Thursday, November 29, 2012

Empowering Women of Color

     I fell upon this tiny gem of a book unexpectedly as I visited the public library today.  Just this week the Women of Color Collective at my school gathered to have a discussion on what it means to be a woman of color.  We began with a short exercise on what we think it means to be a woman of color in the U.S.  Here are a few responses:

-to be silenced 
-to be resistant
-passing down the heritage
-being a fighter
-beautiful and unique
-complex situation
-blessed curse
-being strong when you don't feel like it
-being an educator when you want to be learning
-defined by her experience
-skin color/last name/physical features
-assertive, voice of presence
-sense of presence
-cannot pick and choose
-protector of men of color

     A long awaited and much needed discussion took place from the above responses.  It will, however, be an ongoing dialogue regarding issues of race and self-identification.  I hope we can continue to provide a safe space for women of color to come together and share the truth about our life experiences, thoughts, and frustrations.

Also some inspiring quotes that were shared by one of the members:

"Walls turned sideways are bridges"  by Angela Davis

"My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you. But for every real word spoken, for every attempt I had ever made to speak those truths for which I am still seeking, I had made contact with other women while we examined the words to fit a world in which we all believed, bridging our differences" by Audre Lorde

    Now, back to the little gem of a book I mentioned above.  I wanted to share one of the entries in the book that spoke to me.  I am grateful to God that in my life experiences He has blessed me with the gift to be able to empower other women through my life's work.  I know there is so much to be done out there and still so much to learn on how to encourage and build one another up, especially when we ourselves are falling apart.  I share this bit of wisdom with anyone in hopes that it can speak truth in your life.


Lord, many are in destructive marriages, yet wish to state, as Your Word suggests: "Til death do us apart."

Thank you Lord, for granting us the spiritual discernment to know that You did not mean only the death of one's body, but also the death of one's spirit, and even the death of the contract.  As Nicodemus came to know, one does not have to re-enter his mother's womb to be born again, and neither does one have to die a physical death to be dead.

Give those who are being abused the strength needed to stand up to the abuse or give them the courage to leave.  Grant the abusers Your grace and mercy. Draw them closer to You, that persons may find spiritual nourishment for empty souls. In Christ's name we pray, Amen

taken from: Women of Color Pray: Voices of Strength, Faith,
Healing, Hope and Courage