On Saturday Nov. 13, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Hudson Valley Writing Project hosted a seminar open to any community member, faculty member, educator or student who was interested in learning about issues of women’s rights and equality, titled “Still We Rise: Listening to Women’s Voices.”
The morning began with an introductory speech on the topics at hand and was followed by a session featuring keynote speaker Journalist Cindi Leive. Leive’s session was titled “Telling Stories and Making Change” and she discussed the top ten women who had the most influence in her life.
Topping off the list was her mother, the daughter of two immigrants who pushed her to go into a music career because that’s what they believed a woman should do, but she followed her passions and instead became a microbiologist. Leive’s mother passed when she was 19 – only then did she learn about the difficulty her mother faced being a woman in her field.
Although Leive did not become a scientist like her mother, she drew inspiration and motivation from her mother’s life to fuel her own passions and desires.
“What I did absorb was a very fundamental lesson that finding work that you love is one of the most rewarding things that a person can do and also that women are fully equipped for excellence as any man,” Leive said.
She went on to list many other sources of inspiration such as her former editor-in-chief, colleagues and fictional characters she related to throughout her childhood. A woman she talked about in depth for her strength and integrity was Anita Hill.
After completing her list for listeners, she gave time for everyone to come up with and share their list of women or stories of women who have inspired them. Audience members who felt brave enough to share their answers were given a microphone to do so.
Rounding out the session with questions from the audience, Leive gave her thoughts on women in social media and her upcoming projects.
“In my own business of media and journalism, each online harassment, social media, harassment of women, especially women of color is difficult and vicious and has the risk of driving people out of business,” she said. “My hope is that we can come to a way of understanding social media as a piece of our lives and not as the driver that it sometimes is.”
After her segment concluded, teachers only were invited to attend various workshops about women in the classroom. These sections were titled “Putting Care At The Center of Our Practice,” “Making Our Voices Heard” and “Girls With Something to Say.”
The next event is on Saturday Feb. 5, 2022 in the Old Main Building from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.