As I reflect on this past Black History Month and get ready to celebrate Women’s History Month, I am so proud to be part of the Emerge California 2012 Class. We are 24 women already doing amazing things in our communities and 45.8% of us are African-American, the highest in Emerge California’s 10 year history! This is especially encouraging for me because over the past few months, I have talked with women who have been working to promote women and women’s causes for years, some decades, who are concerned that for all their great work, it feels like for every two steps forward, our progress has taken one step back. They point to the fact that there has been no significant change in the number of women voted to national and statewide office since 1992 was declared the Year of the Woman, almost two decades ago, and more recently, the discussion and votes related to a woman’s right to choose, birth control, and ultrasounds.
I also had the privilege of hearing Dee Dee Myers speak last October and I am currently reading her book “Why Women Should Rule the World.” Here again, although it is encouraging to read how far we have come, it is still disappointing to know that women (and other minority groups) still do not play major roles in so many arenas, including politics.
Our 2012 class, however, is determined to change this. We are already adding our voices and time to so many causes because we understand that a woman’s perspective and diverse viewpoints have a huge positive impact on any decision made by our executive, legislative and judiciary branches. But we also understand that real and permanent change does not happen overnight and we cannot take anything for granted.
Therefore, as we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, let’s all be proud not just about far we have come and what we have accomplished, but also where we know we are going. To my fellow Emerge sisters, I say Congratulations to us for taking steps forward while fighting any effort to have us go backwards, and let’s make 2012 another year of the woman!
Class of 2012