12 Days of OW Christmas

Posted by on Dec 25, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Each Christmas, Ordain Women publishes a wish list of policy changes that, if decreed by President Nelson, would brighten the holiday season for all Mormons who seek gender equality. Lightheartedly sung to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” we offer the list again—this time with modifications that reflect recent policy changes: Women can now be official witnesses to LDS baptisms and temple marriages, and ward budgets for youth activities are now “divided equitably between the young men and young women according to the number of youth in each organization.” We hope to cross further suggested changes off our yearly lists until women are ordained and our religious community fully embraces the radical inclusiveness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. May it be so. Merry Christmas!

Ordain Women’s Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…
Full gender parity!

On the second day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…
Mothers in blessing circles
and
Full gender parity!

On the third day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…
Women on all councils,
Mothers in blessing circles,
and
Full gender parity!

On the fourth day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…
Female Ward Clerks,
Women on all councils,
Mothers in blessing circles,
and
Full gender parity!

On the fifth day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…
Women interview girls!
Female Ward Clerks,
Women on all councils,
Mothers in blessing circles,
and
Full gender parity!

On the sixth day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…
Wives, too, preside,
Women interview girls!
Female Ward Clerks,
Women on all councils,
Mothers in blessing circles,
and
Full gender parity!

On the seventh day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…
Gender inclusive language,
Wives, too, preside,
Women interview girls!
Female Ward Clerks,
Women on all councils,
Mothers in blessing circles.
and
Full gender parity!

On the eighth day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…
Lessons that quote women,
Gender inclusive language,
Wives, too, preside,
Women interview girls!
Female Ward Clerks,
Women on all councils,
Mothers in blessing circles,
and
Full gender parity!

On the ninth day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…
More female speakers,
Lessons that quote women,
Gender inclusive language,
Wives, too, preside,
Women interview girls!
Female Ward Clerks,
Women on all councils,
Mothers in blessing circles
and
Full gender parity!

On the tenth day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…
Women Mission Leaders,
More female speakers,
Lessons that quote women,
Gender inclusive language,
Wives, too, preside,
Women interview girls!
Female Ward Clerks,
Women on all councils,
Mothers in blessing circles,
and
Full gender parity!

On the eleventh day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…
Female Stake Clerks,
Women Mission Leaders,
More female speakers,
Lessons that quote women,
Gender inclusive language,
Wives, too, preside,
Women interview girls!
Female Ward clerks,
Women on all councils,
Mothers in blessing circles,
and
Full gender parity!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…
Women’s ordination,
Female Stake Clerks,
Women Mission Leaders
More female speakers,
Lessons that quote women,
Gender inclusive language,
Wives, too, preside,
Women interview girls!
Female Ward Clerks,
Women on all councils,
Mothers in blessing circles,
and
Full gender parity!

But Mostly Me(n)

Posted by on Jun 23, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

I was listening to the soundtrack to the hit 2011 Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon” as I got ready for church this morning. One of the songs is titled “You And Me (But Mostly Me)”. It features the two main characters of the musical, Elder Price and Elder Cunningham, preparing to depart from the MTC to the mission field of Uganda. Elder Price is the prototypical golden boy missionary – “the smartest, best, most deserving elder the center’s ever seen” in the words of a fellow missionary. Elder Cunningham is his clueless but eager-to-please companion. The key message of the song is summed up nicely in this excerpt:

Elder P You and me –but mostly me —
  Are gonna change the world forever
  ‘Cause I can do most anything
Elder C And I can stand next to you and watch!
Elder P Every hero needs a sidekick!
  Every hero needs a mate!
Elder C Aye aye!
Elder P Every dinner needs a side dish
Elder C On a slightly smaller plate!
Both And now we’re seeing eye to eye
  It’s so great we can agree!
  That Heavenly Father has chosen you and me
Elder P Just mostly me!

The irony – and consequent hilarity – of the song is conveyed through Elder Price’s conflicting desires to work as part of a companionship but also claim credit for “set[ting] the world’s people free” and “do[ing] something incredible / that will blow God’s freakin’ mind.”

