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The Meaning of the ESPY Moment For Women and Girls

July 19, 2018

Inspiration and wisdom for women, women entrepreneurs, women in business and female athletes

ESPY Awards Honor Team USA, MSU Gymnastics Sex Abuse Survivors: ‘We May Suffer Alone, But We Survive Together’

Sometimes serendipity strikes in an instant, the way it did this morning waking up to a major news story and a spur of the moment action yesterday afternoon. Let me paint the images for you.

The first image is of 140 survivors of sexual abuse by a USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University team doctor as they accepted the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the ESPYs. These women stood hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, together to show a powerful union of sisterhood. They spoke about the child within them finally releasing the shadows and pain of their formative years in hopes of healing and protecting the next generation of young girls. It took 30 years for an adult to acknowledge what a girl finally told them and to start the investigation. 30 years!

The second image is of a sweet girl named Bailey, a daughter of a women entrepreneur from my network, who was selling lemonade, homemade chocolate chip cookies and homemade crafts to earn money. Bailey was selling her items in a neighboring area so I jumped in my car and headed over to buy from her to prove that women support girls. I brought along a pink money bag that said “Girlboss” tucked inside was a pair of my company’s iconic pink glasses, that represent seeing ways to support women and girls. I also had $10 I was going to spend no matter what Bailey’s items cost; because I believe women need to monetarily support other women and girls.

I have two beautiful twenty year old sons but when I ran in the Boston Marathon in 2017 with iconic female runner Kathrine Switzer on Team 261Fearless, I inked my five nieces’ names on my arm – Lexie, Faith, Lauren, Ramona and Maude. I was running for them and their future the way Kathrine has done for women the past 50 years since her gender barrier breaking Boston Marathon appearance in 1967. Women learn from women older than them and from their own generation. Women also inspire the generation to follow.

When Bailey attached the beautiful bright pink bracelet around my wrist, I looked at her with her new Women TIES pink glasses on smiling and my pink spirit rose up knowing I had inspired one young girl for one moment in time. Later that day her mother sent me a message saying, “You made Bailey’s day!” As I listened this morning to the ESPYs YouTube video of the survivors on the ESPY stage last night, I know they made other women or girls day with their strength, truth and sharing.

There are a million ways women can lift up other women or girls every single day. We can lift up boys too but there is something extra special about supporting the next generation of women with our compassion, interest and support of them today. Be a woman who supports girls every way you can and show your sons how to do it right so there is never a need for 140 girls to go on stage to share any type of abuse. I believe strong women can inspire the next generation of strong women.

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