Like many of you, it is my practice to prepare for the day with quiet meditation and prayer. It was during such a time that I heard the words ‘you are a woman’ within my spirit. At the time, I had no idea of the relevance of that statement; but thought its interpretation must be a mystery well beyond female gender. Surely, there must be some deep meaning in those words. After all, they came during a time of meditation and prayer. But what could it be and why were those words given in the late summer of 2016? I had no idea, and tucked the words away in my memory to reflect on them at another time.
I am compelled to respond to conservative columnist Ron Hart’s recent article about women marching, The ladies doth protest too much. Hart heaps scorn upon liberals as manufacturers of pious rage and disses the recent women’s marches around the country. In his usual snarky style, not only are the women scorned, but so are the march sites. “Cities like San Francisco, New York, Portland and Washington, D.C,. hosted most of these showy displays of victimhood, both real and imagined. In fact, with high taxes and companies fleeing, most of these towns have become protest-based economies.”
The 2017 Million Women March on Washington approaches, along with about 30 sister marches around the country, including in New York City. It’s been forty-seven years since I marched down 5th Ave. for the Women’s Movement. Why did I go when my goal for that trip to Manhattan was to find a job? Entering an employment agency, I insisted on sitting at the men’s table rather than with the women who were required to take a typing test. When my persistence was met with a threat to call the police to eject me, I made my way to 5th Ave. and joined the March.
Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)
Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician and the writer of the first published computer program. She was originally named Augusta Ada Byron and was the daughter of the famous poet, Lord Byron, and his wife, Annabella. In 1835, Ada married William King, ten years her senior, and when King inherited a noble title in 1838, they became the Earl and Countess of Lovelace. Most women in her position at that time were not encouraged in their education or intellect. Known as “the first programmer,” Ada was assisted in her learned by a mathematician-logician, Augustus De Morgan, who taught Mathematics at the University of London.
While working for an English mathematician, Charles Babbage, Ada developed an interest in his machines which later proved to be the forerunners of the modern computer. In 1843, Ada succeeded in translating and annotating an article written by mathematician Luigi Federico Menabrea on one of Babbage’s machines. Using what she called, “Poetical Science”, Ada also made detailed description of how an “Analytical Machine” could be programmed to calculate a sequence of rational numbers. Babbage referred to Ada as an “enchantress of numbers.” Today the Ada computer programming language developed in the 1980s for the U.S. Department of Defense is named in her honor.
Ada Lovelace is one of the biographies in the STEM Women Study Guide. The Guide is a classroom tool that encourages & educates women in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM)
The Spiral Notebook, including discussion questions, was created in coordination with womengroundbreakers.com
Special thanks for their support of the project:
Platinum Sponsors: Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, Humanities Tennessee
Gold Sponsors: American Diversity Report, Chattanooga Writers Guild, EPB Fiber Optics, excellerate!, Million Women Mentors, Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Southern Adventist University, The HR Shop, ThreeTwelve Creative, UTC College of Engineering and Computer Science, Volkswagen Chattanooga.
Special Thanks Southern Adventist University Intern Abigail White
Chattanooga’s 2016 women GroundBreakers Storytelling Series began with a session on immigrants. Introduced by entrepreneur Denise Reed, three women who immigrated to the US and Chattanooga shared their stories, followed by Dr. Lisa Clark Diller, Chair of History & Political Studies/ Southern Adventist University.
Diller explained, “Historians collect stories over time and then try to draw conclusions about them, so I hope to make some general observations here about women and immigration in Chattanooga—which are set in the larger U.S. historical context.”
Personal and inspiring stories by women groundbreakers are front and center for the 6th annual celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This year, in honor of the group becoming a member of the national Lean In movement founded by the CFO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, Chattanooga’s Lean In Circle will host not one event, but a 4-part series. Humanities TN is the Presenting Sponsor of these storytellers as they put Hot Topics into historical perspective: Immigrants, Education, Civil Rights, & Veterans/ Military.