An analogous (but not so hilarious) conflict can be observed in the LDS church’s gender relations. We are taught that we are all children of God with incredible divine potential, but half of us are systematically relegated to the role of “sidekick,” “mate,” or “side dish on a slightly smaller plate” based on biological characteristics over which we have no control. We are pushed to the sidelines to “WATCH” our brothers in the gospel be ordained to the Priesthood, preside, lead, and ultimately control everything about an institution that is comprised of nearly 60% women. This is why leaders feel the need to repeatedly reassure us women that we are equal companions in the work of our marriages, lives, and the church.

It only takes a quick look around – at our partnerships, pulpits, and leadership structures – to realize that we are being treated like the eager but naïve Elder Cunningham. Nowhere is this more evident than in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, which states simultaneously that “fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners”, yet “fathers are to preside”. Our leaders reassure us: “Heavenly Father has chosen you and me.” But actions speak louder than words and we hear the next part of the song reverberate loudly: “but mostly me[n]”.

A Father’s Day post

Posted by on Jun 18, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Yesterday, as I was tying “Dad! Tags” on bottles of Dad’s Root Beer to be distributed in my ward for Father’s Day, something occurred to me: There’s an abundance of church rhetoric that conflates womanhood with motherhood but none that similarly conflates manhood with fatherhood. A quick search on lds.org seemed to validate my impression.

Not surprisingly, Sheri L. Dew’s “Are We Not All Mothers?” immediately popped up. It remains the quintessential example of the way Mormons conflate womanhood with motherhood. “Just as worthy men were foreordained to hold the priesthood in mortality,” Dew asserts, “righteous women were endowed premortally with the privilege of motherhood. Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us.”

My search confirmed that fatherhood is certainly among the many important roles men inhabit within the context of Mormonism. But there’s the essential difference: Unlike motherhood for LDS women, fatherhood—and the church rhetoric surrounding it—doesn’t circumscribe Mormon men’s ability to function in a number of other capacities.

 

The idea that women have motherhood and men have priesthood has been employed throughout our history as an excuse for denying women ordination and more expansive participation in our religious community. Rather than questioning the inequitable system they inherited, men and women of good will tried to make sense of it. As a result, the rhetoric surrounding motherhood became bloated in order to avoid confronting the blatant inequality of an all-male priesthood. 

 

As we celebrate the fathers in our lives who have loved and nurtured us, perhaps it’s time as a church to examine our rigid assumptions about fatherhood and motherhood and how those assumptions affect our ability to thrive within our religious community. More often than not, I suspect we will find that many of the distinctions that divide us are ultimately unjustifiable. 

A Little Institutional Spring Cleaning

Posted by on Apr 21, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

What remnants of needless attitudes, practices and policies, particularly with regard to gender, do we retain simply because they’ve grown familiar and, as such, unquestioned? Perhaps it’s time to do a little institutional spring cleaning.

It usually takes a disruption in our routine thoughts and experiences to open us to needed change–a tragedy or an epiphany or something as mundane as a question or a conversation.

In Ordain Women’s Conversation Three, I wrote: “As we obtain more light and knowledge, our [lives,] institutions and policies should reflect that increased wisdom. Church members … play a part in this process. We ask questions and articulate the need for revelation.”

Similarly, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said that “… if we stop asking questions, stop thinking, stop pondering, we can thwart the revelations of the spirit. Remember, it was the questions young Joseph asked that opened the door for the restoration of all things. … How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know, but couldn’t get past the massive, iron gate of what we thought we already knew.”

On this Easter Sunday, Elder Uchtdorf’s remarks bring to mind the image of the open tomb–the stone rolled back, no massive iron gate concealing the revelation within. That women were the principle witnesses to this disruptively central event of Christianity further encourages us as a church to clean out the patriarchal cobwebs that keep us from imagining the possibility of a religious community without obstacles to women’s ministry.

Happy Easter, from Ordain Women.

