A love letter to women

Dear sisters, mother figures, aunties and friends.  It has come to my awareness that some of you don’t think that you are whatever enough for @AmplifyEast.  That makes me sad because to me, you are more than enough - you are IT.

When @Vanessa Paesani first reached out to me about her idea for this Atlantic Canada-wide initiative to identify, amplify and celebrate women I was more than pleased, I was filled with excitement. My first thought was ‘finally, an opportunity to big up all the women I know that would not otherwise be seen for the amazing people they are and the difference they make to those closest to them, those who they wake up every morning with purpose for’.

Vanessa’s idea filled a void for me that I realized needed filling ever since I attended my first FCI/CFW event. There is nothing inherently wrong with the FCI women's leadership events. It just doesn’t square with my personal experience of women leaders.  Let me tell you; some of the most influential women in my life don’t have degrees or numerous public accolades, many don’t all have social media prowess and tidy Cinderella stories (though I do love Niecy Nash). And as inspiring as some of the people I follow on Instagram and LinkedIn are, that is not my core group of women mentors, teachers, coaches - nor did they sign up to be.

In actuality, as is probably true for you too, many of my ‘supernaturals’ didn’t do more than high school, or a general degree. Many are homemakers, some are custodians and admin assistants or secretaries in their time (when that was still what they were called and they typed things up and took shorthand). In fact, some didn’t even get to do anything “major” until their late 60’s. 

My deepest wells of wisdom, spiritual rootedness and abundant love don’t see themselves every being featured on a western magazine 100 list of anything. They may not be VP's and CEOs of large companies, nor may they have any of the fame of Beyonce, Wangari Maathai or Ruth Bader Ginsberg . But I bet they’d be alike in the values that unite us, and in the love for, and pride in, their families. In their tenacity and resilience, in making things stable for their loved ones and family units - defined loosely to include as many in the village of their own geographical boundaries as possible, they build us up and continue to make us who we are every day. I am every bit of the person I am because of these women in my life, whether blood or adopted supernaturals I have been fortunate to meet here in my new Atlantic Canadian home.

All that to say to you dear  sisters, mother figures, aunties and friends: if you ever do get nominated for a feature on Amplify, think of it as your space because it is. All of you, there is no one too small or who has not done enough to be celebrated. 

Maybe we all need to be reminded through your story of what we can do no matter where we find ourselves in life. And since you more than likely won't read this any other way, I hope that someone who does prints this out and shares it with you. In case it wasn’t obvious in what I hope is my love letter to you - I see you, and no matter who you are, you are enough.  #sawubona #notasupplyproblem #AmplifyEast

- Louise Adongo, May 8th, 2019

*copies of this have been printed out and shared with the many women in my life who are who are not on social media. Happy [upcoming] Mother's day!