Being the Change
A message from WPF President, Adrienne Jandler
One thing that working from home during the pandemic has afforded is lots of time for self-reflection. It’s been a great time to consider where I am at this point in my life, and if I am happy with what I see. It’s also been a time of increased scrutiny of where we are as a community, and nation. Like so many, I’m discouraged by the news, saddened and outraged by what I see, and further disgusted by some of the comments I see on social media. It leaves me wondering how we got to this place and how we get ourselves out of it.
As much as I love social media, I have to admit that these platforms have given rise to what I would call a “spectator mentality”, which allows us to participate from a removed position. It allows us to broadcast any and every thought we have to people we know and do not know, with or without much thought, supporting facts, etc. It gives fuel to our feelings and allows us to project them as though our strongly held, emotionally charged opinions are somehow fact and we wait for friends to agree with us; often piling on the chastisement for those who disagree. We argue our points, and see people hurling insults at those who dissent. We’ve discarded a willingness to consider other perspectives, and dismiss them entirely if any aspect of those perspectives bears a “fault” in our worldview. While this state of carefully nurtured closed-mindedness is widespread and of itself dangerous, I don’t think it is our biggest problem.
The bigger issue is that when we chime in, state our positions and supporting points, facts, statistics, links to reinforcing videos, etc. we become comfortable in the notion that we have done something. We feel we have acted against positions we believe are wrong, lent our support to the cause and shut down the opposition. We’ve shown where we stand and made ourselves heard—and move on. Maybe we move on to the next jerk with a bad attitude, racist comment, political bluster or mis-statement of what we hold inarguable. Or we just watch a funny video. But what we’ve really done is absolve ourselves of actual action. We don’t look deeper at our own responsibility, or opportunity, to make real change; at what our role is in the current circumstance.
As Dale Carnegie once said, “Our trouble is not ignorance, but inaction.”
As members of WPF, we are in positions of leadership in our professions. We have become very adept at delegating and directing work to be done by others. As such, it’s easy and customary that we approach issues from that perspective, which may mean we are not seeing ourselves in a “boots on the ground” role. I’d challenge you —as I am challenging myself —to take a much more hands’ on approach. Let’s focus on our immediate circles of influence, our companies, our places of worship, our neighborhoods, and see what we are doing and can do to be the change we want to see.
This month’s speaker is Cecelia Thompson, Executive Director of Action Greensboro. She’ll be updating us on what her organization is doing, and how we can get involved as active citizens. I think it will be a great springboard for continuing the conversation and I hope you’ll join us!
October Meeting: Cecelia Thompson
Join us as we welcome Cecelia Thompson as our speaker for October’s meeting. Cecelia has been Executive Director of Action Greensboro since 2014 and was Director of Projects for Action Greensboro prior to that.
Cecelia will be speaking about her “superpower” which she says is “making good citizenship contagious.” Cecelia believes that mid-sized cities like Greensboro are the heart of America. She says, “All of us have the power to help make our community more vibrant in small and big ways.”
Small Group Dinners Update
From Cecelia Anderson and Hollie Shelton, WPF Directors-At-Large
Small Group Dinner meetings continue in October. If you haven’t yet signed up to attend a dinner, follow the link below to sign up via Sign Up Genius. Small Group Dinners are a great way to get to know your WPF sisters in a smaller setting. These dinners are also important as they give you a chance to provide feedback and suggestions that we will use to make WPF even better than it already is!
As we are staring at the last quarter of the year, I am in awe of how we have all had to pivot and adapt to living and working during this time of a pandemic. I feel such gratitude to our WPFF Foundation Board for the great work done, and for each of our WPF sisters who continue to support this foundation, not only from a monetary standpoint, but with love, guidance, and participation.
We have been able to award grants in 2020 to some amazing organizations: Boundless Impact -ImagineHub:“Thinking Like an Entrepreneur” ($5000); Communities in Schools HP-Unity of WHERE ($1500); I am Queen ($1500); Middle College at Bennett-Belle Ambassador Leadership Development ($1500); NCCJ-Anytown ($6000); and the YWCA of High Point-Girls Who Code Club ($4000). We had additional funds available in our grants funding this year so we used the balance to support the 8:46 Series through the YMCA of Greensboro. The 8:46 Series is a community initiative designed to introduce 846 community members to the issue of systemic racism and how it impacts our entire society. This was a 3-hour online educational webinar hosted by the NCCJ of the Piedmont Triad and the YMCA of Greensboro in partnership with The Partnership Project, Inc., and the Racial Equity Institute. We were proud to be able to support this important initiative!
This is YOUR foundation. Each of you are members, therefore it is important to us (WPFF Board) to know what you would like to see from this organization. We are interested in knowing how to keep you more informed of foundation news, inspired by the help we are able to provide within the community, and how to keep you connected and included. I hope you have signed up for a Small Group Dinner because this will be a part of our open discussion.
