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Issue 158 — January 25, 2021

Each week I write about what the week just past has taught us. I reflect on what happened and search for the larger meaning in its disparate events. I look through the lens of whether it’s been good for women or bad for women. I search for trends. And I look for moments of power shifts related to gender and race.

Well let me just say last week took the prize on all those fronts.

It was one to the most meaningful weeks of recent American history.

Hashtags #racialequality #genderequality #leadership #justice #courage #powerfulwomen #genderparityby2025 #taketheleadwomen #secondgentleman…

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Issue 157 — January 17, 2021

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

That’s my favorite quote from Dr. King. And I feel sure that if he were writing those words today, he would include “woman.” Because as he himself often noted, justice must always expand to be inclusive of all.

To honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his birthday weekend and national holiday, here are some more of his most stirring quotes.

Pick your favorite from the list or explore others online. I know you’ll be inspired to use what I call your “power to” to take action. …

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Issue 156 — January 10, 2021

Were you eager to leave 2020 behind?

Surprise. The first week in this brave new year has tried our souls even more than the year we thought we left behind. Whoever said the past is never really past knew what she was talking about.

It’s apparently not enough that we are still battling a raging global coronavirus pandemic that’s wreaking havoc on our health and disrupting almost everything about our lives.

It’s not enough that small businesses are being forced to close at an astounding rate. Or that women have lost or left four times as many jobs as men, and that women of color are hardest hit because they have held the frontline jobs most vulnerable to the shut down. …

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Issue 155 — December 28, 2020

You’d think this year is an animate being one could punch or despise or dress down. Every other headline on those end-of-year emails clogging our inboxes rails against poor old 2020. Worst year ever, leave it in the rearview mirror, kick it to the curb, and so on.

Without question, the sickness and death carnage of COVID-19 has taken a toll on each of us individually and all of us collectively. Is anyone’s family untouched by a positive COVID-19 test at this point? Quite likely, we’ve had someone close to us among the 333,000 who have died to date. These events are devastating and having had several members of our immediate family contract the disease, my heart goes out to all who are struggling with it and its aftereffects. …

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Issue 154 — December 21, 2020

Today on the winter solstice, the stars align. For the first time since 1226, the planets Jupiter and Saturn will be so close in the night sky that they might look like one large star.

Astronomers call it the Great Conjunction. Some people call it the Christmas star.

We humans like to imbue these celestial moments with supernatural meaning. For me personally, it’s extra special because today happens to be Alex and my 40th wedding anniversary!

I wish you and your loved ones health and joy during this unusual holiday season when most of us will celebrate virtually.

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Issue 153 — December 14, 2020

This week Jupiter and Saturn will be observably closer to each other than they have been since and they won’t be as close again until 2080. This is a phenomenon not to be missed! The clearest view will happen on my wedding anniversary and the winter solstice, December 21. How cool is that?

Don’t Miss the Great Conjunction December 15

But easier to find and equally cool will be another rare phenomenon that you won’t want to miss: Julianne Moore and Gloria Steinem in an intimate conversation with YOU, moderated by two graduates of our 50 Women Can Change the World programs. Charreah Jackson, from the 2020 journalism cohort and Jyoti Sarda from the 2018 media and entertainment cohort. This great event will occur on December 15 at 8pm eastern time. And I guarantee it will be easier to find than the converging planets. …

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Issue 152 — December 6, 2020

“There are plenty of top-notch people in every demographic group for even the most high-level jobs. You just have to see them and open the barricades that have blocked them from serving.”

Jodi Enda re Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s diverse choices of top advisors.

Real change is in the air. And it’s happening fast.

It’s the kind of momentum I felt when I was on the frontline of the March for Women’s Lives in 2004. We were scheduled to step off at noon but by 11 o’clock the sheer pressure of over a million people’s common aspiration forced us to start marching. …

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Issue 151 — November 29, 2020

Do you sometimes feel powerless in these challenging days?

Let me assure you of this: you have the power to help women recover from the pandemic’s effects on their lives and livelihoods when you make a contribution to Take The Lead.

And — great news — your contribution will be matched by our amazing board members, led by chair Dr. Nancy O’Reilly.

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Issue 150 — November 23, 2020

Happy Pre-Thanksgiving. I hope you are well and that however you plan to spend the holiday will be enjoyable.

Whatever you have planned, we can all breathe a big sigh and agree on this: It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? One we can’t even describe yet because it’s not over and every day brings new surprises. But there are a few things we know for sure.

This pandemic has made us more creative.

I’ll be in New York over Thanksgiving and limiting both travel and in-person socializing. So I sent my family in Arizona the information about how we could all participate in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade together virtually. The immediate response I got was “That’s 7 am in AZ so, no.” However, I have since learned that it will start at 9 am in all timezones. Which means we can’t watch it simultaneously anyhow. Oh well. …

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Issue 149 — November 16, 2020

2020 came dancing in with such hope.

2020 was going to be Take The Lead’s year to scale up after seven years of building our credibility, developing our unique methodology of accelerating women’s advancement in leadership, and proving that it works. We’d earned the opportunity to grow exponentially. We had an amazing year of programming planned. Symbolically, 2020 being the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote after seven decades of struggle, seemed like the perfect time.

But just as the suffrage amendment was flawed by not assuring voting rights to Asian, Indigenous, and Black women, 2020 brought to light many deficiencies. Like those punching balloons that keep popping back up for more, it seemed like every time we thought it couldn’t get worse, it did. …


Gloria Feldt

Gloria Feldt is a New York Times bestselling author and co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a nonprofit women’s leadership organization.

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