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The Power of Us: Amplify Your Voice

Linda Cliatt-Wayman

This week I was honored to be a speaker and a teacher at the 17th Annual Texas Conference for Women in Austin, Texas. The theme was “The Power of Us: Amplify Your Voice.” There were 7,250 attendees and dozens of speakers—of every age and background—who came together to lift one another up so we can change the world.

Amal Clooney, one of the keynote speakers, is one of the most impressive women I’ve heard speak—I forgot she was a fashion plate, married to George—but it was Linda Cliatt-Wayman who had me in tears and on my feet, cheering.

Linda Cliatt-Wayman went beyond what most educators would even think of doing. When she couldn’t find a principal for one of the most dangerous high schools in the country, Strawberry Mansion in North Philadelphia, Wayman stepped up and assumed the role. Even when a student told her they had a “bullet with her name on it,” she pushed forward and made monumental changes that got Strawberry Mansion removed from the federal list of Persistently Dangerous Schools. Wayman is a TED speaker, plus Diane Sawyer and her ABC News team spent an entire school year documenting Wayman’s efforts. Wayman is truly an inspiring woman.

“Demonstrate love,” Linda Cliatt-Wayman said. “Be an influencer in some one else’s life. Speak up. Stand up. Rise up as examples for our children and the world.”

Here are more words of wisdom from the other extraordinary women at this year’s Texas Conference for Women:

  • Am I doing enough to promote the well-being of women?
  • Choose to celebrate, protect and standup for one another.
  • Instead of teaching women how not to be assaulted, teach boys to respect women.
  • We haven’t allowed ourselves to have the hard conversations with people we don’t agree with.
  • Invite different in.
  • Don’t make assumptions.
  • You have two ears and one mouth and use them in that order.
  • Take risks; follow your own path; embrace collaboration.
  • The best leaders don’t have their guard up. They don’t have a guard. They bring their whole selves.
  • Even when you’re afraid, be your own cheerleader.
  • Be open to constructive feedback.
  • Be committed to the woman you’re becoming.
  • Be intentional with what you spend your time on.
  • Success lies outside of your comfort zone.
  • Turn up the knob and dance in your own light.
  • How do you stay relevant? Use your voice to connect those who don’t have a voice.

Add Texas Conference for Women to your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram list, and make plans to attend next year’s 2017 event. It could change your life.

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17 thoughts on “The Power of Us: Amplify Your Voice”

  1. Linda has just become my new role model. I don’t say that lightly, I want to be the kind of woman she suggests we be and it always helps to have someone to look towards who is leading by example. Thank you for continually sharing inspirational women who make me want to be a better one – particularly when they are people I may not have heard of. Much love, Essie xx

    • I just watched Linda’s Ted talk. Incredible. I read up on her this morning after reading your inspiring post, but I wanted to come back and watch it and I’m so glad I did. So many important and powerful messages in there, what a woman! Love you, Essie xx

      • Isn’t she amazing, Essie? When you’re in a large auditorium, her voice fills every crevice of the room with her wisdom and power. I can only imagine the impression she made, one-on-one with the troubled students at Strawberry Mansion. Such courage. Love you, too, Essie!

    • I think so. They added another session to my existing three, and we were the last group out the door long after the conference was over along with the people picking up the trash. xoxo, Brenda

    • Margaret, After she began speaking, I realized I’d seen Diane Sawyer’s report about her, but seeing something on TV and being in the room with her was as different as day and night. So powerful.

  2. Very impressive line-up! I love following your comings and goings, Brenda. And thank you for sharing Ms. Wayman. It’s snowing here in Wisconsin, so I’m cozy inside, watching her documentary.

    • That’s the operative phrase, Diane: “truly make a difference in tomorrow.” When you hear someone speak, you instantly know if they’re the real deal or not, and she is. xoxox, Brenda

  3. This is definitely inspiring, Brenda. I’m familiar with Linda Cliatt-Wayman and her amazing strength and fortitude to turn a failing school district into a shining example for others. Your list is daunting but needed. Thanks for sharing.

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