Monday, August 24, 2020

Sam's Weekly Quarantine Digest #23: August 23, 2020

 Hi all,

As you've probably heard by now, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and women's right to vote.  There is so much that we take for granted every day, but it's important to take a moment to be grateful for all the incredible things we are able to do in our lives, and for the people who have made those things possible.

I have always found it important to have strong female role models in my life, and I am so grateful for what I've learned from them.  There are so many that it would take a book to acknowledge them all, but here are a few: At the age of the 14, I started working for my congresswoman, who to this day remains an inspiration for me.  She was a trailblazer in so many ways, and she also showed me that I could do anything I chose in my own career, no matter the norms or the obstacles in my path.  At Google, the legal department was full of female leaders, and I learned from them how important it is to support each other even when we're also in competition with each other - that group of powerful, successful women supporting each other as peers was amazing to see and undeniably effective in their leadership.  In my law firm interviews, I encountered a female IP litigator who had earned an engineering and computer science degree from MIT in the year I was born, and who had survived big law to become a partner at a time when that was still quite rare - and yet was also one of the most humble and kind people I met throughout that process.  And last but certainly not least, my own mom has always been one of my greatest role models, showing me that you can be a leader, a mother, that person who accomplishes more in a day than it should be possible to do, and yet still be one of the sweetest, most generous, and most compassionate people I have ever met.  I love you, Mom.

It's also been incredibly important to me throughout my life to help others follow in my own footsteps and stand on my own shoulders to keep the march of progress going.  When I graduated from college, my first job was founding and running a nonprofit organization empowering women in many aspects of their lives, including building out a women's center offering a wide range of services like GED programs, childcare support, and budgeting classes, organizing countless events for young women to draw inspiration from the celebrity founder, and offering scholarships for female entrepreneurs.  Throughout my career, I've also found mentoring to be incredibly rewarding and inspiring - I take it very seriously and I do my best to provide the same kind of support my own mentors have provided to me throughout my life.  Many of you reading this email are law school mentees from various organizations and activities, and I hope you've found my candour and support to be helpful - I think it's so important to hear about and learn from others' mistakes and experiences in forging your own path.  Finally, I try to set an example for those who look up to me by becoming, little by little, the kind of woman I look up to - I'll always be a work in progress, but if I can inspire other women to achieve something more than they otherwise would have, there's nothing I would be more proud of than that.

Take a moment to reflect on the incredible women in your own lives, regardless of your gender, and to appreciate both how far we've come and how far we have yet to go when it comes to gender equality.  It's incredible that pretty much any career path is now open to women, and I am so grateful for everything I've been able to accomplish in my life and for the glass ceilings I've been able to break, and for the fearlessness that came from hearing about the Suffragists and the Feminists and all the other women who came before me.  And yet in the 244 years of our country's history, this is only the fourth time we've ever had a woman on a major party's presidential ticket (Hillary Clinton as a candidate for President, and Geraldine Ferraro, Sarah Palin, and now Kamala Harris for VP) - and none have won yet.  And so, I encourage each of you to think about a woman you're in a position to support or inspire, whether that's your daughter or your friend or your mentee, and to reach out to them with a message of encouragement this week.  We all succeed when everyone among us feels brave enough and powerful enough to accomplish our dreams.  I, for one, can't wait to see what the next 100 years bring.

Previous digests can be found on my blog at  If you have suggestions or would like to stop receiving these emails, just let me know.


Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment
  • Check out this comprehensive celebration from the New York Times, complete with tons of historical information, a contemporary play celebrating women's suffrage, and even a board game that provides a glimpse of the road to the passage of the 19th Amendment.
  • If you're not familiar with the women's suffrage movement, this site features bios of 20 key suffragists - and note that not all of them are women!
  • This Wednesday, a statue will be unveiled in Central Park honoring Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  One of the most incredible facts about this statue is the fact that it is the very first in all of Central Park featuring nonfictional female figures!
  • Check out this article featuring the stories of women of color who helped fight for women's right to vote.
  • The right of women to vote was the result of a hard-fought battle.  Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity!  Listen to a group of female NYC politicians discussing why women should vote this year.
  • Looking for a gift for your favorite young woman?  Try Rosie Revere, Engineer - it tells the story of a young girl who loves to invent and has to find the courage to share her talents with the world.  I've gifted dozens of copies since I first discovered it a few years ago, and the author and illustrator duo have come out with a whole series of related books that look equally inspiring.
  • For children looking for some inspiration, tune into the NYPL's storytime from last week that featured U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand reading from her book Bold and Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote.
  • Were your ancestors suffragists?  The NYPL has created a guide featuring a variety of resources to help you trace personal and local connections to the suffrage movement, while expanding upon traditional narratives and highlighting the experiences of suffragists whose contributions have often been overlooked by history, including African American, immigrant, and working class suffragists.
  • Looking for your next book?  The NYPL has published a list of Essential Reads on Feminism, and they even have a version for kids as well.
Recipe of the Week:
  • Peach Sorbet: Slice 8 peaches into 8 slices each, and peel each slice.  Process the slices, along with 1 cup sugar, in a food processor, scraping down sides occasionally, until smooth.  Add 1 tbsp lemon juice to taste.  Pour into a baking dish or a container of your choice.  Freeze overnight, or until firm.

No comments:

Post a Comment