ANOTHER CEILING SHATTERED! Nearly eight years to the day after she conceded to Barack Obama that even her 18 million cracks (votes) weren't enough to shatter the "highest, hardest glass ceiling," Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) has now made history, or I prefer, her-story! For the first time in my nation's 240 year history, a woman leader has clinched the magical 2,383 delegates needed to become the presidential candidate of a major U.S. political party.
Witnessing this unprecedented milestone by an America woman leader, brought back both sweet and bitter memories for me. Shaking Shirley Chisholm's hand during her 1972 presidential campaign. Recalling exactly where I was standing as I watched Geraldine Ferraro accept the vice presidential nomination in 1984. Tasting the tears that roll down my face every time I watch the movie, Iron-Jawed Angels depicting American Suffragettes imprisoned, beaten and force fed for daring to demand the right to vote. This is not just Hillary Clinton's journey; it has been one of the defining journeys of my lifetime.
Most of you know that I supported HIllary Clinton in her 2008 presidential bid, and that I fully support her in 2016. But many of you, particularly my global friends who are watching closely from afar, have asked me, "Anne, could Americans actually choose a brash billionaire and former reality TV star as President of the United States over a former U.S. Senator, Secretary of State and one of the most admired women in the world? That's the AGONIZING QUESTION OF THE MOMENT and one that is being debated ad nauseum by U.S. news media.
For those of you who have asked me, "Are you worried?" My answer is: NO. For three major reasons.
Fellow Passengers on Spaceship Earth: I have just returned from the outstanding World Cornerstone Conference of the International Women's Forum. Seek, Soar, Solve was the theme of the gathering, which attracted nearly 600 women leaders from 26 countries to Tel Aviv, Israel. The content for IWF Conferences is consistently cutting edge, with a focus on: idea exchange, inspiration and advancing better leadership. We learned from top Israeli and global experts about ground-breaking developments in artificial intelligence, space exploration, cybersecurity and drip irrigation (which is transforming Israel from a desert to an ever-greener oasis).
One of the highlights for me was getting to know U.S. astronaut Cady Coleman, a participant in the panel on space exploration. Cady spent six months orbiting the earth in the Space Station. You could hear a pin drop when she spoke eloquently about all of us being “fellow passengers on spaceship earth” and challenged everyone in the room to do more to encourage girls and young women to get excited about STEM fields. She made me proud to be an American. That's Cady in the center of this photo taken at the IWF Closing Gala in Tel Aviv.
Prior to this inspiring conference, several other friends/Michigan IWF members spent a little over a week travelling in Israel. We learned so much about this ancient and holy land, as well as about Israel, which celebrated its 68th birthday while we were there.
It was also a thrill to meet and talk with Israeli female soldiers guarding the border along the Jordan River. All young people, female as well as male, serve in the Israeli army for three years, beginning at age 18. I'd love to see something similar in the United States, with our youth doing some type of national service (lots of possibilities in addition to military) before heading for college. Maturity could be one of the best solutions to the binge drinking and campus sexual assaults that are damaging so many young lives.
Remember: Don't just agonize; act. Anne
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