Garden Tomb, Jerusalem

A Celestial Shout Out

Posted by on Mar 17, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Today marks both the founding of the Relief Society on March 17, 1842, and the launch six years ago of the Ordain Women website. We chose the date for obvious reasons. We’d like to think our 19th-century foremothers appreciated our nod to their efforts and, in turn, gave OW a celestial shout out.

RS_Party

We noted on our first anniversary that in anticipation of the OW website’s launch, “a handful of us called, emailed, begged and prodded friends and family members to consider going public—photos, names … and all—on the need for the ordination of women in the LDS Church. We knew there were many in the Mormon feminist community who had thought seriously about women and priesthood—some for many years, others more recently—and what going public might mean.” Though hundreds had previously signed the All Are Alike unto God petition calling on Church leaders to “thoughtfully consider and earnestly pray” about the question of women’s ordination, we recognized that it was quite another thing to proclaim one’s conviction in an OW profile and “commit to public action, particularly in a community that tended to confuse questioning with faithlessness.”

 

“As the first Ordain Women profiles showed up in our inboxes, … we were deeply touched by the courage, faith, trust, thoughtfulness and sincerity of the stories we read.” Now six years and over 700 OW profiles later, we still are. Our hope is that our profiles will continue to offer a positive vision of what women’s ordination could mean for the LDS Church and its members just as we found glimpses of female spiritual empowerment in the 19th-century blessings and conferral of keys to women recorded in the minutes of the Nauvoo Female Relief Society.

 

We also celebrate several initiatives that indicate our leaders are responding to the prayers and petitions of Mormon women for a more gender inclusive church, including:

  • A lowering of the age requirement and lifting of the no-pants policy for female missionaries
  • Women offering prayers in general conference
  • The announcement that the General Women’s Meeting is now a session of general conference like the Priesthood Session
  • The availability of the Priesthood Session to all through live streaming
  • A greater emphasis on gender-inclusive local councils
  • Significant, gender equitable changes to LDS Temple rituals
  • Efforts to separate priesthood from maleness by encouraging members not to use the term “the priesthood” when referring to men

 

As Ordain Women enters its seventh year, we look forward to more changes that reflect the radical inclusiveness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, including the ordination of women. Our profiles remain foundational to our efforts to encourage such changes, so please visit our profile pages and consider submitting your own. Happy Birthday!

“The Next Mormons”

Posted by on Mar 1, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

In The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church—due out today
—Jana Riess presents the findings of The Next Mormons Survey, an extensive
compilation of the “attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors” of current and former Mormons.
The results are revelatory.

Of particular interest to those of us concerned with gender equality in Mormonism is
that there appears to be “a clear divide between how older Mormons feel about
women’s roles compared to younger ones,” writes Riess. “For example, only 24% of
Boomer/Silent Mormons agreed that ‘the fact that women do not hold the priesthood
sometimes bothers me,’ meaning that the vast majority of these older generations are
not troubled by the restrictions placed on women in the Church.”

“It’s a different story for younger Mormons,” continues Riess. “Among Millennials, roughly six in ten say they are bothered that women don’t hold the priesthood, a jump of 35 points.”

“That’s just the picture among people who still identify as Mormon. Among those who no longer consider themselves Mormon, three-quarters are bothered by women not holding the priesthood.”

“What’s more, for many of the women in the former Mormon sample, this was a strong enough frustration that it helped to push them out of the Church. Among former Mormon women, ‘the role of women in the Church’ was the third most common reason cited out of thirty possible reasons for leaving the religion.”

“What we are seeing here is a generational shift,” concludes Riess. “The answers that have worked for [older generations] are less accepted among a generation that has grown up with women’s leadership being taken for granted everywhere . . . except at church.”

Are the Temple Changes Good?

Posted by on Jan 12, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Are The Temple Changes Good? Mormon Women Speak (Episode 19, 340)

Ordain Women Chair, Bryndis Roberts, joined the Rational Faiths Mormon Women Speak podcast (episode 19) about the recent temple changes:

Are the recent temple changes good? What has the response been from the Mormon Feminist community? Are apologies necessary for this issue? Is there further marginalization that has occurred because of these changes? How do women of color feel about these temple changes? What do these changes tell us about possible future paths for the church? Does it pave the way for women’s ordination?

