#DBCBookBlogs: Empower Our Girls

Two weeks from today is the 10th anniversary of working in the very best job I ever accepted… motherhood! Bailey has a big DOUBLE-DIGIT birthday coming up and Sophie turned 6 years old a few months ago. I am the incredibly proud mama of two beautiful daughters who could not possibly be more different. My poor husband is surrounded by estrogen… even our shih-tzu is a girl!

Lynmara Colón and Adam Welcome (Kids Deserve It and Run Like a PIRATE, anyone? Um – wow!) have written an incredibly powerful, moving, and timely declaration! I firmly believe that anyone who elects to pick this book up and open to page 1 will be touched and feel compelled to follow in step with the authors’ call to action! Quite simply, they want to Empower Our Girls!

empower-our-girls

So… can we just take a quick second to check out that cover?!?! The cover in itself speaks volumes about what Lynn & Adam believe! Imagine what that little girl on the cover is feeling! I bet she feels as though she can conquer the world, run with the bulls, take up for herself, open her own business… she views herself as a superhero! Imagine what the world would look like if we taught all little girls (and boys) to view themselves as superheroes! In Lead Beyond Your Title by Nili Bartley, she discusses this idea of superheroes and determining the superpower that lies within each of us.

What I love more than anything is that Lynn & Adam aren’t pushing this idea of “entitlement”… this thought that the world owes us something. Nope, they are very clear that it takes hard work and determination. It takes goal setting and mentors who believe deeply in their success. It takes crushing obstacles that lie before us. It is our job, as educators – and truly just as human beings – to open the doors to opportunity for our students… ALL of them. Not just the boys. And not just the girls. We have to be aware of the message we may be unintentionally (or heaven forbid, intentionally) spreading about equality and equity.

Reading Lynmara’s story touched my heart. Seeing a father’s passion for expanding possibilities for his daughter, and all girls, through Adam’s words was enough to bring tears to my eyes. The stories from successful women throughout the pages was extraordinary! When I finished, I was so sad that it was over! I want a sequel… immediately. Get on it, y’all!

One thing that absolutely must be pointed out is the foreword from Shelley Burgess! Yes, you know Shelley… many people may know her as “Dave’s first mate,” or “Dave’s wife”, but y’all – Shelley Burgess is a force to be reckoned with! I have been privileged to have a few conversations with the educator, former Assistant Superintendent of Educational Leadership, co-founder, co-owner and Vice President of Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc, mother, co-author of P is for Pirate AND Lead Like a PIRATE, speaker, and powerhouse that is Shelley Burgess. Let me assure you that, while I feel certain she holds her role as “Dave’s wife” in highest regard, she moves mountains in her own name. In other words, she doesn’t need to rely on a man. (Besides have you ever seen Dave Burgess speak? Can you imagine being married to that for however-many-years? Bless her. She’s a good, good woman. HA! Sorry, Captain.) Anyhow, check out her foreword in a blog post from Dave right here! It sets the tone perfectly for Empower Our Girls and prepares us to be WOWed by Lynmara and Adam!

This is legitimately a book that I want my nearly 10 year old to read! I hope that I have shown her that she can do anything she puts her mind to! My mother opened her own business at age 54 and just held her first anniversary celebration! Business is booming in her boutique and she is the owner, operator, manager, seamstress, businesswoman, cashier, custodial staff, customer service, and everything else it takes to run a store all in one. I’m so proud of her! These are type of stories we need to hear more of; the stories where women share their successes and setbacks. Honest, raw, vulnerable stories that show that while we, as women, are deeply human in our emotions, we are insanely strong and equally as capable to run through obstacles that threaten to stop us. Our girls need to believe that anything is possible and we need to let them know the doors are open, even if we have to break them off the hinges first.

Implementation

Y’all… I’m awful about saying guys when speaking to a group of students. I’m done with that. It seems so inconsequential, but after reading Lynn & Adam’s stories, I realize that it could not be any more important. So not only will I be ensuring that my daughters realize that they don’t need to be rescued by anyone, and they don’t have to play with Barbies (Sophie plays with tractors and race cars anyhow), and that if Bailey wants to go to STEM Camp this summer, she can and will be just as good at it as anyone else there, but I will also pay more attention to the unintentional messages I’m sending out.

I’m also going to check our library immediately for female characters and female success stories! If I find a discrepancy, I will purchase books with strong female characters and biographies of women for my girls to read and aspire to be like.

Y’all… you need this book. Like… you need Empower Our Girls yesterday. Go! Get your copy & use the hashtag #EmpowerOurGirls to reflect and share your own story! Connect with Lynmara and Adam, and more than anything – encourage girls daily! Show them how much we believe in them. They deserve it!

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