So...here was my day...so far... 5:45 - wake up. Well, hit snooze once, then wake up.
6:27 - take the train to the city.
7:40 - figure out taking the subway to Lincoln Center (so easy by the way...plus there are plenty of iphone apps to help you)
8:15 - meet up with my friend Vanessa, who hooked me up with a pass to the Women in the World Summit, and swooped me past the line and into the first row of seats behind the conference delegates. (I walked in with Andrea Mitchell, who hosts a show on MSNBC. I was totally starstruck and came thisclose to asking her about Rachel Maddow, but got too nervous.)
9 - listen to Hillary Clinton speak.
9:01 - cry a little.
So that's how my day started out. My life never ceases to amaze me. I think I just might be one of the luckiest people that I know. I'm not saying my life is better than yours or anything. I'm just saying, holy crap, I can't believe that I just got to do what I got to do!
"Let's keep fighting for opportunity and dignity, let's keep fighting for freedom and equality. Let's keep fighting for full participation, and let's keep telling the world over and over again that yes, women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights once and for all."
When Former Secretary Clinton came out on the stage - I'm not going to lie, my jaw dropped, and then I teared up a little, and then I noticed that she was much shorter than I expected. (That all happened in about one second, by the way.)
Read that quote again...don't you just want to get up and cheer?
She was amazing, inspiring, and hopeful. She has worked tirelessly throughout her career to make sure that equality is a reality, and it was pretty obvious today that she won't quit anytime soon. She's a force, a serious force.
After her speech, Chelsea Clinton (who is very smart and funny by the way...) moderated a discussion on innovators of the future. It was an incredible discussion and I learned about a great program called 'Girls Who Code'. They encourage girls to pursue interests and opportunities in computer fields. They're a pretty awesome movement, and if you'd like more information, you can visit their website!
Following that was a discussion held on whether or not the world has reached a tipping point on violence against women, siting India's recent outcry against the vicious gang rape of a Delhi student as their main example. One of the experts on the panel, Ravi Kant, runs an organization called Shakti Vahini with his three brothers. They work to combat human trafficking and violence agains women every day.
He had some thoughts on the role of men in equality, and received multiple ovations as he spoke so passionately. My favorite quotable line was, "Every man needs to stand up with women and say, 'this culture of silence needs to end.'"
I was only able to stay for the morning session, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to go. I'm on the train, heading home to help set up for another Simply Smiles, Keep Hope Alive event, where I'll get to actually create some of the change that I'd like to see in this world. I'm lucky enough to have an organization where I can channel my energy and my passion. Again, seriously the luckiest!
Is this world ready for equality? I think so. I know that I am. My family is. My friends are. So what's stopping equality from happening? I leave you with this...
Today when Hillary came out on the stage, the women behind me literally said, at the same time, to each other, "she's so cute!" Until we take each other seriously, why should anyone else?