March 3: IMMIGRANTS – The Walden Club RSVP 3/3
Hear how women immigrants make a difference and inspire future change makers.
Dr. Mbakisya Onyango: Prof. of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science/ UTC (CECS)
Jessica Oliva-Calderin: Immigration lawyer & Managing attorney partner/ CALDERIN & OLIVA
Nasera Souidi-Johnson: Nasera Souidi-Johnson: Past Pres./ International Business Council (Chattanooga Area
Chamber of Commerce), Past Pres./VP of Membership French-American Chamber of Commerce, Director/ CBL Associates & Properties
Historical Context: Dr. Lisa Clark Diller – Chair of History & Political Studies/ Southern Adventist U.
Facilitator: Denise Reed – President & CEO/ The Concierge Office Suites
March 8: EDUCATION – Girls Preparatory School
Be inspired by women’s stories from the cutting edge of education in Chattanooga.
Welcome: Sheila Boyington
Introduction: Mayor Andy Berke
Stacy Goodwin Lightfoot, Vice Pres. of College & Career Success/ Public Education Foundation (PEF)
LuLu Copeland, Director of Workforce Development & Training/ Chattanooga State Community College
Historical Context: Linda Moss Mines: Chair of History & Social Sciences Dept./ GPS, Historian/ Hamilton County, Board Member/ Chattanooga History Center
Facilitator: Luronda Jennings – Founder & Exec. Director/ Journey Educational Services, Inc.
March 17: CIVIL RIGHTS – Ridgeview Baptist Church RSVP 3/17
Hear lessons learned from the very different paths to justice, inclusion, & equality.
Ardena Garth Hicks: TN’s 1st African American woman Public Defender
Dr. Eleanor McCallie Cooper: Co-Founder of Chattanooga Connected
Dollie Hamilton: Compensation Consultant CCP – Human Resources
Historical Context: Caroline Sunderland, Former Sr. Educator/ Chattanooga History Center
Facilitator: Maria Noel, Diversity & Inclusion/ Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
March 24: VETERANS/ MILITARY – The Gathering Place at The Crossing Church RSVP 3/24
Hear what these women veterans achieved in service to their country, where they are now, and their inspiring words of wisdom.
Patty Parks: U.S. Navy-retiree, TN State Director/ Military Women Across the Nation
Aubrey Williams: U.S. Army, United States Military Academy/ West Point
Lt. Tay Brymer: Public Affairs Officer/ Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Chattanooga
Historical Context: Major Paul Dean – MA History/ Vanderbilt U., Sr. Army Instructor JROTC / Ooltewah HS
Facilitator: Jessica Dumitru, J. D. (Texas A&M), MA International Affairs (New York U.), BA European History & International Politics (Sewanee)
Lean In – Women Ground Breakers is a community outreach project of the American Diversity Report. Created in 2001 as the Women’s Council on Diversity, we continue to provide public diversity programs onsite locally & online globally. We are now the Chattanooga Circle of the national Lean In movement begun by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Face Book. Members include: Deborah Levine (Chair), Leanne Barron, Cathryn Cohen, Erin Crane, Traci Day, Carrie Di Memmo, Laura Hessler, Ardena Garth Hicks, Luronda Jennings, Shawn Kurrelmeier Lee, Linda Moss Mines, Victoria Overholser, Tina Player, Denise Reed, Donna Roseberry, Brenda Freeman Short, Sue Stohlmann
Who among us has not been touched by success stories or by stories of daring adventures, altruistic sacrifices, or futuristic inventions? Whether it’s rags-to-riches or rising from the ashes, we’re moved and motivated by stories of overcoming life’s obstacles. How do these stories, often of people and places unknown to us personally, penetrate hearts and minds so deeply? Can we harness their inspirational power and apply it to women with unrealized potential? Chattanooga’s Lean In – Women GroundBreakers tackled the challenge using the Matrix Model Management System.
