When asked about my political leanings, I often say my underlying belief is that I don’t like to be told what to do. A lot of women in history have the same viewpoint, including singer Lesley Gore, who shocked the world with her unapologetic and radical song “You Don’t Own Me” in 1963.
Her revolutionary lyrics included these famous lines: “I’m free and I love to be free to live my life the way I want, to say and do whatever I please.” Dang, ladies, doesn’t that resonate? Today, channel your inner Lesley Gore and speak up—heck—sing at the top of your lungs if you have to!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 4,500
In the spirit of shunning others’ judgment and disapproval, let me share a number that’ll invigorate you. Since the heated 2016 presidential election, 4,500 women and counting have signed up to run for office in the U.S. The nonprofit organization She Should Run helped make this happen by providing online courses and guidance for women interested in running for office.
What I love about She Should Run is that the group removes the intimidating unknowns for women who’ve never been involved in politics, boiling it all down to the basics—like what does a town mayor actually do?—so women can develop practical skills they can apply to a career in public service. The nonprofit provides women with knowledge, and we all know knowledge is power.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Lauren Leader-Chivée, Co-founder and CEO of All In Together
Some days, it can feel suffocating just hearing the national and world news, its negativity or even its frivolity. But instead of simply complaining about why on earth human-rights lawyer Amal Clooney is making headlines about her baby bump, some women are taking a different approach.
Many women find actually doing something about the news that affects us is crucial to fighting information fatigue and helplessness. One organization delivering nonpartisan solutions to issues facing women is All In Together, which works to empower American women with the tools and resources we need to fully engage in the political process and drive change on the issues we care about most. This influential organization is the brainchild of Lauren Leader-Chivée, who co-founded All In Together as a way to advance women’s progress in civic, political and professional realms throughout the country.
Since 1980, U.S. women have had a higher voter-turnout rate than men in every presidential election but still remain on the sidelines of civic engagement, often preferring to take part at the citizen level by attending town halls, writing letters to Congress and contributing op-ed newspaper pieces—all important elements of participating in our democracy. But women’s voices continue to be underrepresented at all levels of decision-making and influence in American politics. Lauren and All In Together are dedicated to changing that.
Members of All In Together are provided with monthly educational data, including advocacy training, as well as access to a Congressional directory, info on networking events and even discounted tickets to bipartisan policy forums and conferences.
Lauren has been a longtime champion of closing gender and racial gaps. In her book, Crossing the Thinnest Line, Lauren advocates for implementing and celebrating diversity in the workplace and political sphere, and advises that inclusion is “the most important skill set of our time.” Lauren is a real thought leader, and her feminist activism hasn’t gone unnoticed. Fortune recently identified Lauren as one of the 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter, and she is sought after as a speaker by an abundance of forward-thinking organizations and conferences.
By advocating for women to stand up for what we believe in, not only through our votes but also through our voices, Lauren confirms that, ladies, we are all in this together.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Today’s empowering quote comes from Maya Angelou, who said:
“Each time a woman stands up for herself...she stands up for all women.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.