Day 3 of “NEW”

… Let’s just say that I didn’t get much sleep last night, so I was unable to pay full attention to our speakers today.

But before I talk about today, I want to mention something I forgot yesterday. At the beginning of the program, I was thrilled to see another MGS 2010 alumna and an alumna from my high school here! I was happy to have also met a Delta Gamma (DG) sister from the University of Mississippi.

My goals of this program are really to bring my leadership skills back and plug them into the leadership positions that I will be holding next semester, which includes my second semester as Director of Social Awareness in DG as well as my new position as Vice President of the Southern Miss Activities Council (SMAC). I’m pumped to share all these leadership skills with my respective organizations and see how much we can grow this year!

Our first speaker, Erin Kempker, is a young teacher at the W, and she was spunky and full of energy. She emphasized how dramatically the roles of women have changed since the American Revolution and how the roles of women will be even more different in the next couple hundred years. She also showed us the music videos for “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper and “Kiss” by Prince. Fantastic.

Also, a large part of our day consisted of completing our plan of execution for our group project on Friday. My group of nine women was anonymously selected to lobby a legislative committee about why Mississippi should support charter schools. This is currently an issue being discussed in Mississippi, so it is relevant for us to be tuned into the facts.

Yesterday we had a very lengthy discussion about this project which was extremely productive but it wore me out! Today, we worked out almost every kink and feel really prepared for our presentation on Friday.

We had more speakers later that spoke about how to run a campaign and how to approach different policies. Many of the inspirational things they said overlapped from our previous days of speakers which only reinforced how important their advice really is.

Also, I saw on our schedule that we were going to watch a “movie”! YAY

Well… it was a documentary.

However, I actually loved it.

We crammed into a classroom to watch the documentary “Miss Representation” (2011) which focused on the portrayal of women by mainstream media. The focus on women was not on their causes, their intellect, or their successes; it was on their appearance. Many examples were used to show how, no matter when a woman in public service was mentioned, the focus always shifted to their beauty and sexual portrayal. I was shocked quite a few times throughout the film, and honestly… it made me want to be feminist! Our priority should be to empower women and girls and not send mixed feelings about women portraying non-traditional roles. If you have not seen the film, I highly suggest that you see it. It brings to light so many issues that we see as common day activity, but truthfully no woman in any position should have to tolerate it.

More advice or quotes of the day:

  • “If someone ever tells you something can’t be done, what they’re really telling you is ‘I don’t know how to do it’.” – Neely Carlton
  • “Never ever ever burn a bridge.” -Sherry Vance
  • “To thine own self be true” – Shakespeare
  • Challenge people if they say derogatory things about women.
  • More people should challenge the world and our traditions.
  • “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker
  • “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Gandhi
  • Your goal should be to be so good at what you do that others can’t ignore you.
  • (This quote disturbed me and can be tied in with some of the quotes I mentioned yesterday about the differences in men and women.) “We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make a statement. To make money is our only obligation.” -Michael Eisner, CEO of Disney, 2000

Well, today was one of our longer days. Tomorrow will be a fun one for sure because we are going to the Capital!

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