This year I was chosen to be one of six recipients of the Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund's The Future is Now Award. A recognition of young woman leaders in Connecticut. I'd like to share my short acceptance speech with all of you. Enjoy!
Thank you to CWEALF and the organizers of this event. And congratulations to my fellow awardees! I am so honored to be recognized this year as part of The Future Is Now.
In my work, I talk a lot about how important it is to prepare to be unprepared. How humans, while we love structure, need to be able to break it in order to address some of the difficult challenges of our world.
Like how I am writing this speech, completely unaware if I will be reciting these words to you myself, or if they will be read to you while I birth, or snuggle, or pass out next to my newborn.
A year ago, I stood off to the side- listening to the incredible stories of the women who received this award. I was in awe, and if I’m being completely honest, a little envious. In this past year I have experienced many new adventures. Pregnancy, yes, but also the ability to connect with fellow creatives from across the country and listen. Listen to how people use storytelling, journalism, gardening, dance, puppetry, bike riding and SO MUCH MORE to help bring community together so that the community can build itself up.
So that the community can build itself up.
In my year of listening the loudest lesson I have learned is that leadership is a community responsibility, not an individual’s. I hope that my work as a facilitator and super amateur blogger inspires people to be collaborators. To join in the work of leading their community to better futures. To go out and listen to their neighbors, their politicians, or better yet to become their own politicians. I hope that my work becomes obsolete, because people become so incredible at working together they no longer need a facilitator to assist them.
Adaptability looks like being envious that you didn’t receive a leadership award, and then spending a year redefining what leadership means to you- resulting in getting a leadership award.
I am flattered to be seen. I am honored to be acknowledged. And my charge to each of you is to go out into the streets that you live in and truly listen to someone who is right now being unheard. Some of the most astounding leaders I know have bios like “mom and friend.” They have difficulty accessing rooms like this one, because they are busy working and providing for their families in positions that are not as instagramable as “business owner”. They are the people who need to come together so they can lead us in building ourselves up. Find them and listen- because we can’t go far without them.