Saluting Our Sisters Through Empowerment

When I was asked to speak at St Mary’s Guildhall for the Saluting Our Sisters event celebrating Black History Month in October, it took me some time to decide what to talk about.

Hosted by the amazing Sandra Godley, the event showcased music, creative arts, and incredible speakers focusing on the theme of Saluting Our Sisters, Sisterhood, and Empowerment.

I went back and forth on the topics I wanted to include but couldn’t settle on one particular theme. As honesty is one of the core values within the Socially Shared network, I thought I’d share my entire thought process with the audience instead.

What topics could I speak about?

  • History of Black History Month
  • Inspiring young women and future generations
  • Encouraging others to be true to who they are
  • Embracing and celebrating your differences
  • Investing in yourself to increase confidence and kindness
  • Importance of following your dreams
  • Sharing my beliefs and ambitions for the future

Finding the right words for any of these topics was something I struggled with for quite a few weeks. How could I do justice to such important themes? After much deliberation, I realised that it wasn’t my own words I needed to use but the incredibly empowering women of colour who inspire us every day.

History of Black History Month

We need to embrace our history as there are so many learning opportunities available to us. Our history shapes our future and allows us to reflect and change. In a world that has historically and systematically discriminated against women of colour, it’s crucial that we honour these challenges throughout history and learn from them.

I put myself ahead twenty years and try to look at what I need to do now in order to get there.” Diana Ross

Inspiring young women and future generations

Most middle-aged women will remember being told to be quiet, demure, and not make a fuss. As children, we were supposed to be ‘seen but not heard’. Our young women don’t need to worry about stepping up and taking the lead. They must embrace their power and shine their light, pushing aside any fear of being called a show-off or a bossy boots.

We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.” Beyonce

Encouraging others to be true to who they are

There is no need to try and be something you’re not. Relax and be yourself. Authenticity in life and business is essential for your personal and professional development. Be authentic. Be uniquely you!

It was when I realised I needed to stop trying to be somebody else and be myself, I actually started to own, accept, and love what I had.” Tracee Ellis Ross, Actress

Embracing and celebrating your differences

Embracing and celebrating your differences is a powerful and essential concept. It’s crucial to acknowledge and honour the unique challenges and strengths women of colour have been through.

When we celebrate our differences, we are not only recognising the beauty of diverse backgrounds and experiences but also affirming the value and worth of every woman. Your differences are your strength and resilience. Embracing this creates a sense of unity, mutual respect, and empowerment.

Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable. I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness.” Janelle Monae, American singer

Investing in yourself to increase confidence and kindness

When you allocate time, energy, and resources towards self-improvement, whether through personal development, education, self-care, or doing something you are passionate about, you create a deeper understanding of your self-worth and banish self-doubt.

As you grow and learn, your self-esteem flourishes, enabling you to navigate any challenges, build a sense of inner contentment, and be kinder and more empathic towards yourself.

Confidence and kindness are linked. Investing in yourself helps you become more secure and self-assured but also leaves you better equipped to radiate kindness and compassion.

It’s important to teach our female youth that it’s okay to say, ‘Yes, I am good at this,’ and you don’t hold back.” Simone Biles, gymnast

Importance of following your dreams

There will always be people who tell you ‘you can’t’ or question your abilities, but following your dreams is crucial because it ignites your passion, purpose, and a sense of fulfilment in life. It teaches you to strive for your full potential and contribute positively to your community and the world.

One of the lessons I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals.” Michelle Obama

Never stop aiming higher for yourself.

Don’t settle for average. Bring your best to the moment. Then, whether it fails or succeeds, at least you know you gave all you had. We need to live the best that’s in us.” Angela Bassett, actress

Sharing my beliefs and ambitions for the future

The ambition we have at Socially Shared is to introduce and connect even more women together. I want to create more networks, where women can get the support and encouragement they need to succeed. It’s my aim to lead by example and to work with kindness and integrity.

I was honoured to be able to speak at this powerful event celebrating sisterhood and I want to salute all our sisters; all women regardless of who they are, where they come from, or what they look like.

Let’s stand tall and work together, be kind and support each other.

To finish my speech, I chose one of my favourite quotes.

There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” Michelle Obama

Feel Supported in Your Business with Socially Shared

Interested in joining the Socially Shared Women’s Business Support Network? Our affordable annual membership is £99 and includes many benefits to help your business thrive. Find out more via our website.

What does the membership include?

  • Online Business Surgery
  • Members-only free events
  • Online business listing
  • 2 free guest passes
  • Discounted tickets
  • Unlimited event listings
  • Quarterly newsletter
  • Speaking opportunities
  • Social events

By far the best networking group I’ve been to. Expertly organised, incredibly friendly group with genuine support and the leaders are very well connected in the local business world with heaps of experience. Socially Shared is totally different from other networking groups I’ve attended; its whole ethos centres around LEARNING while networking and each session has a themed business topic like ‘knowing your customer’ ‘blog writing’ ‘time management’ etc. which are really useful with a handy worksheet with all the tips to take away.” – Stephanie Rix, Life’s Work Consulting

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