On February 17th, 2009, Tiffany and I had the pleasure of participating in Mayor Ronald V. Dellums’ Model City Summit on Women, where amazing women (and a few men) from throughout the Bay Area came together to talk about how to develop a healthy, strong, and sustainable community. At the Summit, the mayor and his wife gave Women of Greatness Awards to recognize individual women for their exceptional contributions within the Bay Area. We are excited to note that Vivian Chang of APEN (one of our grantees) was recognized for her work in communities throughout the East Bay, where she has expanded environmental justice’s scope to include land use, planning, affordable housing, and transportation.
In addition to recognizing a number of the Bay Area’s phenomenal women, the summit also provided participants an amazing opportunity to reflect on their places in the world, their physical, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being, as well as how they could play a meaningful role in the current federal administration. We also had access to experts to learn more about how to do everything from strengthening a business to how to develop more collaboration amongst women of different racial backgrounds or sexual orientations, among other great topics.
Because of the many strong and wise voices Tiffany and I heard from at the summit, we both feel challenged to continue trying to make a large, positive impact on our communities through our work while also taking care of ourselves. At the event, Essence Magazine’s Susan Taylor encouraged us by saying you won’t be able to make the impact you desire “unless you give yourself what you need everyday to feel empowered.” So, continue doing the good work for the communities that you’re all passionate about, but remember to take care of yourself in the process.