|MI Right to Life oratorical contest
As a teenager raised in the Religious Right, I was passionate about politics, state and local government, and activism for the causes we supported, though I struggled with cognitive dissonance regarding the biblical role of women!
After I married and moved to Kansas, for a host of reasons, my community involvement waned. The passion was still alive, but life was broadening my experience and my adult values were evolving.
Midsummer last year, I decided to attend an ACLU meeting held at a local church. I was uncomfortable walking into a church building to listen to a man named after an Old Testament prophet, but was relieved to see some familiar faces around me. As the speaker talked and answered questions, I began to feel that I belonged, after all.
A friend who witnessed my almost giddy afterglow that night said I ought to get more involved in activism--it animated me so. I took his observations to heart and weeks later, I volunteered at an abortion clinic for the first time. Turns out, that was only a beginning!
Since then, I've met so many brave and amazing people.
I've been trusted with so many personal stories.
I've cried and cried.
I've felt fear, and even hate.
I've been angry to my core.
I've given and received the best hugs.
My compassion and courage have grown.
I've been yelled at by Christians who take down my license plate number.
I've learned how to treat myself more kindly.
My values have become crystal clear.
|Distributing condoms at Kansas State Fair
|Representing Wichita NOW
in the Wichita Pride Parade
|Campaign to rally feminist votes
Whether I'm speaking up loudly or quietly supporting people exercising their rights, whether I can measure it or not, I know my involvement makes a difference.
I want the world my kids live in to be more fair, more equal, and more kind. I'll keep doing what I can to make that happen.