scripps Network Interactive, Hilary Silver, Relationship Expert and Master Love & Empowerment Coach, and Sheryl Langley, Owner of FIT36 in the Highlands, wowed the crowd with their powerful stories. While their stories are very unique, they shared a common theme: strength and passion. Kumasi encouraged the ladies to be steadfast in chasing your dreams because what’s meant for you is truly for you. Hilary shared her story of shaking off the negativity of others and listening to her intuition despite the very strong feeling of fear. Sheryl advised the WOD to find your passion make it your own because there is nothing like a personal touch.
The mini-workshops were by far the most interactive and life-altering. Each panelist created activities for the WOD to indulge in that made for a fun session. The ladies were able to get to know each other on a personal level that isn’t present at typical networking events.
We would like to say a huge thanks to The Gluten Free Explorer, our makeup artist, Oksana Brown, Teresa Adams, Executive Career Coaching, LulaRoe Laura Garcia, Hashtagitude, Socially Powered, and The Commons on Champa for helping to partner and sponsor such an amazing event. Also, now that we are a social enterprise, we are donating 10% of our revenue in 2017 to support Work Options for Women and the Women's Foundation of Colorado. We are so thankful for the representatives from these nonprofits who attended at the event.
Of all of the 40 events that happen yearly, the Quarterly Party is always one for the books. Every woman left The Gallery at Asbury feeling empowered and encouraged. Mission accomplished.
To sign up for the next quarterly party visit https://womenofdenver.wildapricot.org/events
Written by Susan Golicic, PhD, CPIC
Many people entered 2017 with hesitation, fear and anxiety about how things would change due to the new administration. How would we as individuals be treated? Would there be discriminatory practices and regulations due to the beliefs of those in the new leadership? Several have spoken out, and many have protested.
As we fight for what we believe in, are we really getting the message we want delivered across?
Current generations have grown up with/after the civil rights movement with the goal to end racial segregation and obtain civil rights for black Americans. We have also experienced the feminist movement – the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of equality of the sexes. These are only two areas of possible discrimination. We have many differences besides race and gender – there is also age, sexual orientation, religious affiliation. And even if we are the same race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, we are still different.
Equality – what most say they are fighting for – is the state of being equal or being the same. But we are not the same. I don’t believe we want to be the same. As a woman, I don’t want to be the same as a man. We do want the same rights and opportunities as others. We want to be treated fairly and impartially, regardless of what we look like, where we came from, and what we believe in and practice. Being treated fairly and impartially is actually the definition of equity.
I recently read a book called Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. This novel brilliantly tackles the still-present concerns around prejudice, race and justice. In the book, the author (through her characters) explains that equality is treating everyone the same. It is equal to give the same printed test to two students, but if one is blind, that doesn’t work! Equity, on the other hand, is taking differences into account so everyone has a chance to succeed – giving the students the same test but in different forms. While the book presents just one area of prejudice, it provides a beautiful example of learning to accept each other and appreciate our differences. The differences are what makes us individual and makes us each beautiful!
Words are really the meaning we give them. So whether you choose to use the word equality or equity or even something else in your fight for fairness, just be sure those you are communicating with understand what you are actually striving for as understanding is often important for acceptance.
SUSAN GOLICIC, PhD, CPIC
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