What's Inspiring Me

Some Good News: Hamilton Cast Reunites

Thank you, John Krasinski, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and the original cast of Hamilton for this moment of pure joy and solidarity in these difficult times. Looking forward to watching the recording of Hamilton from home when it comes out on July 3!
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“Ode to Joy” by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

What is most moving to me about this rendition of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” is imagining the measure of faith the performers summoned as they tested out lighting and acoustics and camera angles—and prepared to play their hearts out in time with an orchestra they couldn’t hear for an audience visible only in their imaginations.
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Unlocking Us with Brené Brown and Alicia Keys

In this podcast episode, Brown and Keyes reflect on Keys’ personal story and share lessons about authenticity, vulnerability, and having the courage to listen to our voices.
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Serving the Needs of Americans During COVID-19

I’m inspired by the work organizations are doing to channel innovation and empathy into solutions for caregiving, paid family and medical leave, and mental health during this crisis.
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Seeking: Innovative Solutions for Elder Care

Every day Americans deal with unmet needs in caregiving, and women are often left to pick up the slack. It’s time for innovation around caregiving. That’s why my company, Pivotal Ventures, is partnering with Techstars to fund an accelerator focused on creative caregiving solutions for elder care.
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Over 2 Million Federal Employees Gain Access to Paid Parental Leave

Over two million federal employees will now receive paid leave when they become parents. This is an important step toward a comprehensive policy for all U.S. workers, and I’m grateful for the bipartisan support from lawmakers and advocates. I hope we continue to see momentum build this year, because no one should have to choose between a job and caring for a loved one.
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Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY is Disrupting Norms and Building Community

When I visited ARRAY's creative campus recently, I got to see firsthand how the team is disrupting norms and building community around inclusive creativity. By supporting and amplifying creators of color, they are helping to make diverse voices heard and importantly, urging us all to act to address the injustices we see around us.

Congratulations, Ava DuVernay and the entire cast and crew of When They See Us, for your win at the Critics Choice Awards.

World Polio Day

In 1988, the World Health Assembly set a goal to eradicate the disease and formed the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Since then, immunization efforts have reduced the number of wild polio cases by more than 99 percent. This past August, Nigeria—the last polio-endemic country in Africa—reached three years without a single case of wild polio.

That happened largely thanks to the fearless efforts of some 20,000 courageous women—community volunteers who go door-to-door to administer vaccinations to children. These women are on the front lines of the global fight against polio. On World Polio Day, I celebrated these true heroes fighting to #EndPolio once and for all.

How Smart Start is Empowering Girls in Ethiopia

While visiting Ethiopia earlier this month, I learned about Smart Start, a program from Adolescents 360. In rural areas with traditions of early marriage and pregnancy, Smart Start is empowering adolescent girls to think differently about how many kids they want and when they want to have them. All of the girls I met from the program told me they want to be mothers—and they want to be good ones. And now, they see family planning as a stepping stone to that and everything else they dream of.
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Artificial Intelligence for Social Impact

I’m inspired by the launch of Open Learning. It’s a free new program from AI4ALL that helps educators teach students how to use artificial intelligence to tackle problems they’re passionate about. AI is going to change our world—it’s up to us to make sure that change is for the better.
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Purpose Prize

Innovative thinking doesn’t stop as we get older—and this year’s winners of the AARP Purpose Prize prove it. It’s inspiring to see how they are using their life experience to solve problems and create a better future for people of all ages.
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"Many American Men Have a Skewed View of Gender Inequality," TIME Poll Finds

Here's a striking, if not surprising, finding from a new poll Equality Can't Wait conducted in partnership with TIME. An overwhelming majority of Americans believe gender inequality exists. But men don’t consider the problem to be as severe as women do.
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"Women Slowly Shifting to Higher-Paying College Majors"

An encouraging, new study has found women are slowly shifting to college majors that lead to higher-paying careers.
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Period by Emma Barnett

Stigma around periods can keep girls and women around the world from participating equally in school and work. Emma Barnett's Period is an information-packed and hilarious book that aims to change the conversation about periods.
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"Fearless" by Jean Case

If you want to change the world, it helps to be fearless. And if you need a dose of courage, look no further than Jean Case's collection of stories, evidence, and optimism. Pick up this book for yourself or a change-maker you know.
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“What Being Malala's Father Taught Me About Feminism”

"When a father begins a journey into feminism, believing in the worth of his daughters, he can change his whole family’s future." Highly recommend this beautiful piece from Malala's father, Ziauddin Yousafzai.
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“108 Women’s World Cup Players on Their Jobs, Money and Sacrificing Everything”

The New York Times surveyed more than 100 women World Cup players from 17 countries about what they earn, how they live, and how they got where they are today. Check out this beautiful piece, complete with photos taken by the players.
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“The Mental Load of Motherhood”

Being a mom is joyful—but it's also hard. Reading these unvarnished stories of motherhood made me think about my own doubts and fears when I was a new mom. When we all begin to tell our stories without fear or filter, a more honest picture of motherhood emerges—and things start to change.
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Brené Brown: “The Call to Courage”

There are few people who can deliver a "call to courage" quite like Brené Brown. I continue to be inspired by Brené’s wisdom and empathy.
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“The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo

I open The Book of Awakening almost every day—and years later, I still get something new out of it every time I turn a page. Mark’s writing helps me step back, be still, and center myself—particularly on days that feel especially chaotic, or when I need a moment of quiet.

"Alpha Girls" by Julian Guthrie

In her new book, Julian Guthrie shows what's possible for women and girls everywhere by highlighting the stories of ground breaking women in Silicon Valley.
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“The Faces Behind the 19th Amendment”

This new National Portrait Gallery exhibit features the untold stories of leaders who fought for the rights of all women to cast ballots.
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“This Is What A Philanthropist Looks Like”

The word "philanthropist" tends to evoke a certain type of person—from Andrew Carnegie to, well, Bill Gates—and that's got to change. Meet nine incredible women who are redefining philanthropy.
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100 million messages, 100 lessons

As founder and CEO Nancy Lublin puts it, Crisis Text Line—which provides free, 24/7 support for those in crisis— is “a giant love machine.” Read about what this incredible organization has learned over five years and 100 million messages.
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“Heartland” by Sarah Smarsh

I haven't been able to put down this memoir. Sarah Smarsh uses her personal history to challenge us to examine the effects of intergenerational poverty. Highly recommend adding it to your 2019 reading list!
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"When Women Control the Money, Female Founders Get Funded"

This New York Times article takes you inside a women-only pitch night and introduces you to some of the brilliant women who are founding (and funding!) the next generation of great companies.
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"Period. End of Sentence."

I was so excited to see an Oscar go to Rayka Zehtabchi’s important documentary “Period. End of Sentence.” I couldn't put it any better than Melissa Berton, one of the film's producers: “A period should end a sentence—not a girls education.”
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“When a woman speaks her truth, fires up her intention and feeling, stays tight with the instinctive nature, she is singing, she is living in the wild breath-stream of the soul. To live this way is a cycle in itself, one meant to go on, go on, go on.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estés