Saying Hi: We Are Strong, We are Invincible

Donna OrenderI am still singing Helen Reddy’s, “I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR.” How about you? “I am strong, I am invincible….”

As I mentioned during Generation W, that song holds a special place in my heart; filling my eyes with tears on the lay-up line no less, while playing in the first women’s basketball game ever played at Madison Square Garden. It was a moment of “wow” filled with a sense of opportunity, possibility, optimism, and gratitude.

This time, as Helen sang, it was the audience of Generation W that filled me with an overwhelming sense of opportunity, possibility, optimism, and gratitude. Together, all of us, in that beautiful UNF theater, felt and still do feel, that guided by our PASSION and PURPOSE we are, as Helen sings, “more determined to achieve our final goals.”

So much optimism for the future, for we have once again been reminded that when we get together – magic does happen. CNN Correspondent Kelly Wallace posted a great story on gender equity in sports the day after the event. Our own Generation WE ignited a discussion on leadership that will no doubt create change in what great leadership looks like. A big thank you to journalist John Burr, who led the way for Audrey Moran, Ed Burr, Tracey Toomer, Eric Mann, and Mark Lamping to have an honest conversation about such a vital issue. And the brilliantly evocative talk by Dr. Richard Lapchick is a landmark talk on why women’s issues are human issues.

The enduring image of 15-year-old Amanda and 90-year-old Helen with all of the generations in between – Ita, Lesley, Sarah and Sarika – was such a poignant way to close, as it reminded each of us that what we have that unites us makes us strong, and the perspectives we bring as a generation of women make us invincible.

As our good friend Henny Stewart from our NBC affiliate WTLV’s groundbreaking talk show The Chat said, “It should not be called a conference, it should be called a movement.” And move we shall, building on the momentum of an energy that is quite profound, that enhances our lives, the lives of each other, our community and beyond…we are doing this…I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR.