Change Culture, Change the World

NetRoots Nation #NN14 was held in Detroit in July of 2014. This conference is packed with presentations and presenters who represent the cutting edge in grassroots activism. One of the more intriguing sessions for me was one entitled “Change Culture, Change the World.” The presenter, Bridgit Antoinette Evans, is the Founder and President of Fuel | We Power Change based in New York City. Her focus is “high impact culture change plans.”

Culture ChangeRecognizing that culture is what drives nearly every aspect of our lives, I was interested in how one goes about “changing culture.” This particular session was a workshop training. We were all asked to identify something we were interested in changing by writing down the answers to 3 questions. Here are the questions and my answers:

What is the new way of life you want most Americans to believe in?

An America where women are not a novelty, a quota or a percentage in business, government and leadership positions.

What personal or cultural barrier prevents people from believing in your mission right now?

There is an internalized and institutionalized bias that says men are more competent, qualified and experienced to play certain types of leadership roles.

What specific shift in feelings, values or public sentiment do you need to achieve in order to bring people into this new way of life?

We need to shift the cultural belief to one where both men and women see women as capable leaders that can simultaneously fill the social roles assigned to us as wives and mothers. We need to push back against the stereotype that women are ruled solely by emotion and that we lack the toughness necessary to make difficult decisions and choices. 

It was a great exercise to actually articulate that in writing. It’s powerful to name things and to share them with other people. It’s part of making a commitment to seeing that change through. I was glad she made us all write it down and then stand up and share it. That was probably one of the most powerful moments of the entire conference for me.

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