On today’s podcast, I’m taking a bit of a departure from business owner lady bosses, and instead reaching out to the activism community. There is a lot of political turmoil that is dominating the news right now, and a lot of ideas from many communities on-line. There are many of you who might find yourself in a position now where you want to become more involved in the activist community to enact change. That’s why I think today’s guest is so important to be included as an awesome Orlando Lady Boss.
Anna Eskamani is the Senior of Public Affairs of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. However, Anna is also very involved in a lot of other aspects of the activist community. I loved having Anna on to discuss not only activism, but Planned Parenthood, what it is about, and why it is important for both current and future lady bosses out there (even if you’ve never used any of their services yourself).
1. Start Small by Understanding and Telling Your Story
Anna first got involved with Planned Parenthood because of her need as a teenager. She is an Iranian-American and learned pretty early on in her life that the political is personal. She took a women’s studies class at UCF, and her worldview started to change. At first, she wrote about her own experiences in the world, which helped her understand her own experience more.
Planned Parenthood helps train people to find the strength to tell their own stories.“Your personal story is so powerful, and being able to share it is so important.” Anna said to me. Storytelling is so important in activism. It helps change other people’s minds, and that’s why Planned Parenthood provides outlets to those who want to learn how to use their story to make positive changes both politically and socially.
[bctt tweet=”“Your personal story is so powerful!”” username=”@orlandoladyboss”]
2. Embrace Discomfort
Any new experience “can be uncharted territory for you and can be a little intimidating,” Anna told me. She said the reactions you’ll get – both good and bad – can be unexpected, but don’t let negative interactions stop you. “When you are fearful to speak is when you must.”
3. Power is Neutral
“We should embrace the power of our voice, and learn how to express ourselves,” Anna told me on the podcast. She stressed that power is neither a good thing nor a bad thing; it just is. People use power for good and bad, but wanting power shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of. There is enough room for everyone to work together in order for us all to gain power.
4. Planned Parenthood Helps Women (and Men!) at Many Life Stages
While Planned Parenthood mostly makes the news for the minuscule portion of their services dedicated to abortion services, they actually have a varied and expansive list of services they offer to women and men at all stages of their life. Some examples of services I didn’t know they offered are: vasectomies for men, hormone replacement therapy for transgender people, miscarriage support, and menopausal services. Their goal is to create a safe, nonjudgmental and nonstigmatized place for people to seek the care they need.
5. Self-Care is Important in Advocacy Work
“You should not measure your success on your exhaustion,” Anna told me. Advocacy work can take a lot out of you on an emotional level, and it’s important to find outlets to let off the steam and tension that might come from this type of work. As important as it is to keep fighting for what you believe in, it is equally important to make sure you have playtime in your schedule. “Find the moments of zen that gives you the break you deserve.”
Links from the Show