American Evolution Woman's Achieve Summit

Some professional developments feed your professional knowledge. Other trainings feed your soul. Tuesday's Women's Achieve Summit was a soul feeder. For 400 years women in Virginia have been achieving. Native American tribe leaders, astronauts, soldiers, entrepreneurs, educators, and political leaders. But stories of women often involve struggle, and we have had to work twice as hard as men. I believe the reason that educators are paid so little is because we are a profession dominated by women, and therefore not taken seriously. But "well behaved women seldom make history", and times are changing.

The conference started with host Queen Latifah speaking briefly before interviewing Wendy Lawrence, Senator Mark Warner, Dr. Jewell-Sherman, and Eboni Williams among others. Story Slams, brief stories of inspiring women who have made a difference in Virginia, took place throughout the day. Women in the military. Women pushing through important laws that help protect our children. Dr. Deborah Jewell-Sherman, former Superintendent of Richmond Public Schools, was the highlight of the day for me, with profound knowledge, like "as women, we don't just have to shatter a glass ceiling, we stand on a glass cliff." Her advice for being a bad ass woman: 1. get a dog 2. you can have it all, although it might not always be at the same time, and 3. put family first always. She says that "there is no stopping a woman who knows her worth and wants to change the world." 

So what can we do as moms to teach our girls, and our boys, about the power of women? What does a mom of boys like myself do? We surround my boys with books of both men and women who made a difference in history. We highlight the female superheroes. We teach boundaries for all people, so that our boys know that when someone says no, they mean it. We model how we should all treat each other, and the expectations, roles, and responsibilities that we all have. That means that boys should be expected to do traditionally female chores too. It also means that we model how we expect men to treat us. What we accept shows our boys what is and isn't okay. Our kids are watching, and as women and moms it is our responsibility that the generations that come after us exceed ours and the ones that came before us.