We just wrapped up our Spring Empowerment Conference!
The theme of this years conference was Be Gutsy, inspired by our keynote speaker Caroline Paul, who recently wrote a book for pre-teen girls about the value of adventure and bravery. Paul talked about how we condition young girls to let their fear keep them from having adventures, all while encouraging young boys to be brave. “When girls become women, this fear manifests as deference and timid decision making” (NYT). She talked about her joy in having adventures, from firefighting to skydiving to writing a book.
The rest of the Empowerment Conference week was filled with events designed to empower and inspire the grad women of MIT to Be Gutsy. We had a belly dancing class. We had a movie night featuring a 14 year old girl who traveled around the world alone. We had a panel of women at MIT who do “Extreme Science” (including two awesome grad students, Laura Stevens and Mariana Matus, and two of our science heroines, Susan Solomon and Nergis Mavalvala). And much more. It was incredible. Thank you to POWER and WIC for collaborating with us for the conference!
We were inspired by the speakers and workshops at the conference – and by the amazing group of women who helped plan and put on the conference – to be more gutsy in our own lives. This Tuesday, after the conference, the GWAMIT Executive Board volunteered for MIT’s CityDays. We were assigned to Habitat for Humanity and, incredibly, we actually helped to build a house. We learned a lot about this amazing organization which provides affordable homes for low-income families. And by the time we left, there was wall sheathing and housewrap on a home that had not been there before. We are so proud of that. Check out the rest of the MIT 2016 events this month!
We encourage you all to Be Gutsy, and seek out adventure. It is such a rewarding way to live.