THE BUZZ: From September 21st through 23rd, 2012, I attended the Women & Power Conference at Omega’s Rhinebeck, NY campus. It was a gathering of dynamic women from various sectors – from playwright Eve Ensler and actress Sally Field to media powerhouse Pat Mitchell and Planned Parenthood Federation President Cecile Richards. I was super impressed by Majora Carter‘s presentation of her work on sustainable development in the Bronx. I knew of her work but to hear her walk through it was wonderful.
The weekend marked the launch of the Omega Women’s Leadership Center (OWLC). The intention is to promote women’s leadership by convening, inspiring, and training women to lead from their own authentic voice, values, and vision. It also seeks to creates a power and leadership paradigm shift, from “power over” to “power with” others. We all know the time is now.
Here are some key questions and common themes from the weekend:
How can we flip our own script? Instead of dwelling on what is wrong, let’s flip it and ask what is possible?
Can women change the nature of power and how we embody power?
How do you find the courage to speak truth to power?
Can we be the change we want to see in the world?
What are we going to use our power for?
We must get over the “imposter syndrome” – when you feel that you’re perpetually a fraud (e.g. not that smart).
We must change our language to transform our pain into power.
When you believe in yourself, anything is possible.
We are all the same – full of light and shadow.
Talking may be the one human behavior that saves the world.
It was a powerful start to a necessary dialogue. I must also mention the music at the Saturday night benefit. Maya Azucena performed. She is an award-winning singer, activist, and cultural ambassador based in Brooklyn, NY. At the 2010 United Nations Summit, she was selected by the Office of Secretary General Ban Ki Moon as the exclusive performer at the Every Woman, Every Child event. I see why! She really got the crowd up on their feet. Certainly check her out.
Find out more about Omega’s Women & Power initiatives, and be sure to look for my upcoming series on Women and Power.
Contributed by Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Ph.D., MBA.