Last summer I was hugged by the Movement. You may have had a similar experience. Being in a place where everyone around you was just getting it. A moment to relax because you were in a place where you didn’t have to convince anyone that women’s equity makes sense. That women’s should control their own bodies. That young women have something to say and we should be listening. That place for me last summer was the first ever United State of Women Summit.
I was honored to be chosen by the YWCA USA to join 11 other local YWCA associations as guests at the Summit. I travelled to Washington, DC and entered into the Convention Center with 5,000+ others interested and engaged in the fight for women and social justice. It was a day packed full of smart speeches, sharing of effective models and conversations with the strong women around me. I got to hear a speech from Vice President Joe Biden, who has been fighting for the Violence Against Women Act since the 70s. President Barack Obama gave a speech that made me look forward to his final months and made me see the doors of progress opening around us. One of my heroes, Loretta Lynch, made a surprise appearance. In her soft-spoken speech, she ignited the room. And, I found a new model for leadership in Joanne Smith. I left wanting it to continue and be spread into my own community.
And then, the opportunity presented itself. The United State of Women broke off from the White House and became their own 501(c)3 and bringing the summit to cities across the nation. New Mexico has been chosen as one of 10 cities that will be holding Galvanize Trainings in 2017 and 2018. The YWCA New Mexico is so proud to be a part of this and we’re working hard on the Host Committee to bring a big hug from the movement into our community. If you’re interested in learning more please visit the United State of Women Galvanize Training page and sign up for announcements. Stay tuned to the YWCA Facebook and Website for continued updates.