There’s a level of confidence that we all want to exude; being grounded in womanhood, recognizing our worth to the world, understanding our legacy. It’s a sad commentary on how our identity is ripped from us to satisfy oppressive ideology and being in a space that fully embraces our uniqueness, brings it to surface. Our brilliance and existence must be valued, appreciated and promoted. Our presence is tolerated elsewhere. As women we need to stand and assume our rightful position. The days of being set aside no longer exist: stand up, shout out, be heard. If entrepreneurship is your call build the business. If education is your call create the environment. If you are the literary genius, then write. Walk in excellence, embrace what you have to offer and share it with the masses. Your time is now. This is not about empowerment, empowerment implies asking for permission to access. This is about revolution. We will no longer sit docilely, waiting for the right moment. Seize every opportunity presented or create your own. Let’s commit to designing spaces to live, be and thrive; our existence depends on our commitment to the sisterhood. Here are my steps. What are yours?

Step 1: Embrace our difference — we are stronger together.

Step 2: Share our successes — spread the good news.

Step 3: Encourage growth — evolve and prepare for new experiences.

Step 4: Pursue education — seek learning opportunities.

Step 5: Nurture ourselves — practice self-care.

Step 6: Smile frequently — happiness abounds.

Step 7: Preserve nature — this is our home.

Step 8: Love deeply — there is nothing better than love.

Step 9: Exercise gratitude —

Step 10: Meditate and pray

Dr. Shanelle R. Benson Reid is the President and CEO of ACCESS Global. ​Our goal is equity and empowerment for all individuals who represent diverse backgrounds and situations.

“Be Educated. Be Encouraged. Be Empowered.”

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