The “Sheroine” that stole our hearts.. all 7 Thousand of them…
November 1st, was the tenth anniversary of the Pennsylvania Women’s conference and when I walked into the PA Convention Center, I was blown away to see this:
SEVEN THOUSAND WOMEN…… and it was a powerful sight indeed…
The air was charged with anticipation and it warmed my heart to see so many women of so many backgrounds in one place. One could hear squeals of delight when an old friend or respected colleague was spotted among the throng and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, it would be day where all of us got along beautifully united in our passions.
I was super thrilled because this is the place where our Damsels In Success , other wise known as the DIS women, congregate in one venue and at least one of us had something exciting that we wanted to celebrate. This year, it was LuAnn Cahn, who is a reporter extraordinaire for NBC 10 news and she had a book called ” I Dare Me”. Simply put, LuAnn, tried something new everyday for a year and chronicled it for us all to see. We are all behind her in full support but in the meantime, we were looking forward to the fabulous Speakers which included Judge Hatchet, and Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright who was such a lesson in working your way to the top. Ms. Albright reminded us that as women we need to support each other and spoke of the lessons she learned while in her position and breaking barriers everywhere.
We sat in sessions where we were reminded that life truly is a journey, we must go through the process, there is NO short cut to success, embrace mistakes and the list went on. Oh what joy we had meeting all these women but let me tell you, as we ate our lunch in anticipation of hearing our Keynote Hillary Rodham Clinton, we had no idea that our collective minds were going to be blown by another woman, a virtual “unknown” unless you lived in Philadelphia.
Linda Cliatt- Wayman
What is so special about this beautiful soul you ask? She is the brave warrior who is the Principal of Strawberry Mansion High School, famously known as one of the most dangerous places to learn in Philadelphia. We all saw Strawberry Mansion on a Diane Sawyer special a few months ago, where Linda was seen roaming the halls, breaking up horrible fights, bringing a level of calm to really tense situations and ending every day with these words to her students; ” If no one told you they loved you today, remember I DO.”
Linda was able to create a sense of family for her charges and she often had to do it with tough love. Watching her on the many screens scattered throughout the Convention Center, moved us but nothing compared to what happened when Linda walked on that stage and saw every single person standing and saluting her for what that she had done for a community that was all but left to die in darkness.
She stood there with utter shock on her face and we could see her whispering ” thank you Jesus” over and over again as the tears fell. She was not the only one crying. I looked around and so many of us were wiping away tears but feeling something else; a surge of energy to step way outside our comfort zones without judgement, to help those that are in need of our guidance and power.
Linda reminded me that I had become complacent and it was truly time to focus on what was right instead of what was comfortable. Movement does not happen in our “safe” spaces. It propels us forward when we challenge the very things that our souls scream are not right around us. Too many of us can move mountains but are content to sit atop our molehills. Linda set the ants free from that perch we loved and reminded us what was truly important as we moved forward to changing the world around us one cause, one child, one sick person at a time.
As she was finishing her trail blazing speech, she confessed to being astounded that she was asked to speak to 7 thousand women and to share a stage with none other that Hillary Rodham Clinton. All she was trying to do was help the children. She is an excellent reminder that when things are done without expecting a spotlight of gratitude, the Universe will find unfathomable ways to reward your efforts.
When that proud lioness walked off the stage, she left behind a room that was forever changed and one could feel the buzz around what could be done to support her and the school.
Even better? She left 7 thousand women with the double dose of power they needed to keep moving, one step at a time into creating a better world.
Posted on November 2, 2013, in Civil liberties, Culture, Education, laughter, love, Mentoring, Parent, Writing and tagged commumities, culture, Education, empowerment, Family, Life, mental-health, mentoring, Pennsylvania Women's conference, society, tears of joy, women, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.