2017 is going to be my year of intentionally sharing stories of and by women, and the majority of books I read this year will be by women. Why? Because I want to offer to the world the many unheard, under-shared, overlooked stories about women. In my over twenty year career in higher education, I’ve attended an inordinate number of commencements, workshops, and conferences. Most recently, I’ve caught myself getting irritated — irritated not by poor speakers, but the same-old stories and quotes that are almost always about or by men. I want to add to the existing stories out there– the ones I’ve yet to even learn; the ones we certainly don’t hear enough.
So I challenged myself. If I had to give a talk tomorrow, what examples that highlight women would I turn to? My list was too short. Even though I hold a few degrees, I never had a women’s studies course. So, it’s up to me to fill in the blanks. I’ve decided to start with the two decks of cards I have from the Library of Congress, Women Who Dare. Then, there’s the book my my dad gave me, The Last Word, which contains quotes by women — 324 pages of them. It is going to be fun. I’d appreciate it if you, reader, would share with me any resources you’ve used and find to be significant — textbooks, biographies, reading lists, films, or syllabi.
I dare you to join me in this initiative. You don’t have to limit your focus to women — but I do challenge you to read up and share success of those who are under-represented, yet fully a part of this multifaceted world in which we live. Share. It will enrich us all. As Audre Lorde said, When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.