Women’s History Month – The Stories We Are Told

Dr. Christina Kishimoto, CEO and founder of Voice4Equity

I believe that every day is an opportunity for self-care, especially for women who often lead lives deeply rooted in service to others. This selflessness, however, stems from a learned belief that our families, communities, and workplaces demand our ceaseless effort and support. As Women’s History Month unfolds, I want to encourage you to reset and prioritize your well-being and that of the women in your life. This period is not only a celebration of the monumental achievements and contributions of women throughout history but also a time to honor the unsung heroines in our own lives who made things happen and paved the way for our successes. Remind each other that it is not only acceptable but necessary to take care of ourselves, embrace self-love, and lead lives filled with joy. 

Reflecting on Women’s History Month, I’m drawn to the need I see today for women to heal and break barriers, whether it’s shattering glass ceilings, pioneering in medicine and science, educating, supporting, or stepping forward when others retreat. In this context, Audre Lorde’s words resonate with me profoundly: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” This powerful statement underscores the importance of self-care and joy as not just personal choices but acts of defiance and strength. It reminds us that through intention, self-love, and joy, we can become an unstoppable force.

This is why, as we take the opportunity to celebrate the remarkable women in history, let’s also remember to honor those who have contributed so much to humanity yet were not supported, loved, or cared for as they deserved. A poignant example is Henrietta Lacks, whose HeLa cells became a cornerstone for scientific and medical advancements in vaccines, cancer research, and many other areas, even as her own rights and medical needs were systematically neglected. If you’re unfamiliar with her story, I urge you to explore it and share it. Today, it is more important than ever that we impart to our young girls that striving for excellence does not necessitate sacrificing their joy, their health, or forsaking their beautiful, authentic selves. For many women leading in this current generation, this lesson has been a challenging one to learn and embody.

This month, we are excited to spotlight Deb Smith, a dedicated, compassionate, and fearless leader serving as Superintendent at Fremont County School District #21, located on a reservation in Wyoming. In addition, we’re presenting a fun yet thoughtful piece that I know you’ll enjoy. It features the perspective of women leaders from across the country on what it really means when women lead. We will continue exploring this theme at our annual “When Women Lead” education summit in June. I encourage you to register today and become part of a powerful sisterhood of women leaders advocating for social justice through equitable policies in public education. Join us for an unforgettable and rejuvenating conference experience!

Stay well, lead boldly, and love deeply!