Join Miguel and Lesley as they speak with Bryndis and Norienne about their perspectives on the recent changes to the temple ordinances.

***This episode contains a TW for spiritual abuse, temple triggers, and discussion of what some may feel are sacred aspects of their faith.***

Listen to the Rational Faiths Mormon Women Speak podcast episode online (also available to download).

You can also find it on these platforms: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS

Originally posted at RationalFaiths.

Divine Discontent

Posted by on Jan 6, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Lorie Winder Stromberg serves on the Ordain Women executive board.
 

LDS Temple in Salt Lake City UT

For those of us in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have struggled with the patriarchal inequities in our religious practices and policies, the recent changes in our temple ritual, many of which significantly address some of its gender inequality, are a long-awaited and welcome answer to the prayers and petitions of countless women. That the Church has asked us not to discuss them makes it difficult to process both the exhilaration and the years of anguish attached to such an announcement. It’s also unrealistic in the age of social media. As such, we’ve assembled links to a number of public sites that we think offer information and thoughtful responses to these changes.

The first is the Church’s official statement:

“Whenever the Lord has had a people on the earth who will obey His word, they have been commanded to build temples. Scriptures document patterns of temple worship from the times of Adam and Eve, Moses, Solomon, Nephi, and others. With the restoration of the gospel in these latter days, temple worship has also been restored to bless the lives of people across the world and on the other side of the veil as well.

Over these many centuries, details associated with temple work have been adjusted periodically, including language, methods of construction, communication, and record-keeping. Prophets have taught that there will be no end to such adjustments as directed by the Lord to His servants.

A dedicated temple is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Its ordinances are sacred and are not discussed outside a holy temple.”

The Church’s statement notwithstanding, the recent changes appear to be much more than mere “adjustments”. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that now “men and women make all the same covenants, or promises, to God, rather than separate ones. Women also no longer covenant to hearken to their husbands [or veil their faces]. ‘If you ask any faithful feminist what she wanted to change,’” one woman who participated in the new ceremony told the Tribune, “‘these hit the entire checklist. Every single complaint was addressed and fixed in a meaningful way,’ she said. ‘This was not a baby step; it was like a leap forward.’”

After listing a number of the purported changes, Religion News Service columnist Jana Riess wrote, “I can understand leaders’ desire to keep the changes out of the news if possible (though that is surely a losing battle in 2019), and I can also appreciate a reticence to explain the ineffable. One of the gifts of the temple has always been that we are free to exercise our own agency through prayer to determine what it means; no one in authority dictates its interpretation.”

“But,” Riess continued, “complete radio silence is inadequate in this case. As Emily Jensen [who is quoted in the post] pointed out, it’s particularly damaging to women if we don’t talk about the changes. ‘For as long as there have been temple ordinances, women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have borne the brunt of covenanting and acting in a way that seemed contrary to much of what they were taught outside of the temple about their relationship with the divine and the eternities. This has now changed. … We have to acknowledge the change. Because if we do not, we as a Church will continue to force women to bear the burden of wondering if they were wrong.’”

The Exponent II blog featured several guest and reader responses to news of the changes in a two-part “Sisters Speak” series. “Like many others,” wrote ECR, for example, “I’m so excited by the changes and the theological implications. … I’m also mourning my own experience, and how much better it could have been. … I need to sort through these feelings in a way that doesn’t use concealed and coded language. It’s difficult to be told by men not to openly celebrate or react to something that doesn’t impact them as much as it does us. Why minimize something so theologically monumental?”

