June 18, 2021
Growing up deep in the heart of Texas, I learned in (segregated) school that Juneteenth was a big celebration day for Black people because it marked the date on which the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, finally reached Texas on June 19th, 1865.
This date, when federal troops arrived in Galveston to take control of the state after the Civil War, at last ended the egregious practice of legal human slavery in the United States.
It was easy for a white elementary school child to understand…
Issue 169 — June 6, 2021
As a girl, I loved tennis. I was never destined to be a Naomi Osaka, but I played regularly until I was 13 years old. Then my family moved to a small town where the only public tennis court was at the local high school. Soon after arriving in town, I went there with a girlfriend.
The court bordered on the street. A few minutes into our game, a carload of teenage boys parked in front of the court and shouted remarks about our physical appearance. We ignored the boys till they left, then…
Issue 168 — May 31, 2021
It’s graduation season. A time of traditions.
Last year, graduation traditions, or rather the lack of them were a shock to the system. Regardless of which of the three available responses schools chose — cancel, postpone, or scramble to go virtual —there was much hand-wringing and mourning about what the students would miss.
Then we began to see heartwarming stories of creative ways parents and educators found to give students their due, such as school drive-bys en masse.
There were speeches, virtual of course. The constant was the speeches, largely on the same arc…
Issue 167 — May 17, 2021
Every time I make a speech or do a leadership training, a woman inevitably asks, “What about women who don’t support other women? Why are women so hard on other women?” Or, “What do I do about a woman who is trying to sabotage me in my career?”
Fanning the flames of these questions comes the recent deposing of Liz Cheney from Republican leadership in the U.S. …
Issue 166 — April 19, 2021
Did you ever have an idea and after some months it actually happens? Were you surprised? Excited? So sure it would come to pass that you weren’t worried about it even when it seemed like it would be impossible to achieve for whatever reason? All of the above?
On April 15, 2021, Take The Lead hosted the virtual Summit entitled “Power Up: Igniting the Intentional Leader for DEI, and I definitely went through all of those feelings at one time or another. …
Issue 165 — April 5, 2021
“And in a world where everyone strives to act, think and look the same — being different is truly something to be proud of. That’s why I’m very proud to be autistic.” – Greta Thunberg.
I love that quote because I love the richness of human diversity. I’ve been an outlier myself for most of my life, I hated it in my youth. But I came to value the experience of being “othered.” It gave me empathy for all groups that are marginalized or discriminated against. …
Issue 163 — March 22, 2021
First and foremost, I stand and Take The Lead, as an organization, stands in solidarity with Asian Americans, and against the rising hate crimes and harassment against them.
Since hearing the terrible news of the murders of eight people, six of them Asian women, in Atlanta massage parlors on March 16, the words of the song from Rogers and Hammerstein’s 1949 musical South Pacific have been repeating in my mind:
“You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
Issue 162 — March 8, 2021
This March 8 is an International Women’s Day like no other.
Let’s first take a moment to recognize the millions globally who have suffered illness and those who have died from Covid-19.
The day we now celebrate with flowers and tributes to the advances women have made began in 1909 as a radical call by women in the Socialist Party of America for workers’ rights and women’s rights — both very radical notions at the time. This included safe workplaces and efforts to prevent sexual assault and violence in war zones and elsewhere. Sound…
Issue 161 — February 22, 2021
Grady Gammage auditorium, with its classic Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, buzzed with excitement, filled to its 3000+ seat capacity on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. Local people who were unable to get tickets hosted watch parties in their homes and offices, and dozens of groups from India to Seattle sent pictures of their watch party events.
Carla Harris’s electrifying opening keynote trended globally on Twitter before the crush of internet users broke the venue’s internet capacity and made our livestream spotty. Even that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm.
Gloria Feldt is a New York Times bestselling author and co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a nonprofit women’s leadership organization.