Feature Story, Women's Lifestyle

10 Inspiring Detroit Women Share Their Thoughts on International Women’s Day

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

Today we celebrate women from across the globe who have made a great difference for women everywhere. It is a day we show our appreciation for the women within our inner circles and in our communities.

We honor the women in our family who have made a strong impact on our lives.

The women who raised us to find our inner strength and feel proud to be a woman.

Whether it be a mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, or friend, today we celebrate the women who have shaped us to be who we are today.

We remember the women who came before us to break the status quo and use their voices to stand up for our rights.

Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Ida B. Wells-Barnett are just a few of the many women from the past who made great sacrifices to speak up during a time when women were treated unequally.

From the Women’s Suffrage Movement to #BringBackOurGirls and the Me Too Movement, women from around the world are breaking social barriers, fighting for the voiceless, and rewriting history to establish equality and create balance for a better world.

“Poor People’s March on Washington” (April 1968) by Charles Phillips from the LIFE Photo Collection

WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY?

According to the official International Women’s Day (IWD) organization, IWD is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

International Women’s Day is about:

  • advocacy and action
  • celebration
  • reflection
  • unity

International Women’s Day is not just a day, though. Celebrating women is EVERY DAY.

Let us be encouraged to continue to lift up our fellow sisters and encourage each other to find our inner voice– to not be afraid to speak out against injustices and to continue the fight for equality.

Let us continue to raise our daughters to be strong and comfortable in their own skin

…to see their inner beauty and feel empowered to reach their goals

…to know their rights and not be afraid to stand up for themselves…

…and to know their worth and feel proud to be a woman.

The future is indeed female!

10 DETROIT WOMEN SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

In honor of International Women’s Day, I connected with ten inspiring women from Detroit. These women are business owners, community leaders, and trailblazers who are doing amazing work in our city!

SHAHIDA MAUSI, PRESIDENT OF THE RIGHT PRODUCTIONS, INC. & THE ARETHA FRANKLIN AMPITHEATRE

Photo by Justin Maconochie

Who has had a great inspriation on your life?

“My inspiration was my great-grandmother. She established our family roots in Detroit 100 years ago. She relentlessly took care of her family and contributed to her community. Whatever you do, women must be persistent and be so good that you can’t be ignored. Ambitious women typically have ambitious people in their life. I’ve been blessed to have my family and trusted mentors surround me and support me as I’ve grown. It begins with faith. Beyond that, fearlessness and passion that yield success. You have to stay curious, read, and strive for wellness — mind, body, and soul.”

KEIONA TURNER, FOUNDER & PRESIDENT OF GIVE CLUB

Photo courtesy Keiona Turner

Why do you think it is important for us as a society to observe International Women’s Day?

“Historically, women have been required to carry heavy loads– in the home, in the world, and in the workforce– but in these same instances women are still undervalued, underestimated, and unappreciated. International Women’s Day is about reminding the world of the contributions women have made and are continuing to make in the world. It’s unfortunate that in 2019, we are still fighting for equal pay, still fighting to have an equal number of women in leadership positions, still fighting for equal rights, and still fighting to be acknowledged for our contributions to history. This is a day about celebrating our extraordinary achievements and being re-energized and impassioned to accomplish even more. My hope is that in observing International Women’s Day, we as a society will be reminded that we should continue to work on removing the barriers women face the other 364 days a year. It benefits us all.”

AMY KAHERL, PONYRIDE DIRECTOR OF CURATION & PROGRAMMING

Photo by Genevieve Ferraro Devries

How can we continue to encourage women to achieve their
career/life goals?

“Believe in yourself. What do you want to do? Go out and do it. If it is
not there, make it happen. It will be going against the stream, it will be
hard, no one is waiting for you to do it, but YOU have to do it anyway. The
world needs your voice, your courage, and your strength. The work is
important, even if right now, it doesn’t seem like others think that it is.
I am friends with so many strong, bold, confident women that are changing
the world and none of them have said it has been easy. Do it anyways.”

ANNA WARNER-MAYES, FOUNDER OF THE LIPSTICK JOURNEY

Photo courtesy of Anna Warner-Mayes

What does strong woman mean to you?

“A strong woman is someone who perseveres through all circumstances, good and bad. Soaks in all the learnings from her experiences, then gets up a little stronger from them the next day. She knows her worth and is both tender and fierce. A strong woman doesn’t compare herself to others but lifts others up to help them fulfill their destinies, knowing we are all queens.”

ALEXANDRA CLARK, FOUNDER & HEAD CHOCOLATIER OF BON BON BON

Photo courtesy of Bon Bon Bon

Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?

“As a woman in business, I am so grateful every day for what each generation before me has contributed to allow me to pursue my passion in this way. It is important to me to celebrate women’s day to invite others to celebrate with us– to take a moment to reflect, connect, inspire, be inspired and recommit to ourselves as individuals and an international community.”

REGINA GAINES, HOUSE OF PURE VIN MANAGING PARTNER

House of Pure Vin co-owner Regina Gaines at her wine shop in Detroit.
(Photo courtesy House of Pure Vin/Regnia Gaines)

What does strong woman mean to you?

“A person that can moves mountain and take care her family with
unconditional love and commitment to herself and her family.”

ROHANI FOULKES, CO-OWNER OF THE FARMERS’ HAND

Photo courtesy Rohani Foulkes

How can we continue to encourage young women in the next generation?

“By offering young women opportunities to connect with other women in the workplace. The power of networking with others who have achieved their vocational goals is astounding, and the power of a village in pursuing your dreams is absolutely priceless.”

KIKI LOUYA, CO-OWNER OF THE FARMER’S HAND

Photo courtesy Kiki Louya

What does strong woman mean to you?

“A strong woman is not afraid to stand up for what she values even in the
face of adversity.”

DR. SABRINA JACKSON, “THE PEOPLE EXPERT” — FAMILY COUNSELOR & MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER

Photo courtesy Dr. Sabrina Jackson

What is one women’s issue you think we have seen the most growth?

“The one women’s issue I think we have seen the most growth is sexual abuse/harassment with the Me Too Movement began by Tarana Burke in 2007 as an anti-sexual violence crusade. This has empowered so many women around the world to stand in their truth. It has allowed women to know they ARE NOT ALONE with being mistreated. This is such a major space for women in the world to not shy away from telling their truth as well as not allowing others to devalue their voice. This level of power has resulted in the female footprint becoming bigger and more pronounced in every industry. Me Too = Women Matter!!!!”

ERIN GAVLE, OWNER & CHIEF TRINKETER OF ELDORADO GENERAL STORE

Photo courtesy Erin Gavle

Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?

“International Women’s Day honors strong women everywhere paving the way for positive change. It’s so inspiring to be a part of the powerful movement of countless strong women and female entrepreneurs taking leadership roles here in the city of Detroit. Collectively, so many empowering women are stepping up to the podium and making their voices, talents, strengths, passions, and wisdom heard. Together, we are shaping and redefining entire communities, cultures, cities, businesses, and government. Women are demanding a voice and a seat at the table. And we are forging the way for a more balanced and just world built from a foundation of equality. International Women’s Day celebrates the idea that when we uplift women, we elevate everyone.”

How are you celebrating International Women’s Day?


Special thanks to all of the amazing women who contributed their quotes for this piece! I am very grateful.


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