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SXSWedu Women Have Tough Conversations on International Women’s Day

Mar 8, 2017

LADIES (AND GENTLEMEN) IN RED: Educators in red blazers, shirts, dresses and lipstick gathered at SXSWedu for a chance to celebrate International Women’s Day. Unlike other meet and greets, which often take a light and celebratory tone, moderator Margaret Roth, the Chief Business Development Officer and Co-Founder of Yet Analytics, challenged the educators in the room to have vulnerable conversations.

International Women's Day SXSWedu Meetup

“Regardless of where you stand politically we are in a much different place, and we are facing a lot of different challenges than we were a year ago,” says Roth.

Conversations centering around equity, privilege and the Women’s Rights Movement quickly became emotional as participants shared intimate details about the pain they experienced as a result of the election and continuing political discourse.

“It [the political climate] really hits home with me because I am female, Hispanic, first generation American,” says Elia Simons, a second-grade teacher from Austin, Texas—with tears in her eyes. “If there were not things socially in place for me, I would not be where I am today.”

After feeling personally attacked by the political discourse, Simons hopes that gathering with other female educators will give her the motivation to support her students—many of which are refugees and immigrants.

“I see my students, and they are scared,” she says. “I see my girls, and they are not empowered. I see that every day in the classroom, and it breaks my heart. I am wearing red because I feel like I am on fire, and I need to be out there and supportive of everybody.”

Community

SXSWedu Women Have Tough Conversations on International Women’s Day

Mar 8, 2017

LADIES (AND GENTLEMEN) IN RED: Educators in red blazers, shirts, dresses and lipstick gathered at SXSWedu for a chance to celebrate International Women’s Day. Unlike other meet and greets, which often take a light and celebratory tone, moderator Margaret Roth, the Chief Business Development Officer and Co-Founder of Yet Analytics, challenged the educators in the room to have vulnerable conversations.

International Women's Day SXSWedu Meetup

“Regardless of where you stand politically we are in a much different place, and we are facing a lot of different challenges than we were a year ago,” says Roth.

Conversations centering around equity, privilege and the Women’s Rights Movement quickly became emotional as participants shared intimate details about the pain they experienced as a result of the election and continuing political discourse.

“It [the political climate] really hits home with me because I am female, Hispanic, first generation American,” says Elia Simons, a second-grade teacher from Austin, Texas—with tears in her eyes. “If there were not things socially in place for me, I would not be where I am today.”

After feeling personally attacked by the political discourse, Simons hopes that gathering with other female educators will give her the motivation to support her students—many of which are refugees and immigrants.

“I see my students, and they are scared,” she says. “I see my girls, and they are not empowered. I see that every day in the classroom, and it breaks my heart. I am wearing red because I feel like I am on fire, and I need to be out there and supportive of everybody.”

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