Dear Redroom Colleagues:
This is an open letter to you here on my Redroom blog today to let you know about a wonderful conference I've organized which will be taking place on March 24, from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at San Domenico School in Marin County, The Women’s PowerStrategy Conference. Speakers at this conference include:
· California Arts Council Chair, Malissa Shriver
· A Band of Wives founder Christine Bronstein
· Comedy Central comedian Joe Klocek
· Lifestyles editor of The Marin Independent Journal Vicki Larson
· San Francisco Chronicle’s “Top Chef” pick Marisa Churchill
· Jefferson Starship lyricist Jeannette Sears
· Producer Jody Weiner
· Artist Nancy Calef
· Red Room CEO, Ivory Madison
· Executive Editor of Marin magazine Mimi Towle
· Authors will be speaking include Zoe Fitzgerald Carter, Deborah Grabien, Dr. Ransom Stephens, and KRCB radio host Gil Mansergh
And these are just some. Visit the conference website to see the full list of names of all the marvelous speakers who are giving of their time and expertise to be part of this day-long event which features talks and workshops on everything from technology to relationships, to finding courage to achieve what you wish, to business to healthful eating, that will leave every attendee motivated to live his or her best life.
Though the conference is aimed at women ages 13 to 113, men are also encouraged to attend with their wives, girlfriends, daughters and friends. A number of our speakers are men who also believe that to invest in the power and potential of women is to create a better society for us all.
But HERE'S THE BEST PART: for every adult ticket purchased, The Women’s PowerStrategy Conference will sponsor one girl between the ages of 13 - 21 to attend the entire conference, meet the speakers, and enjoy a delightful lunch, free of charge. Included among those girls will be high school students from the host school, San Domenico School, as well as local chapters of Girls Inc., including Girls Inc. of Alameda, Island City, and West Contra Costa, who all recently received the Global Citizen Award for Outstanding Achievement in Girls’ Education and Gender Equality from the UN Association. For over 50 years, these Girls Inc. affiliates have responded to the unique needs of girls in the most underserved communities of San Francisco’s East Bay through a continuum of academic enrichment programs that challenge girls to explore their potential, develop life skills, ensure college and career success, and expand their sense of what is possible, inspiring them to be “strong, smart, and bold”.
In addition to the speaker sessions The Women’s PowerStrategy Conference is providing space for vendors to sell and display products and services for a nominal fee, and we encourage authors, artists, women-run and women-owned businesses to participate. There is also a Plus One Press cocktail reception to follow at another nearby location, where authors will be signing copies of Tales From the House Band, which will be given to those who sign up to attend the cocktail party.
You might be wondering why I decided to organize this conference. Those of you who are familiar with my writings know that they cover a number of topics and issues, but I think if I had to pick the one which is closest to my heart, I would say it’s the issue of where women are today. Even in a country like the United States, women are still dreadfully underserved in terms of education and opportunity. While we criticize other countries for keeping women unskilled and uneducated by tearing down their schools, in this country we do something equally crushing: we find ways to tear down their dreams. With all the progress we’ve made, there are still too many women, both older and younger, who feel inadequate whether it’s with the way they look, how capable they feel, or how talented they think they are. This pervasive self-doubt perpetuated by the media is at the core of so many of our society’s problems. Here are some chilling facts:
- One in five high school girls have been physically and/or sexually assaulted by a dating partner, and part of the reason for this is because the girl is too concerned about making a fuss or being made fun of to ask her date to stop
- Nearly twice as many women as men are affected by a depressive disorder, and women between the ages of 25-44 are most often affected by depression with a major cause of it being the inability to express or handle anger.
- In addition, unrealistic expectations of women today, at ever younger ages, are creating intense stress in their lives. According to a Girls Inc. nationwide survey, the pressure to be athletic, get top grades, be well-dressed, be thin and beautiful all at the same time, has intensified in the twenty-first century. Then when they’re grown, in addition to being perfect mothers and wives, they’re expected to look young forever and be financially successful while doing so. This impossible to reach “super-girl” societal standard is causing women of all ages to feel like failures. And feeling like a failure makes people depressed, angry, and unfulfilled.
So, you tell me, how does this affect their life outlook, their ability to be good mothers, employers, employees, or even just good citizens? The issue of women and their self-esteem certainly impacts our nation and the entire world, if approximately 50% of its inhabitants feel depressed, angry, and unfulfilled. That’s why we all have to do our part to help girls and women feel healthy, powerful, and satisfied, even if they don’t meet our distorted modern media requirements of what it means to be a woman.
And this is why I’ve founded the Women’s PowerStrategy Conference, “a gathering of leaders from diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise who are joining forces to educate and inspire women of all ages to believe and invest in their own talents, skills and potential.”
After making the decision to present the first of these conferences, I was blown away by the number of remarkable individuals who readily volunteered to share their talents for it. They, like I, believe it’s vitally important for us to mentor and support women.
I urge you to attend this conference if you’re able to and take advantage of the talent we’ve lined up, or come as a vendor to display your books, products or services. But if you can’t attend, please consider sponsoring a girl or making a donation, anyway. And if none of these are possible for you this year, kindly help us just by spreading the word.
For further information on speakers, registration fees, vendor tables, and donations: please visit our website: http://womenspowerstrategyconference.com
I’m really proud of The Women’s PowerStrategy Conference, and I hope you will join us on March 24, 2012.
With many thanks,
Patricia V. Davis
Causes Patricia Davis Supports
Make-A-Wish International, Girls Inc. The Palermo Protocols, Amnesty International, Valley of the Moon Children's Shelter, Brenda Novak's Online Auction for...