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Monday, May 10, 2021

United Women’s Empowerment initiative helps women engage civically

Credit: 41 Action News
Duration: 03:33s 0 shares 2 views
United Women’s Empowerment initiative helps women engage civically
United Women’s Empowerment initiative helps women engage civically
United Women’s Empowerment initiative helps women engage civically

41 ACTION NEWS ISCELEBRATING WOMEN'SHISTORY MONTH,HIGHLIGHTING SOME OFTHE IMPORTANT WOMEN INKANSAS CITY'S HISTORY.BUT WE'RE ALSOFOCUSING ON THE WORKTHAT WOMEN ARE DOINGRIGHT NOW.POLICY-MAKING WORK ISOFTEN DIFFICULT ANDCHALLENGING.BUT WOMEN ARESTEPPING UP ANDLEADING, IN PART THANKSTO ONE ORGANIZATIONBASED IN KANSAS CITY.41 ACTION NEWSPRODUCER CHRISTINASANTIAGO INTRODUCES USTO WOMEN WHO FOUNDNEW WAYS TO SERVETHEIR COMMUNITIES.When Mishelle Martinez walksinto a room, she makes animpression.MishelleAs a lawyer, especially in theindustry that I'm in which isconstruction and engineering,age and gender tend to be,you know, one of the firstthings people notice about meperhaps because many timI'll be the only woman in theroom.SHE SAYS In the beginning,that felt intimidating.But now...MishelleI use that as a welcomchallenge and an opportunityto grow and also educate thepeople around me.Thanks to the AppointmentsProject.Mishelle is one of more than140 women who have securedappointments on city, countyor state commissions orboards -- thanks to UnitedWomen's Empowerment - orUnited WE.President and CEO WendyDoyle says her organizationinvests in research and usesthat research to developpublic policy platforms.WendyOur focus is to reduce barriersfor women economically andto promote civic leadership.Another woman appointed toa commission: GingerWilliams.Ginger serves on Kansas'Volunteer Commission and isvice President of CustomerCare Operations at G-E-H-A,the Government EmployeesHealth Association.But getting there wasn't easy.GingerI would say the biggestchallenges I've had are just inbeing an African Americanwoman.: For me, a lot of people don'tknow I have undergraduatedegrees, I have a mastersdegree, I have a lot ofexperience, but sometimesyour exterior is a barrier.Now married, Ginger used tobe a single mother ANDMADE IT THROUGH SOMEDARK TIMES.She says United WE works tohelp women get past thosebarriers so they can give backto their communities.GingThe confidence I have is inknowing like I've been throughworse.

I've seen worse.

Thisisn't that bad.

We can get overthis, we can get through it.Something Mishelle knowsalso.Her family moved fromVenezuela to the UnitedStates when she was justseven years old.MishelleBeing a woman of colormeans everything to me.

It'sone of the most visible thingsabout me, so I know it's one ofthe first things perhaps thatpeople see.

And whether theyhave prejudice or biases ornot, I want to be able to be asource of knowledge for themfrom just my perspective.Wendy: We see that, you know, ofcourse women of color are ata disadvantage at almostevery level of the work thatwe're working on, whether itbe pay equity, paid familyleave, occupational licensing,access to capitol for womenentrepreneurs.

It's now, it'simportant now more than everthat we work together.Having women like Misheland Ginger appointed tocommissions gives themopportunities to make animpact - and that's exactlywhat United WE strives to do.WendyIf we can do our job right, wecan have more women at thatpolicy making table.GingerWe're the next generationthat's going to be making bigdecisions, making politicalwaves.

We're going to be theones that are enacting laws.We're going to be the onesthat are at the table.MishelleOnce you're at the table, don'tfeel like you don't belong,because you do.IF YOU WANT TO LEARNMORE ABOUT THEAPPOINTMENTS PROJECT,YOU CAN FIND A LINK INTHIS STORY ON OUR


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