I am thrilled to report that 75 women attended the first meeting of SacWomen. I have posted the photos on the SacWomen group Facebook page.
The assembled crowd, I was very glad to see, was diverse in terms of age, although I would hope we can add more diversity in terms of race in the future. Megan Seely, the Sacramento author of How to Fight Like A Girl, gave an empassioned speech interspered with readings from her book. She told of her first experience of being an activist - a fabulous scene that culminated in her holding a bunch of grapes high in the air in a grocery store when she was 14, and screaming to the crowd that assembled, "these grapes have blood on them," before she rushed from the store with her shocked, but supportive, mother, in pursuit.
She then discussed the negative terms that are given to feminists - bra-burners, angry, man-haters, ugly, and many others. And then she named many of the stats that should make us very, very angry.
Today I heard from an attendee who had brought with her a young business owner, whom I will call, Carole. She wrote:
What hit home for her about Megan's talk was her comment that because things have gotten better for women and people like Carole can have her own business, she was thinking that things are pretty good for women, overall. But the statistics made her think about how far we still need to go to even be on par with men. She is going to use Megan's book for the book club she does at her business. I thought that was neat. Also, several people she met at the meeting said they would visit her business.
Wow, she got smart about the fact that women still need to stand up and demand so much more...and she got some business out of the event..sounds like a very successful night for her.
Megan ended up with a quote from a poem by Alix Olsen:
....cause if this is a movement we're making, we have got to get the moving.
In this crazy maze we've been handed, we've got to quit losing ourselves.
We gotta use our big fat mouths to talk,
We gotta use our big thick things to walk.
We got to follow those who choose a different way to knock.
Personal moments that stood out for me:
What an amazing group of women I am lucky enough to know in Sacramento. What fabulous support I received for the event from all of them, and especially my book club, who while I was up at the podium, planned a book club weekend in Tahoe for early December. I was so excited about it, I called my daughter and told her to tell her husband he has full responsibility for my grandchildren and she must come down and join us and meet this amazing group of women. She sounded very positive. And when Megan talked about the huge size of the Women's March on Washington of 2004 and later my step-daughter stood by my side and told Megan that I had taken her there - OK, I felt pretty proud.
My desires for this group: that our 'amplified voices' will allow us to 'change the world' ...beginning with the world we know, Sacramento. That by coming together we can cause:
A ground swell of support for each other – personally, politically, economically, academically, philanthropically, culturally, socially, environmentally..and any other way that we figure out along the way!
Thanks go out wholeheartedly to our sponsors: Caroline Jensen of Coldwell Banker, Michelle Hallsten of Pillsbury Winthrop, Shaw Pittman, Jack Crawford of Velocity Ventures on behalf of Velcity's 3 women partners, Marilyn Edling, Judith Kjelstrom et moi, and Kristen Harlow of Comerica Bank. And to the several organizations that donated over $600 of prizes for the event (winners tomorrow, I promise). And as always to Amplify for donating the very professional registration and Customer Mining for the e-blasts they donate. How did I get to be this lucky with such generous folks around me?
And what an amazing venue. The Casa Garden Restaurant. Fabulous volunteers who hosted the event and served the great food - one of them was 80 years old - all to provide funds for the Sacramento Children's Home. I hope many of us are still volunteering so vigorously at that age.
Watch for the next event toward the end of January. If you want your friends to be added to the mailing list have them mail me at Gillian@sacramentoexecutive.com.
And sign up for the RSS feed for the website to be sure to receive every blog and news of all future events.
Thanks for being a part of it.