Five Steps to Terminating Apathy (Inspired by The Women's Conference)
Last week we joined the throngs of fourteen-thousand females (and a sprinkling of men folk) at The Women’s Conference in Long Beach. Established as a forum for female small business owners by former Governor George Deukmejian in 1985, the conference has grown substantially under the leadership of California Governor Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver; attracting world-renowned speakers and luminaries, and addressing global female issues to sold out crowds.
Tickets this year sold like hot cakes, as it was to be the last conference organized and hosted by Shriver. But the point of the conference was not to ogle well-heeled celebrity attendees, dish about the First Lady’s outfit, or score bag-loads of branded swag—the purpose, as it's always been, was to be inspired, get empowered, and take action.
So here's a selection of simple ways in which women (and men) can do just that.
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Perhaps the easiest and most obvious way to be empowered via action is to participate in the Midterm elections. Because at the end of the day—whether you marched to “Restore Honor” or “Restore Sanity” in America, whether you’re for or against negative campaign ads, whether your loyalty is with the Democrats, Republicans, or The Rent is Too Damn High party—by failing to vote, you’re actually voting for indifference. Don’t know where to vote? Find out via text message.
First Lady Michelle Obama gave a timely key note address, reminding us to support the spouses and families of U.S. service men and women serving our country. To paraphrase a particularly powerful moment in her speech:
I’ve always been inspired by the sacrifices they make for our country. So how is it that so many of us know so little about the sacrifices their families are making? So many of us never hear about the challenges they’re facing. We never get that glimpse inside their lives. And we think everything is just fine. In one recent survey, more than half of military spouses—more than half—said they felt like their communities didn’t really support them. That’s just unacceptable.
Phil Knight struck a chord during a panel dubbed VALUES, VISION, AND VOICE: MEN WHO GET IT, when he spoke about the efforts of the Nike Foundation’s global humanitarian organization, The Girl Effect, which focuses on poverty by providing educational resources for young girls and women. Watch this video to learn why the world needs a good kick in the pants and what’s possible if we support females.
We met a woman named Lorena Lopez—an organizing director for hotel workers’ union UNITE HERE local 11—an organization dedicated to lifting workers out of poverty. Lopez has advocated for over a decade for hotel housekeepers to get the fair wages, humane treatment, and the healthcare benefits they deserve. Thanks to Lopez, we are reminded that we have the power to vote for change with every dollar we spend.
We encourage you to do your due diligence when it comes to purchasing. If you learn that a hotel, restaurant or corporation treats employees badly and/or engages in otherwise unethical practices, choose to take your business elsewhere.