Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Changemaker Chat with Carol Bowar– Executive Director of GALS-Denver. Also, a huge thank you to Impact Hub for hosting us, and to LUNA Bar for sponsoring the event by providing delicious apps and Clif Family Wine!
See below for highlights from our Chat with Carol, and stay tuned for info on upcoming Chats + new content from our CC Network Managers.
What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it
Carol talked to the Boulder Changemaker Network about the steps she has taken in her life to truly fulfill this favorite quote. It began with a story about a day she spent sledding as a child, a day when a friend called Carol “brave”. She had never thought of herself as brave, but in that moment had an epiphany that others don’t always see you the same way you see yourself. Realizing this throughout her adolescence, Carol left her quiet, conservatively raised self behind and has pursued a career full of passion, empowerment and leadership.
Who is your “Shero?”
Carol’s answer: the women in her family. “I love my mother, she didn’t have the space to become the kind of thing that I could be, and I see that very clearly. And I think about my daughters and the spaces we’ve been given, and I can see how much has changed and how much opportunity we have to create change.”
Interrupt sexism when it happens
My mother never talked to me about my development, I mean Sister Mary at the Catholic school talked about it a bit, but we all knew there were “missing pieces” to that conversation. Growing up, I always felt very judged if I spoke up, or when I started wearing a bra it was made out to be such a big deal. I believe in interrupting sexism when it happens. Be able to name things when they aren’t right. That way you know why they make you feel the way you do. Language Matters. Environment Matters. We need to be responsive to gender stereotypes.
Carol has taught her daughters not only to recognize when sexism is happening, but to be able to name it. To say exactly WHY that ‘comment, joke, statement’ is offensive. ‘Name it. Interrupt it. Then talk about what a better way to address it would be.
On Creating Change
‘When you think about an issue, you have to look at it from multiple angles. First look at it from direct service- institutionalized things that are enabling the issue, then think about advocacy or how you can be “a voice for someone”, next make sure you research- make sure you can prove something is happening. The final angle is establishing policy.’
Thank you Carol Bowar for being our final speaker for 2016, to LUNA Bar and Impact Hub for sponsoring/hosting the event — and of course, to you, the Changemaker community for joining us.
We look forward to seeing you again soon. Stay tuned for details on our next event!