For those who have given this year to the Foundation, thank you. If you have not yet had an opportunity to donate to our impressive foundation that helps so many in the community, please consider doing so. The impact is remarkable! Here’s the link to donate securely online: https://wpforum.org/donate/ or mail in the form below.
Small Interest Group Events
Still on Break!
With Small Group Dinners now taking place, Dining Out continues taking a break! If you are not already on the Dining Out email list, please get in touch with Amy Meinecke at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the latest updates and news on Dining Out.
WOW … Women of Wall Street
Thursday, November 19 @ 6:00pm via Skype
The WOW Investment Club will NOT have a dinner meeting in October. The final meeting of the year will be a business meeting on Thursday, November 19, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. via Skype. We will not be meeting in December as usual. Please mark your calendars now for November 19th! Contact Peggy Ward at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Tuesday, October 20 @ 7:30pm via Zoom
Whether your child is in kindergarten or college, or even graduated, balancing life right now is HARD. However, one of the best parts of life right now is connecting with those who get what you’re going through. Join our Working Mom’s Zoom meeting Oct. 20th Tuesday evening 7:30. Bring your wine!
RSVP to Marlee Foster 336-235-1596 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. She will send out Zoom link.
Tuesday, Oct. 6 @ 7:00pm via Zoom
Host: Jody Susong
Please email Jody at email@example.com at let her know you will attend and she will send the Zoom link. The meeting starts at 7:00 for little social time prior to the discussion.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
The story is set in the 1950s and revolves around a young woman named Kya Clark, who is from extremely rural North Carolina. Known by others as the Marsh Girl, she lives alone in nature—but the draw of other people, and specifically love, brings her into contact with the greater world. This novel has a mystery at its core, but it can be read on a variety of levels. There is great nature writing; there is coming of age; and there is literature. Crawdads is a story lovingly told—one that takes its time in developing its characters and setting, and in developing the story. You’ll want to relax and take your time as well, and when you’re done you will want to talk about it with another reader.
– Chris Schluep
Amazon Book Review
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING PHENOMENON
More than 7 million copies sold worldwide
A Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick
A Business Insider Defining Book of the Decade
DEVOTED TO DIVERSITY
Tuesday, October 20 @ 6:30pm via Zoom
Let’s fill a virtual table! In support of the NCCJ 2020 Citation Award Dinner, the Devoted to Diversity SIG would like to support the Triad’s largest annual event dedicated to diversity and inclusion, and we hope you’ll “sit” at our table on November 11th. We’ll mingle at the “reception” and host one of the breakout groups to share WPF’s newest SIG. Tickets are $150 and include a take-out food voucher. If interested, please sign up at the link below.
Did you do your homework? It’s not too late! Last month, we held a committee meeting to dialogue broadly about where we are and where we’d like to go as we engage as a force for change in our communities through action. We all left with homework assignments and will gather again this month to continue this productive discussion. Please RSVP below and use the form provided for submissions.
Although most public festivals have been canceled, October still holds so many reasons to celebrate! From heritage (Hispanic, Filipino, Italian, German, and Polish), to religious commemoration (Jewish Sukkot and Baha’i Birth of the Bab), to pride (LGBTQ+), to health (mental health, visual impairment, Down Syndrome, stuttering, non-violence, anti-bullying) and more! Take time to become more familiar with your WPF sisters for whom this month is especially important.
As always, be in touch with any questions and ideas: Nicole Hayes
Rebecca Ben-Gideon firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Devoted to Diversity Special Interest Group (SIG) was created to wrestle with issues of inclusion, diversity and justice in order to engage WPF as a force for change in our communities. Though we are socially distanced, we plan to continue meeting monthly on third Tuesdays. Mark your calendars now to get involved!
HEALTH & WELLNESS
As we have done several years in the past, we are gearing up for the Women’s Only 5K Walk & Run Race this year with one more increasingly familiar twist . . . The race will be “virtual” this year (Sept 28 – Oct 3). However, the Health & Wellness SIG is still rallying to support this wonderful cause and we have set up a Team for the Women’s Professional Forum.
You can sign up for the Race at https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/Greensboro/WomensOnly5K. When you fill out the form, please select Women’s Professional Forum as your Team so we can show a united front of support and coordinate who all is participating from our organization. We are planning a race day and route for our group, the morning of October 3rd. More details will be forthcoming closer to (virtual) race time.
Questions can be directed to Ashley Madden at Ashley.MaddenNC@gmail.com or (336) 314-9857 for this event.
NEW Special Interest Group!
That’s the Spirit Cocktail Hour on Tuesday, November 17 @ 6:00pm
at the home of Kim Trone
Come join us for fun and spirited theme evenings, Introducing various libations and savory treats! We will explore the mixing of the margarita, the creation of the perfect Martini, and enjoy the aromatic mint julep- just to name a few. Kim Kesterson Trone is heading up this new SIG. Contact her at email@example.com or 336 707-2136 if you want to add your name to the SIG contact list. For our first gathering, we’ll be honoring the big apple with, “I’ll take Manhattan.” Space will be limited. Cheers!