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International Women’s Day 2021: Branchers Share (plus free resources from IWD!)

Red Branch Media is founded by a woman, built with women, supported by women, and always fighting toward a more equitable world for women. Not just the straight, cis, white women so often lauded during these days and months, but the women who struggle with even bigger burdens due to homophobia or transphobia, racism and elitism, women whose countries do little to protect them or wage war against their bodies and livelihoods.

Here is a collection of quotes from women the Branchers admire, along with some thoughts about women in our world, past and present for International Women’s Day. (For more information and resources around International Women’s Day and how you can work to support a more equitable world, please follow this link.)

Mackenzie Anderson:

“There is always light.

Only if we are brave enough to see it.

There is always light.

Only if we are brave enough to be it.”

-Amanda Gorman 

My mom has always been the woman I look up to. She is the textbook definition of a great mom. She taught me to be kind, hardworking, and empathic. In the future, I hope to raise my children the way she raised me. She has always made me feel important and loved- ending every conversation with “I’m happy you exist.” 

Michelle Obama is one of my role models because she has paved the way for so many other girls. I respect the fact she supports her husband, but also completely made a name for herself. Her quote “When they go low, we go high” is also a great reminder to not let anyone get to you. Instead of trying to win an argument, it encourages us to reflect and figure out how we can understand each other. 

Eric Foutch:

“Not only must we stop telling ourselves, no, we have to internalize our right to make mistakes and to use each error as an entry point to more knowledge.”

Stacey Abrams has truly become one of the most influential women of our time. For years, she has been fighting against voter suppression, advocating for fair elections, and encouraging people to get out and vote, something I would love to become more involved with. She was instrumental in turning Georgia blue in the November presidential election which hadn’t given its 16 electoral votes to a Democratic candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992. 

I think what inspires me so much about Stacey is that she is a true testament that real change is possible if you’re willing to put in the work. Hard work and determination will get you to where you want to be, but you have to be committed to it. And no matter how many times you get told “no” you have to persevere through it because anything is possible when your fuel is driven by accomplishing the next challenge. That’s why she’s who jumped to mind on International Women’s Day. 

Natalie Aiken:

“The women I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong and they handled it. They handled it a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.”

Elizabeth Gilbert

I think the most important thing about recognizing women this month is realizing and acknowledging the perseverance required from us. So much is expected from women, especially in our culture, and I love seeing when people rise above and beyond the already unrealistic expectations. There’s definitely some kind of magic in that. Instead of running away from the obstacles staring us straight in the face, we meet them head-on and get to know them personally. 

Andrea Pohlsander:

“There are two powers in the world; one is the sword, and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.”

– Malala Yousafzai

Women can and do have such an incredible impact in this world; Malala Yousafzai is an excellent example of how one young woman against great odds can bring substantial change to this world and make it a better place. She’s a wonderful example of perseverance and bravery that leaves me in awe. Her example gives me courage, hope, and inspires me to be better, kinder, make sure my voice is heard, and help others do the same. 

Anna Naumann:

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”

Malala Yousafzai

I admire the crap out of VP Kamala Harris (and I’m so shocked nobody else has said her)! She represents women (and POC) with such dignity and class. Her tenacity in the election shows women – young and old – that we can do anything.

Jake Johnson:

“Women don’t need to find their voice. They need to feel empowered to use it, and people need to be encouraged to listen.”

-Meghan Markle

It’s difficult for us to recognize our privilege, and it’s often uncomfortable having to put ourselves in check after taking so much for granted. Women’s History Month gives us all a chance to shine some light on the imbalance that women face today. This past year has demonstrated that it is often more powerful to sit back and amplify others’ voices rather than shout amongst the clutter. This Women’s History Month, I encourage you to listen to the stories of the women around you and capitalize on opportunities to educate yourself on the continued struggle for equality. 

Kyle Christensen: 

“To anyone that ever told you you’re no good…they’re no better.”

Hayley Williams, singer/frontwoman of the band Paramore

Women in Music on International Women’s Day : Music has always been a big part of my life. Some of my favorite singers of all time are Hayley Williams of Paramore, Lacey Sturm (first singer) of Flyleaf, Amy Lee of Evanescence, and Avril Lavigne. These women are legends in the pop-punk/emo/screamo music scene of the 2000s that shaped my taste in music. These women and their music still play through my Spotify playlists almost 20 years later and will always be some of my favorite artists of all time. 

Jeremy Hogan:

“When I am afraid to speak is when I speak. That is when it is most important.”

― Nayyirah Waheed

If you haven’t read her book “Salt” you should grab a copy. Absolutely, brilliant poetry, even for non-poetry fans.

Kaleb Vik:

“…there are no shortcuts to excellence. Developing real expertise, figuring out really hard problems, it all takes time―longer than most people imagine….you’ve got to apply those skills and produce goods or services that are valuable to people….Grit is about working on something you care about so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it…it’s doing what you love, but not just falling in love―staying in love.”

― Angela Duckworth

Maren Hogan:

On International Women’s Day, women, in GENERAL, are to be admired, but to pick some (aside from my mama) I feel like Dolly Parton is just everything.

She’s smart, kind, talented, open to change, creative, and purposeful. I recently read a short story about Maya Angelou and was blown away by the guilt and fear that plagued her early life, the creativity, and spontaneity that characterized her young adult years, and the wisdom she shared as a poet and author later in life. Tina Turner has always just seemed like a rock to me. I can’t imagine living through much of what she lived through, in the spotlight but always alone.

Political powerhouses like Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, and Kamala Harris (to name a VERY few) have held me in their thrall as they battle blatant sexism, approach the unknown with courage, and refuse to break (while being gracious when they bend as they learn) under the constant pressure. 

“If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

– Maya Angelou, Pulitzer-prize nominated poet

About International Women’s Day

IWD provides an important moment to showcase commitment to women’s equality, launch new initiatives and action, celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness, highlight gender parity gains and more.

The day is celebrated and supported globally by industry, governments, educational institutions, community groups, professional associations, women’s networks, charities and non-profit bodies, the media, and more.

Collectively every person and all groups can make a difference within their sphere of influence by taking concrete action to help build a more gender-equal world. From small powerful grassroots gatherings to large-scale conferences and events – International Women’s Day is celebrated everywhere. It’s a big day for inspiration and change.

Read more about IWD’s herstory here.