As this was my first blogger conference, I had no expectations.
Of course I have been to many different professional conferences but I was excited for this one because I felt as if it would allow me to become more in touch with my creative/passionate self. Therefore, I had an open heart and mind. After listening to all the speakers (who were all wonderful), I came away feeling as if my heart and mind had been satiated…and I wanted more!
And this was made possible because there were so many inspiring and wondering speakers at Blogher15….women who were inspiring and passionate about their work and their cause. I didn’t attend every speaking engagement (because there were many) but I attended the ones I felt I could get the most from! And also I was a kittle star struck by some like Ava and Gwyneth! I know I missed out on many wonderful speakers (as my sister and others told me). I will share the ones that I attended and the many little nuggets I took away.
I thought about sharing all the speakers and then I realized that would be a little much so I will take my time to review them. Let’s go back to the beginning of Day 1.
Day 1: The tone was set with a discussion with two of the founders of #BlackLivesMatter movement, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors, (third founder: Alicia Garza). These women were inspiring because of how their work and how they live their daily lives are intertwined. They talked about doing work that matters to black people but also taking care of themselves in the process. They shared the importance of allying with other groups in order to get the message about ALL black lives matter.
I learned from Opal and Patrisse that when you do work that you love and are passionate about, it never feels like work. Another nugget, when you have the opportunity to make a difference in the world and or in people’s lives, don’t shy away from the responsibilities. Take the opportunity to make a difference. Who knew that starting hashtag BlackLivesMatter on Twitter would turn into a platform to talk about important issues that touch the lives of black people in America and abroad. We can all use social media and the resources around us to make a difference.
Initially I was skeptical about starting the conference with such a perspective that I thought was too political and heavy. However, in the end I realized that allowing myself to experience issues that are heavy and burdened can be an awakening to change and make a difference in myself and my corner of world, which will hopefully have a ripple effect in the wider world.
And at the end of their session, Patrisse lead us all in a chant that was started of in a whisper and ended in raising our voices. It was so powerful and moving and so timely: It is our duty to fight for our freedom; It is our duty to win; We must love each other and support each other; We have nothing to lose but our chains!!
I have more speakers to come next week so stay tuned!