Power, Girl Power, Womxn Power, BHC Power, whatever you call it, it was POWER that electrified the room in Fresno at the first statewide Grassroots Womxn Rising convening.
Nearly four hundred of womxn, young and not so young, from across California came together to learn, connect, raise their voices and uplift each other to continue to make positive and healthy change in their communities.
The two-day event brought together an energetic and diverse group of leaders who every day are working to improve lives in communities throughout the state through the Building Healthy Communities movement and its multitude of partnerships.
Womxn attended sessions on topics such as homelessness, advocacy and healing, they were inspired by speakers ranging from documentary filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, first partner and wife of Governor Gavin Newsom, to civil rights activist and icon Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers.
Huerta, founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, brought a message of strength, sisterhood and empowerment to an enthusiastic audience. Many womxn followed her out of the room for a chance to take pictures and hear personal words of wisdom.
Huerta called it important that womxn understand they have the power to change the world by working with each other, building solidarity and finding the courage to stand up and speak out.
“When we see a huge ballroom like this one, filled with women who are out there doing justice work, it is so inspirational,” she said. “It really brings it home that we can make this happen.”
As a participant myself, it was inspiring to see the unsung heroes who are working every day to improve their community. It’s nice to see the young women taking ownership and owning the power of the convening. It’s was also great to have an intergenerational and interracial group ranging in age 12 to 83 years old, coming together that shows the face of California.