I am a poet, a writer, a wordsmith and that is one of the primary ways I lead. this year’s theme for International Women’s Day is Women’s Leadership and #ChooseToChallenge
In some ways leading and challenging are easy for me as I grew up with a mother who was a leader and a person who was not afraid to choose to do what she thought was right and just, not just for herself, but others less fortunate.
My mother knew the power of her voice, and used it to protect my sister and me, as well as her place in a society, which during that era did not appreciate dark skinned and certainly not women. There were many hurdles, including overt sexism and colourism that my mother had to jump over, and she did, and as a result she modelled defiance, independence and commitment to community to me.
I am tempted to say I am a natural leader, but that might not be totally accurate. Growing up, I had good examples, my mother and other women who gave me a tapestry of what it means to be an independent woman, a woman who leads by example, and who is committed to a cause that helps others. I have always wanted to loan my voice to help others, and I believe I have done this best through my pen as a poet, and a writer in general.
Words are my platform and my voice. Words are my truth and my commitment. Words are the building blocks that make a bridge that connects me with others in the struggle and that provide us with a vehicle to be heard and seen.
I lead with words
heated with a torch and raised
to shine light on various injustices.
I lead with words kneaded as supple as dough
that nourish and replenish
I lead with words that rip off
the excuses that leave people
hunger at the doorway of a bank
I use words and words use me
to be consistent, to care and to work
daily to make a difference
I lead because words do not recognise
or bow to power other than their own impetus.