Moss, another Exponent respondent, poignantly posted: “I’m in tears over this. So much pain and angst over this for the last 15 years. … And now it’s changed. And they’re not going to tell us why our suffering was necessary.“

Exponent reader ML added: “My heart is full of joy for these changes. To borrow from the lovely talk at last conference, I’ve felt a lot of ‘divine discontent’ towards the temple for a while now. To hear that so much has been fixed is beautiful. I know it isn’t completely fixed yet, not by a long shot, but I’m eager to attend after a pained hiatus and witness the changed ordinances firsthand.” She ended with a hope many share: “I can’t wait for the day that all has been made right and whole and safe for ALL of God’s children to attend the temple.”

See also “I Don’t Take Women’s Ideas and Claim Them as My Own–God Gave Me These Ideas. And In Completely Unrelated News Please Don’t Talk About These Ideas and Let’s Pretend Those Women Don’t Exist,” “Renewing My Vows,” “Temple, Gender, and Restitution,” and “She Who Speaks” at Feminist Mormon Housewives; “Let’s Hear It for the Boys! (and Other Shout-outs Re: the Temple Changes)” and “What I Was Supposed to See” at Sisters Quorum; “Standing Between Covenants,” “So. Many. Feelings,” and “Still Seeking Greater Light and Knowledge” at Rational Faiths; “A Mind Turned to The Mothers,” “Don’t Forget About Us,” “O Remember, Remember,” and “Another Perspective on the Temple Changes” at Exponent II; “Are the Change in the Temple Meaningful” at Zelophad’s Daughters

12 Days of Christmas

Posted by on Dec 26, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Lorie Winder Stromberg serves on the Ordain Women executive board.
 

White outline of a Christmas, with white lights and garland, The text reads OW 12 Days of Christmas. The "OW" in the text is the Ordain Women logo.

adapted image from Penelope Else on Flickr

Each Christmas, Ordain Women publishes a “wish list” of policy changes that, if decreed by President Nelson, would brighten the holiday season for all who yearn for gender equality in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Lightheartedly sung to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” we offer the list again–and will continue to do so in the coming years–until our religious community fully reflects the radical inclusiveness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Once again, a big OW shoutout goes to supporter Lori LeVar Pierce for recording the OW Twelve Days of Christmas so we can all sing along.

Traditionally, the twelve days of Christmas begin on Christmas day and end on January 5, the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany.

Merry Christmas!

(Or listen on our Youtube channel.)

Ordain Women’s Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…

Full gender parity!

 

On the second day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…

Mothers in blessing circles
and
Full gender parity!

 

On the third day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…

Women as witnesses,
Mothers in blessing circles,
and
Full gender parity!

 

On the fourth day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…

Equal children’s budgets,
Women as witnesses,
Mothers in blessing circles,
and
Full gender parity!

 

On the fifth day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…

Women interview girls!!!
Equal children’s budgets,
Women as witnesses,
Mothers in blessing circles,
and
Full gender parity!

 

On the sixth day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…

Wives, too, preside,
Women interview girls!!!
Equal children’s budgets,
Women as witnesses,
Mothers in blessing circles,
and
Full gender parity!

 

On the seventh day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…

Gender inclusive language,
Wives, too, preside,
Women interview girls!!!
Equal children’s budgets,
Women as witnesses,
Mothers in blessing circles.
and
Full gender parity!

 

On the eighth day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…

Lessons that quote women,
Gender inclusive language,
Wives, too, preside,
Women interview girls!!!
Equal children’s budgets,
Women as witnesses,
Mothers in blessing circles,
and
Full gender parity!

 

On the ninth day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…

More female speakers,
Lessons that quote women,
Gender inclusive language,
Wives, too, preside,
Women interview girls!!!
Equal children’s budgets,
Women as witnesses,
Mothers in blessing circles
and
Full gender parity!

 

On the tenth day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…

Women on all councils,
More female speakers,
Lessons that quote women,
Gender inclusive language,
Wives, too, preside,
Women interview girls!!!
Equal children’s budgets,
Women as witnesses,
Mothers in blessing circles,
and
Full gender parity!