Chattanooga’s Lean In – Women GroundBreakers is a Think Tank of diverse faith, community, youth, and business leaders. The women meet monthly to discuss trends and strategies for making a difference. As part of the international Lean In movement, their Think Tank discussions are published locally and globally. Be inspired by their Words of Wisdom on October’s topic: Global Leadership. First, check out their strategies for building a global mindset.
4 Top Strategies for Building a Global Mindset
1. Be Aware
- Acknowledge your biases.
- Be open to the ideas of others.
- Know yourself and be authentic.
2. Be Educated
- Learn about issues on a global level, not just locally or nationally.
- Know the customs of other countries and religions.
- Learn a foreign language.
- Continue your education. You can’t speak out on something you don’t understand.
- Research how other women developed into global leaders.
3. Communicate across Cultures
- Consolidate your ideas into a format that is easily shared with others.
- Listen and understand life from a person who is not like you.
- Respect the customs of different countries and religions when you speak your mind.
4. Put your Ideas into Action
- Decide how you want to make a difference.
- List and then prioritize the paths you want to take.
- Contact the community leaders working in your areas of interest.
- Pursue your mission and encourage others to pursue their dreams.
Groundbreakers’ Words of Wisdom
Carrie DiMemmo, nonprofit and development professional
“Global leaders did not wake up one day and decide to lead on a global scale. They started doing small things within their local communities and built on that. They may have a global vision, but they always have a local start. You can’t change the world without changing yourself first.”
Tina Player, Event Planner
“We should recognize who we are and the purpose of our existence. Never be classified or placed in a specific box. Create your own box with a unique size, color, and bow. It’s most important to know who you are and WHY!
Denise Reed, Chief Business Connector at The Concierge Office Suites
“Share your life experience and business experience so other can see the opportunities in front of them and make a positive difference.”
Brenda Freeman Short, Lawyer, teacher, and political leader
“Global leadership requires the recognition of all human beings as valuable citizens of this plant, However, caring for others does not necessarily mean acceptance of another’s lifestyle. Leadership can agree to disagree.”
Laura Hessler, Owner of The HR Shop
“Everyone has a story and a part of leadership is understanding the solicitation, verbalization, and promotions of those stories that in turn can inspire others to act.”
Cathryn Cohen, Retired attorney and county library executive director
“Remember that women, whether by birth or by choice, are entitled to everything men have always had.”
Ardena Garth, Attorney and former public defender
“Fear keeps me from getting to know and understand what is going on in the world around me. Caring about others is a start to develop global leaders. Knowledge will help combat that fear.”
Leanne Baron, Consultant
“If we can come together in our local communities and identify the top issues and then make a plan to work together, we can can make a difference which can spread to the national global level. We’ve been good at coming up with ideas, but need to be better at putting those ideas into action and bringing about change.”
ASPIRE & INSPIRE!
The Independent Television Service (ITVS) is a global asset for women and girls. ITVS supports a dynamic field of independent media makers whose programs creatively engage audiences, expand cultural awareness and catalyze civic participation. Filmmakers from around the world came to ITVS with incredible stories about women and girls. Using a holistic approach, ITVS created Women and Girls Lead, a multi-year initiative with documentaries about women and girls. After launching the domestic initiative, the project went global. Combining the expertise in international broadcasting, storytelling, and on-the-ground knowledge of its partners: USAID, the Ford Foundation, and CARE, ITVS recently launched Women and Girls Lead Global.
Why bother writing when technology does much of the work for us? Templates plan for us, spell-check edits for us, and there’s enough information online to produce a ocean of plagiarized work. It’s no surprise that technical and business writing skills are becoming lost arts. Yet, successful communication with colleagues, teams, and clients relies heavily on written memos, emails, reports, proposals, and evaluations. Professional development should include the development of writing skills, but rarely does.