Thank you An and Elise for introducing our panelists this evening!
Dr. Rose-Mockry will be our facilitator this evening. We will be talking about activism and feminism...
Now to introduce our panelists!
Gail Finney (KS State Legislature) has been in the legislature for over 10 years. She is proud to represent African-Americans in Kansas, and says part of her inspiration for running for office was to address racism in her community. She has overcome severe health issues on her journey, which led her to be a champion for healthcare. She acknowledges some of the difficulties of advocacy work, but encourages us to "have perseverance, fight, and keep coming back."
Stephanie Mott (Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project), currently a trans* advocate, says she spent her childhood pretending to be someone that she wasn't. After a struggle with drugs and homelessness, she has achieved the path to her authentic self. She now works as a psychotherapist, specifically focused on LGBTQ+ populations.
Fatima Mohammad (Council on American-Islamic Relations) was born in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and then grew up in Idaho. In sharing her story with us, she says stories are important because they allow us to "connect via our heartwaves." She was raised with an activist mindset, becoming active with environmental groups, Planned Parenthood, and other groups. At Boise State University, she worked with anti-racism advocacy, and increasingly saw the importance of intersectionality. "What matters is we have all partaken in a struggle, which has united us," she says.
Paulette Blanchard (Absentee Shawnee) is from the Medicine People, and graduated from Haskell Indian Nations University. She says she has always fought for the underdog! Issues she is passionate about include climate change. At one point, she brought 33 out of 63 Indian tribes in her region together! She is inspired to be a mentor and to practice intersectional feminism due to her past, having experienced racism and "token Indianism." Blanchard says "it takes all of our voices" to effect change.