Happy International Women’s Day!

Amelia Boynton, Civil Rights Activist

Amelia Boynton Robinson, Civil Rights Activist

Get the heck off of my shoulders and get to work!
– Amelia Boynton Robinson

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Selma March.  Amelia Boynton Robinson is a 103-year-old survivor of that Bloody Sunday who became a matriarch of the Civil Rights movement.  Her message for those who say they are standing on her shoulders parallels the message this year for International Women’s Day:

3.8.15 MakeItHappen

“Awareness” is out ~ action is in.

3.8.15 Beautiful

A voteless people is a hopeless people.
– Amelia Boynton Robinson

Purple is our color because it symbolizes justice and dignity.  We have adopted it to show solidarity.

3.8.15 Diversity

“Awareness”-based solutions for problems
facing women generate a lot of Twitter activity,
but little genuine change.
We’re all profoundly aware of the changes that need to happen.  It is time to end the pity-parties and bitch sessions and get to work.  Change isn’t easy because nobody holding five aces asks for a new deal.  Activists like Mrs. Robinson and me are in our retirement years.  We might have come a long way, baby, but there are miles and miles to go before anybody can sleep peacefully.  It is time for young people to step up.
3.8.15 Bridge
Those who have arisen because of
our Bloody Sunday have excelled.
– Amelia Boynton Robinson
I have always loved the symbol of a bridge for change which empowers us.  It takes real courage to cross a bridge from our past to our futures.  At the same time, a bridge allows us to take prudent risks:  our leap of faith comes with a solid pavement beneath our feet.
Violence against women is still a pandemic.
Butterflies are another lovely image for the metamorphosis of change.
3.8.15 Graphic
Too few women are in leadership roles.
If we want to make a difference in the world, we must first make important changes within ourselves.  These are changes we can control and implement.  We can, for example, learn to respect ourselves, our time, our bodies, our talents, etc.  We empower ourselves by becoming more independent and resourceful.  We can take steps to become more healthy physically, spiritually, financially, and emotionally.  And, we can create safe havens for ourselves.
3.8.15 PaintItPurple

Our first change can be very simple: the color purple can remind us that we have dignity and deserve justice.

Jane Fonda and Kit Gruelle

Jane Fonda and Kit Gruelle

Kit Gruelle wanted to change the conversation about domestic violence.  She asked her friend Cynthia Hill to help her create a documentary.  Private Violence won a Sundance Award and premiered on HBO.  This weekend she’s celebrating International Women’s Day in New York City with feminist leaders including Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem.  Bravo!

Thank you, Becca, for informing me that International Women’s Day is a very important holiday in Russia.

Related link:
International Women’s Day Shows Awareness Is Not Enough by Charlotte Atler, TIME, 3/8/15

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