 

On the eleventh day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…

Female financial clerks,
Women on all councils,
More female speakers,
Lessons that quote women,
Gender inclusive language,
Wives, too, preside,
Women interview girls!!!
Equal children’s budgets,
Women as witnesses,
Mothers in blessing circles,
and
Full gender parity!

 

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the Prophet could decree…

Women’s ordination,
Female financial clerks,
Women on all councils,
More female speakers,
Lessons that quote women,
Gender inclusive language,
Wives, too, preside,
Women interview girls!!!
Equal children’s budgets,
Women as witnesses,
Mothers in blessing circles,
and
Full gender parity!

 

How to Speak Up

Posted by on Nov 11, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Danielle Mooney serves on Ordain Women’s executive board.
Hand raised

It’s a typical Sunday. You’ve settled into a folding chair in a sunny corner of the chapel classroom. Your scripture app is open on your phone and you’re reading along with the Sunday School teacher. Then it happens. A fellow ward member raises his hand to share his pet theory on faith in eternal polygamy as a winnowing process for latter times. Or maybe you are in Relief Society and your neighbor shares her heartfelt testimony that women who work outside the home lack a strong testimony of the gospel.

From speculation about the origins or supposed value of the priesthood and temple ban for members of African descent to declarations about which U.S. political party Jesus endorses, a lesson, talk, or church activity can be quickly derailed and misinformation propagated by interjections like these. While it may not always be possible or feel appropriate to speak up in response, these kinds of assertions are often hurtful, incorrect, or alienating. In those instances, it can be vital to voice dissent. We often feel discomfited and motivated to say something, but in the moment, our minds may buzz blankly and our hearts pound with anxiety. What to do?

The solution is to make a plan in advance. If you create a script for yourself, responding in the moment no longer requires an extemporaneous response. You follow your script. And while none of us are likely to reach for the exact same words, a guide for your script might look like this:

1. Correct

2. Diffuse

3. Redirect

Let’s look at each component. First, Correct. While you may have a refuting fact on hand, this part is more about simply stating dissent. The point of speaking up is not to begin a debate and further derail and disrupt, so don’t get bogged down in argument. Select a key phrase or two and rely on them to structure your statements in the moment, such as: That isn’t true; I don’t see it that way; That’s inappropriate; I think that’s unfair. You may have a specific extension to one of these in the moment and that’s great (though remember that brevity will be most effective—you’re not giving a speech), but you can also stick with one of these simple examples as is.

Second, Diffuse. I bet everyone, including you, is feeling uncomfortable right about now. Contradiction can be hard even in settings that call for it, but it is especially so in environments where we tend to expect mutual concurrence, like church or family gatherings. That’s ok. The expectation that we will all acquiesce can allow for problematic ideas to flourish and that’s why you’re speaking up. At the same time, we usually do share some values and beliefs with the person or people we are contradicting and you can point to one of those to diffuse some of the tension and reorient the group around a shared principle. Some examples include God’s immeasurable love for every person, that most people do the best they can, that everyone has to develop their own faith and testimony, and no one is perfect.

Third, Redirect. In church settings, a script like this will probably be most helpful if you build it with the goal of re-centering the room around gospel basics or the topic of the lesson at hand. This step can further diffuse any tension, but most importantly it returns the group to reason everyone is together. We have limited time to worship on Sundays and people have spent time preparing talks and lessons. It’s important to address harmful comments, but ideally, we are doing so to uplift, include, and turn our attention to the heart of the gospel.

The resulting script in response to, say, the comment about the faithfulness of working women would then look something like this:

“I think that’s unfair. We can’t measure anyone’s faithfulness but our own. Every individual has to develop her own capacity to receive personal revelation. One thing I appreciate about scripture study, our topic today, is the guidance we can find from examples like Ruth on how to persevere in following God’s personalized path for us.”

Finally, remember that speaking up with ease and confidence will take practice. It’s ok to feel nervous and you may not always phrase things as eloquently as you wish you could. But, your goal is to make your ward more inclusive and healthier. Voicing dissent from a place of love models a valuable skill for your community.

Have you spoken up? How did it feel? What strategies do you use?