How Four Activists Celebrate Women's History Month

    March 01 2021

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    Dr. Akilah Cadet, Founder of the Consulting Firm Change Cadet

    Dr. Akilah Cadet, DHSc, MPH, and founder of Change Cadet, a consulting firm that aims to drive equity and belonging in the workplace, is always thinking of her intersectionality on and off social media. As a woman living with an invisible disability, everything she does and says encompasses representation. “When highlighting and celebrating women, I do talk a lot about Black women because historically Black women have carried the additional weight of so many things,” she says. “When it comes to social media, I make sure that I’m talking about myself, representing intersectionality as a woman, but more importantly, letting people know about how and why we Black women do this type of work.”

    For Women’s History Month, Dr. Cadet will be promoting her t-shirt campaign with women of different ethnicities who celebrate the importance of Black women. Each t-shirt will read, ‘Have you thanked a Black woman today?’ “I’m highlighting Black women’s voices because women’s month tends to focus on white women,” she says. “There will be self-love and I’ll be giving myself a shoutout, but there’s a lot of silent people in the movement when it comes to anti-racism. So doing all that I can to highlight them on my platform, too.”

    Dr. Cadet also recommended getting involved in The Black Truth Project. The Black Truth Project is a series of videos that came out during Black History Month, which includes stories of Black changemakers and encourages others to create their own videos and written stories using hashtag #blacktruthstory. “I need to use my platform to share other people’s words and experiences to get to that place of continued allyship and activism,” she says. “The core of everything is remembering to constantly learn and unlearn. Keep the same energy as Black History Month, where you have slideshows, videos, and stories. Using your space and your platform, in addition to talking about your own lived experiences, helps with continuous education.”

    Mandana Dayani, Co-founder and Creator of I AM A VOTER

    Co-founder and creator of I AM A VOTER, and co-host of the podcast, The Dissenters, Mandana Dayani is always posting about amazing women. “I AM A VOTER was founded by a group of the most brilliant women I know,” says Mandana. “In the very early days, my friend and mentor, Shannon Watts (founder of Moms Demand Action), advised me: if you want to get shit done, surround yourself with other badass women. And she has been so right! So much of our work with I AM A VOTER and The Dissenters is elevating important female voices and the issues that impact women most. We all have an obligation to elevate women’s voices, to support each other’s businesses, to share each other’s stories, and to celebrate our wins together.”

    During Women’s History Month, Mandana will be posting a regular series about the incredible women who work on the I AM A VOTER campaign. One of the women she’ll be giving a shoutout to is Patrisse Cullors, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter and Dignity and Power Now. “We featured her on The Dissenters and she was just nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize,” says Mandana. “She is truly one of the most inspiring women I have ever met. One of the most important ways to celebrate women is to support them. Buy their books and products, reshare and like their posts, cheer them on when they are struggling or tired, and show up for other women as often as you can.” 

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    Meadow Monaghan, Mental Health Professional and Consultant 

    Mental health professional and consultant, Meadow Monaghan helps brands find their voice and authentically speak to mental health. And a big part of her mental health advocacy is giving shoutouts to women she both knows and doesn’t on her platform to support their efforts. I was raised by so many women,” says Meadow. “Strong, powerful, loud women that know what they want. Everything I do is power for the woman.” 

    For Women’s History Month, Meadow plans to share all the women on social media that bring value to her. “I try to engage with all my girlfriend’s accounts because that’s a free and really easy way that helps women in small businesses,” says Meadow. “Cheering on other women’s success in no way threatens your own. Anytime you win, it’s a win for me because we’re both forwarding the same mission. That’s been the theme of this past year for me is collecting all these sick ass women that want to help mental health and help the world and try to get them all to meet each other and work together.”

    One of the women Meadow plans to share is her friend Sara Shokouhi, founder of bamboo underwear brand b.WR, which is focused on reframing sexual wellness. When it comes to discovering powerful women to champion, Meadow believes in not being complacent. “Ask more questions, look around, be interested,” she adds. “We’re all here to support and love one another. Honing in on those meaningful relationships with women is the most empowering thing in the world. We’d be nowhere without our girlfriends.”

    Camaryn Alejandra, Social and Climate Justice Advocate

    As a social and climate justice advocate and storyteller, woman, and feminist, Camaryn Alejandra makes a conscious effort to champion and empower women every single day. “Whether it is amplifying the stories of other women, normalizing conversations about menstruation and women’s sexuality, or offering support and resources to others, I try to embrace intersectionality and incorporate feminism into every aspect of my life,” says Camaryn. “It’s important to note that uplifting women should not be limited to a single month and that celebrating the female community is necessary every day of the year. But given the historical context of Women’s History Month, I want to ensure that I’m honoring the contributions that women have made to our history, culture, and society and amplify those stories through in-person and online discussions.”

    Camaryn is focused on women who identify with a plethora of different backgrounds. Her goal is to continue to educate herself on female leaders who have made a tremendous impact. “I would definitely recommend embracing an abundance over scarcity mindset– which is something I’m still learning to do myself,” says Camaryn. “Far too often, I witness women bringing other women down due to competitive and envious tendencies. It’s important to celebrate and uplift one another and understand that the success of someone else does not take away from our own success.”

    Learn more about Jayme Cyk, on PLANOLY

    Jayme Cyk

    Jayme Cyk is a contributing author at PLANOLY. Her expertise includes brand marketing, building communities, beauty, and mental health.

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