Over the past couple months, we’ve witnessed a revolution among womankind. We’ve decided that enough is enough. Recent years have brought levels and waves of pain and anger when faced with inequality and harassment. While women are often saying today, “Time’s Up,” I was thinking: It’s about time.
You don’t dwell on these issues, usually. They’re more of a veil you see life through or they create a backdrop your life plays out in front of: invisible yet impactful. I believe we make decisions about our lives every day based on that tapestry.
It’s important to take stock and recognize those who have been fighting the good fight for positive change long before we casted out the celebrities and CEOs that have leveraged abuses to their benefit. I think of Olivet College’s founders who recognized in 1844 the need to build a community based on values of inclusion, mutual respect, honesty and integrity. They admitted women and persons of color on a coequal basis with men. This was 19 years prior to the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation, four years before the movement for women’s rights was launched on a national level and 76 years before women had the right to vote.
I’m thankful that institutions such as Olivet College haven’t abandoned their ideals over the years. In fact, Olivet College is doubling down by hosting the Cultivating Women Leaders (CWL) event on March 2, an event that’s part of their Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) for young females. Traci Corey, director of the WLI and presidential spouse of Dr. Steven Corey at Olivet College, spearheads the charge.
Another woman who has focused her energy on equality and leadership is Martha Mertz, who developed her vision for ATHENA International in 1982 while serving on the board of directors of the Lansing Michigan Regional Chamber of Commerce. As the only woman, she quickly recognized that the boardroom did not reflect the reality of the business community. If women’s strengths and contributions as leaders were publicly acknowledged through an award process, then they could no longer be dismissed.
She is planning to share her vision and understanding of women’s leadership at the CWL event on March 2. I encourage women of all ages to attend. If you have a teenage daughter who is preparing for college, this is an absolute must for her: apply.olivetcollege.edu/register/CWL2018.
Those who have come forward to shine a light on acts of inequality, discrimination and assault should be applauded. Those who have decided
to remain quiet until now — we need your support. We want and need change: #TimesUp.