Guest Blog: Women’s Empowerment with Terri Broussard Williams
5 Empowering Things I've Learned From Some Incredible Women
March is Women's History Month, a great time to thank the female #firestarters you've learned from, who've lifted you up and who have helped you find your own unique path. It's also the perfect opportunity to think about what you can share to empower other women. Sometimes we underestimate what we have to offer. But trust me on this: There are women out there for whom your knowledge and expertise could make all the difference.
In that spirit, I want to tell you about five of the most empowering things I've learned from other women lately — because I want their stories and their wisdom to inspire you the same way they've inspired me. The women you'll meet below are among the amazing people who have shared their stories on my blog. They never fail to give me a huge dose of energy and motivation.
1. Follow Your Heart, But Do Your Homework
Yes, you need passion to create a change in this world. But you also need the willingness to work hard, build your knowledge and ask the right questions. That's according to Fayruz Benyousef, who definitely knows a thing or two about creating change. She's the head of her own nonprofit consultancy, a cancer survivor and an ardent advocate for other women. (Among other things, she got me started with public speaking!)
2. Hope Can Come Out of Dark Times
I'm so proud of Brooke Brown, a former colleague of mine at the American Heart Association, for founding the Hope 22 the traveling photography project. It features the photographs and stories of 22 veterans who have struggled with mental health yet found a way forward. Brooke's project was born of sadness — she lost her own father to suicide — but she's found a powerful way to channel her grief into helping others.
3. Change the Conversation
Menstrual periods have been around a long time. And for most of that time, we've been pretty uncomfortable talking about them. Cherie Hoeger and Amber Fawson are working to open new conversations as the co-founders of Saalt, a company that makes reusable menstrual cups. Cherie and Amber created Saalt to give more women access to quality period care and to make period products more sustainable. "You have to hold on strongly to what you believe in,” Cherie says. “When you take back the narrative, you’ll find those people who are empowered by your message.”
4. Don't Back Down
Some people retreat when they run into obstacles. Brooke E. López is not one of those people. At a young age, Brooke has done so much: launching a nonprofit, advocating for legislation, running for office, founding the Lone Star Parity Project (an nonpartisan online publication dedicated to gender parity in Texas politics). And she's accomplished it all despite resistance (like being told she was “too brown to represent the community”). The next time you want to give up on something, think about this resilient young leader. (And look for her on your ballot someday!)
5. Love Yourself
The final world-rocking woman I want to talk to you about today is the one behind this very blog: Elizabeth Elias. As a wardrobe consultant, Elizabeth is well acquainted with the pain and shame that a lot of women feel about their bodies. So she started the #LoveYourself movement to change things. Her message is that we are all beautiful and worth celebrating just as we are, and that we all deserve our own kindness. I believe that's an urgent message for the world to hear.
I want to thank Elizabeth for inviting me to write this guest post. And I want to wish all of you a joyful and meaningful Women's History Month. May you be inspired as you inspire others!
-Terri Broussard Williams