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Passion Into Action Conference

From one of my Business and Professional Women, Nevada County club sisters, from an email sent to our local members: “If you were unable to attend what I can describe only as the premier womens event of our era in Grass Valley.  The Passion into Action conference featured inspiring speakers, practical workshops for action, and incredible networking opportunities and sharing of success stories.   The conference’s success — sold out at 250+ attendees — is a testament to the media and PR savvy of its SeeJaneDo organizers Elisa Parker and Jesse Locks, but more importantly, to the desire of local women to gather, learn from one another, and put our passions for positive personal and/or social change into action.  BPWNC can be proud that two of our members, Christina Hills and Robin Mallery, contributed their passion and expertise by hosting workshops on social media and on nutrition.

The closeout consisted of a panel of four women leaders exhorting us to put our passions into action, and offering their visions and examples of how women might effect trans-formative change.  Rachel Barge spoke about how she took action to raise the money needed to implement an existing, but on-the-shelf, plan to make the Berkeley campus environmentally sustainable.  Last year she raised $16 million to replicate the plan’s sustainability projects in other campuses across the nation, while raising funds for herself to attend the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen.  Gloria Feldt, a former teen mom who later became president of the national Planned Parenthood organization, is now is a nationally recognized author, public speaker and frequent media commentator.  She spoke of a recurring dream of driving an uncontrollable car going on roads she did not want to take, and later realizing that she held the keys in her own hand, a metaphor for her deciding to use her own power to put her passion into action.  Linda Tarr-Whelan, a nurse who rose to become ambassador to the UN Commission on the Status Women and is now a premier expert on womens leadership, spoke of her new book Women Lead the Way:  Your Guide to Stepping Up to Leadership and Changing the World and her vision of the “30% solution” — increasing womens political representation from its current 15% to 30% by 2020, so that our nation can have more balanced leadership.   Nina Simons, a New York transplant to New Mexico, co-founder and President of Bioneers, a major environmental organization, spoke of her personal journey to find her own purpose in life, begun when she visited a garden in New Mexico that changed her view of the natural world.  She was further mobilized when she saw an historical video on witch burning, and made the connection between this holocaust and women’s fear of speaking up on unpopular stands outside the mainstream — a cultural legacy of the gross imbalance of power between the sexes.  Stressing the importance of language, one spoke of the difference between the (feminine) exercising of the “power to” do things and the (masculine) image of wielding “power over” others.

I hope that others will follow up by going to the SeeJaneDo website, which will have much more information and which offers a forum for women wanting to communicate with others about putting their own passions into action.  SeeJaneDo is holding an Extraordinary Jane essay contest folks may want to consider”.

Elaine Sierra

P.S.  Regarding Linda Tarr-Whelan’s call to action for a 30% solution, note that attendee Christina Billeci, Mayor of Marysville, is running for Dan Logue’s 3d Assembly District.  And, note that the conference was bracketed with remarks by women mayors Lisa Swarthout of Grass Valley (who noted that 50% of Grass Valley businesses are women-owned) and Reinette Senum, Mayor of Nevada City.

Passion Into Action Conference

Join us for a day of learning, growing, sharing, laughing, and loving. See you on January 23!

The best thing I did when I discovered I had Type 2 Diabetes was to call Robin Mallery. She coached me to craft a plan to turn this condition around, and the encouragement to believe that I can.  Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I am managing well, using Robin’s program of small steps, achievable goals, and positive reinforcement.  She’s not only a fountain of knowledge and experience, but a loving teacher and motivator.  For the first time in years, I don’t feel helpless about eating and weight gain.  Thank you, Robin!

—GC, Austin

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