Power Rising is a non-traditional gathering organized for and by Black women to celebrate their collective power and create actionable agendas. As a member of the planning committee since the organization’s inception in 2017, I was thrilled to attend this year’s summit in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The summit, supercharged with innovative and powerful changemakers and groundshifters, was centered on pillars including business & economic empowerment; culture, community, and society; education, technology, and innovation; health & wellness; and political empowerment — so attendees were able to participate in a large variety of discussions. The fitting theme of this year’s gathering was Our Time is Now.
I would be remiss not to mention the unique spirit of the conference that I experienced while spending four days with extraordinary, complex and diverse women from across the country. Witnessing women — who are business leaders, teachers, students, moms, daughters, grandmothers, the list goes on — come together to discuss how to speak truth to power was truly inspirational.
As I reflect on lessons learned in my time in New Orleans, I wanted to share a few key takeaways:
It is our time to:
- Bring your authentic self to the world and the workplace: stop diluting who you are
- Always be prepared. Whether you want a job, promotion, or 4.0 GPA — you’re going to have to work hard for it and preparation and due diligence are key to getting across the finish line
- You Can’t Pour From An Empty Cup
- In order to be successful in day-to-day tasks and overcome challenges and obstacles, you’re going to have to double down on making sure you are healthy — that includes physical, emotional and mental health
- Understand it’s okay to not be okay, all of the time
- REACH Back and REACH Forward: Connect with your sister. Mentor a young person. Seek out mentors
- Everytime you get a seat at the table, pull up another seat for your sister
- If there’s no seat for you — sometimes you have to BUILD your own table
SUPPORT EACH OTHER
- Listen, Learn, Invest: it’s imperative that we take a step back and listen to understand verses listening to reply
- Learn about your sister’s new business idea or new career interests, you may be able to help her more that you think
- We must invest in our voices, in our issues and in our causes in order to move the needle forward and create change
SHARE KNOWLEDGE + IDEAS
- Your network is your net worth. Help your sister grow by sharing a contact, a press list or an email
- We have to start creating more fluid channels of communication and information/resource sharing in order to collectively speak truth to power
In closing, throughout the summit, I was moved and inspired by hearing so many diverse women speak, but most importantly the women I had one-on-one interactions with provided me with the greatest insight. They reminded me that the magic is no longer free and that it’s important to KNOW your worth. Our time is now to raise our voices and share what’s important to us to make an indelible mark in history.
Note: This article originally appeared on Medium.