Welcome global sisterhood! The presentation below was delivered to our global sisterhood by Angela D. Coleman, Sisterhood Agenda Founder & President, at the Celebrating Sisterhood: 25 Years of Service event at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on November 16, 2019:
Greetings and welcome! I am so happy to be standing here before you today to celebrate Sisterhood Agenda’s 25 years of service. Thank you all for coming.
Faith gives me freedom.
There were times in my life when I know what was going to happen or how my life was going to unfold. Sure, I had dreams and ideas, but I never could have predicted my destination and I was absolutely clueless about the path.
I’ve realized that I was being groomed and prepared to do what I do now throughout my young life. One consistent theme growing up: I knew what I liked and I followed my heart. Everyone who knows me, knows that I know what I like and I follow my heart. Following your heart = FREEDOM.
Sisterhood, for me, has become freedom.
I see a lot of you all are doing the same. You are leaders in your communities: architects, engineers, entrepreneurs, builders, teachers, parents, administrators, counselors, and activists, just to name of few of your official and unofficial titles. Of course, our titles do not begin to describe what we are all about. Titles change, we evolve.
Sisterhood is not celebrity. However, sisterhood should be celebrated! The power of sisterhood gives you space to do what you like and follow your heart. You are never alone.
With sisterhood, you have freedom.
Sisterhood is not always a naturally occurring phenomenon, but it can become one. Sisterhood Agenda’s success is evidence that sisterhood-consciousness is growing.
It is the spirit of sisterhood that helps me understand you and it helps you understand me. We uplift each other and aid in our self-knowledge, self-development, and self-esteem. Sometimes we like the same things. Sometimes we don’t. We all follow our hearts and respect each other’s heart spaces.
We can be who and what we are without limitations. We can be free.
I believe that I identify so strongly with girls because I see that potential in them, the potential that is inherent in all of us, every day, all the time. I also sense a willingness and eagerness to do what they like and follow their hearts. By doing this simple thing, they are changing our world for the better.
We are born free. There was a time when we had to read, write, learn, and love in secret. Some of us are still learning to free ourselves from physical, mental, and spiritual slavery.
Sisterhood is revolutionary. Loving yourself and each other is something. In sisterhood, we can stay free.
Imagine a place where we do simply that-be free. We do what we like and we follow our hearts. Can we live this way? We can. Can we love this way? Absolutely, is there another way to love? Can we earn a living and take care of families this way? Why not? Sure, we can do that.
As much as Sisterhood Agenda’s 25-year event is about our agency’s historical accomplishments and sustainability, it is also about all of us. It takes each of us to keep doing what we do.
Together, we are making history, whether we realize or not. There are spiritual and ancestral recordings of all of our deeds- all of them. While we are acknowledging this karma, let’s highlight and celebrate the great ones.
By elevating and recognizing the significance of what we do naturally every day, we all basking in this sisterhood, a Sisterhood of Greatness, as my good friend Blanche Williams has framed it, co-creators of a sacred space.
Our sisters are dealing with serious issues around the globe: sexual abuse, violence and slavery, female genital mutilation, human trafficking, the gender pay gap, women in the media, women and girls in sports, women and girls in STEM, power… We want to be empowered and IN POWER, right Yolanda?
I am encouraged by our activities today because they are about us. You are inspirational. You are also aspirational.
I thank my mother, who shows me unconditional love with beauty and grace and has always been my #1 believer, a hardworking woman who wants to see her children happy.
I thank my father for showing me a model of service, multi-career development, hard work, and success.
I thank my brother for sharing his unique musical gifts with the world, showing me how to follow my dreams just like he follows his, showing me what a second life looks like, coming from the brink of death and physical destruction to resurrect himself after a devasting car accident.
I thank my daughter for contributing her special talents toward the cause and being a blessing to the world and those who know her and for her understanding that her mother is a little different, but hopefully in a good way that helps all of us.
The spirits of our ancestors and freedom fighters are among us. No one can tell us what we can and can’t do. No one can tell us that. Our capabilities are as unlimited as nature herself.
I acknowledge the teamwork, the global partners, the wonderful work that our growing global sisterhood network does and by recognizing this, we also acknowledge that fight for freedom that is part of our inherent DNA and collective consciousness, driving our sisterhood to success.
Today we honor women like Harriet Tubman, Fannie Lou Hamer, Shirley Chisholm, Audre Lorde, Mary McLeod Bethune, Bessie Coleman, Dorothy Height, and other women freedom fighters like you.
I appreciate and give gratitude for all of you today and it is my privilege to honor your heart and your achievements. You have played a big part of this 25-year journey. Today, as we Celebrate Sisterhood: 25 Years of Service, above all, I want to say “THANK YOU.”
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