One of the key reasons I was originally attracted to join Integrated Work is that it is a woman-owned, women-led organization (WOWLO) — a reason that, I felt particularly honored to share with my loved ones. As a Black man, it has become a driving, palpable mission to leverage my identities to support the successes and aspirations of those who also hold marginalized identities — in this case, a Black man working to deepen and defend the impact of a WOWLO (whose staff is also predominately women).
As a continuance of our ceremonial energy toward Black History Month at Integrated Work, we are now observing Women’s History Month (WHM) with great reverence and responsibility. When I was researching ways to personally act upon our organization’s devout respect for WHM, I was unsuccessful in locating a list of actions that were comprehensive, opportune, and inclusive:
- Comprehensive– Actions ranging from financial to relational; informational to material
- Opportune– Actions that could be done in a moment or infused into your practice beyond the present month
- Inclusive– Inviting all persons, despite body and experience, to take part in WHM
I decided to shift my attention from “complaint” to “create” by working with my partner (and Integrated Work affiliate), Alyssa Rosch, to develop our own list of WHM activities that felt more robust. In this article, you will find our list in tribute to the women with whom our lives intersect and involve; actions that reinforce the values we hope to exist in all lives but, primarily, in the lives of women worldwide.
Take a moment to populate your thoughts with the women who are central (and peripheral) to your life; the women who’ve occupied your personal, professional, and mental spaces throughout your life — see their faces, say their names, feel their impact. What do you know about their experiences, and which of them connect with you most? In what ways do you show your care for these women? Do you think that they feel that your support is genuine, attentive, and constant?
Contemplating these questions can move you in thought and emotion; because you’re aware that your response carries the potential to move the lives of women by profound measures. So, if you have discovered that you are now also moved to act, be encouraged in joining us to make this month really matter to someone (including yourself).
Take on some of the actions listed below that are most authentic to you, and some that may cause you to grow! Most importantly, may your demonstration of these items harbor a sincere acceptance that it is in the history of a woman to encounter barriers; but it is in her spirit to rise above them. Her elevation is a celebration for us all when her life is uplifted by us all.
THE UPLIFT LIST:
- Write a thank-you note to a woman that inspires you
- Create a playlist focused on women’s empowerment
- Watch films/shows/series that feature women as lead actors
- Read a book focused on women
- Listen to a podcast authored by a woman
- Find a quote from a woman that deeply resonates with you
- Discover a fact about women that surprise you and ones you think others should know
- Endorse an organization that supports women or is led by women
- Celebrate a woman (or a women’s cause) in the form of apparel or a piece of decor
- Send an affirmation to a young girl
- Post photos of women who inspire you on your social media
- Learn the dream of a woman and ask how you could support her in the achievement of that dream
- Interview an elder and record the wisdom she imparts
- Recreate an iconic photo
- Host a celebration or discussion with others
- Research the different types of feminism and identify which one connects with you most
- Thank a woman who has influenced the person you’ve become
- Spend a day with a woman you care about
- Send a few dollars to a woman that she could use to treat herself to something special
- Acknowledge a woman who has a role in a predominantly male field of work