If we’re old enough to remember, we all know exactly where we were on September 11th, 2001.
20 years ago today.
I was in New York City.
My favorite city in the world. Then and now.
Even though I was rarely downtown when I lived in the city, I was at the base of the Twin Towers the day before for jury duty. The only reason I wasn’t there again was because the case they assigned me to didn’t start until 11am.
Life gives us so many challenges we could never predict. It gives us so many opportunities we couldn’t predict too.
Below is one of the last columns I wrote for Blue Skies Mag including my reflections from this day in 2020.
On September 11th, 2020, I shared the following post about doing big press in Nashville after our largest demo to date, and the evolution of my experience stepping into my voice on such large platforms. The post was born from a picture that isn’t that noteworthy, on a day that will never not be noteworthy. The insight that came from my reflection I thought was important enough to share here too.
This feels like a freaking lifetime ago and it wasn’t even 3 weeks. Slowly but surely, I’m getting better and better at talking to the press. I did a live spot at 6:30am outside The Hermitage hotel ahead of our big demo jump in Nashville and then this interview with the same reporter after we landed. I’m getting better and better at this because I’m doing it more and more importantly because I’m CONNECTING with what I’m sharing and standing for. I’m no longer trying to get the perfect sound byte just right, rather I’m present in the OPPORTUNITY to say what matters the most.
When Channel 5 had us live on the air in NYC, I made a conscious, deliberate move to share one of the key points of our mission, that yes, in language the 19th amendment secured the right to vote for all women in the US, when in reality it only secured it for White women. That women of color had to wait DECADES longer to even begin getting consistent access to the polls with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And something I more recently learned that in 2013, the Supreme Court stripped this act of much of its power.
In other words, there is MUCH WORK left to be done as it relates to equity, inclusion, equality and everyone having full access to our constitutional right to vote and having a say in the laws that govern us.
This is a big deal.
If you’re on the fence about voting or don’t think it matters, it does. It matters. Your voice matters. Your vote counts. And all of us together make up the UNITED States. I feel compelled to share this on today of all days, when 19 years ago, living in New York City, I have never experienced the feeling of unity among Americans as I did on that day and the days and weeks that followed. Let’s remember that unity and let’s use it to come together at the polls in November.
Unity. Using our voice. Using our vote. Equity. Inclusion. Equality. Antiracism. … These are not just buzz words and perfect sound bytes. They are calls to action. Calls to empathy. Calls to connecting. Calls to considering others. Considering others’ points of view and others’ experiences that may be different from our own.
Just because we aren’t experiencing something, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
Let’s breathe. Let’s be brave enough to open our minds, to listen deeply to others, to look deeply for any person’s pain, especially when that person doesn’t look like us. Let’s be brave enough to speak up and stand up for what we believe in. Let’s be badass enough to do it with compassion and nonjudgment. Let’s be badass enough to come together. Listen. Love. Learn. Vote. Tizzle 2.0, out.