CREW - PART 2 news


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Historically worn as a revolutionary symbol, our CREW berets were designed to Challenge, Resist and to demand Equality for Women. Our desire is to have each beret owner wear it as a symbol of uniformity as we combat and work to advance women’s rights and equality. We are all in this fight together, as a CREW.

These ladies pictured inspire us, speak their minds, take no sh*t, but do no harm. Each one has a story and one that is both inspiring and unique. Please read along as these lovely ladies talk about what it means to them to be a woman.


Erika Kirkland

Bio: My name is Erika (my friends call me EK) and i️ work as a cheerleading coach and sorority house director, and do my best to mentor women ages 14-22. I love to help young people push themselves, and consider it a blessing to have the opportunity to interact with so many amazing young women on a daily basis. i love spending time with family, traveling, and laughing until my sides ache.

1. What does it mean for you to be a woman?

To me.... being a woman is a privilege. women are both strong and soft, they are leaders, they are mothers, they are nurturers.... women have the ability to do it all, and make i️t look easy.

2. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

One of the largest barriers to female leadership, is a lack of confidence. There are so many women (young and old) who don’t understand the depth of their abilities.... It is important to remind yourself (and other women in your life) that you can do whatever you set your mind to! create opportunities to encourage the women around you!

4. if you could have dinner with any woman, living or not, who would it be and why?

I would love to have dinner with Misty Copeland! she has so much strength, class, grace and poise.... the amount of determination that she had to break into ballet at thirteen (which is seen as ‘late’ in the dance world) is so inspiring. She is encouraging young girls (of all ethnicities) to get involved in ballet, and i️ love it!


Besty Krumel

What I do: Intervention teacher at a title 1 school in Lincoln, NE.

What I love to do: read, design, create

1. What does it mean to you to be a woman?

We've all had experiences in our lives that have shaped our personal definition of being a woman. In my life, nothing shaped my interpretation more than opening a small business. While my business partner and I were seeking guidance from a non-profit small business support company, we met with two older gentlemen who made comments such as, "Two blondes? Who will be the brains of this operation?" and "Make sure you don't quit your jobs for this business idea of yours, you'll never make any money." meeting with bankers to secure a loan was no different. Reflecting on these meetings, I realized that I was pretty indifferent to these statements, I had just awkwardly laughed and progressed with our discussions. It was like I had become desensitized to bias directed towards women. Throughout the experience I came to learn that it is a natural characteristic for a woman to have to be vulnerable as our ideas aren't always taken seriously. But with this, women have a resilience that prevents us from giving up and encourages us to hold strong to our convictions. And we are emotional, the characteristic used most often against us is actually a strength; we value what we are fighting for and use our love for our cause as a tool of motivation.

2. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

The most significant barrier to female leadership is subtle but pervasive gender biases. Men and even some women hold biases that negatively affect the judgment of women's ability to hold powerful positions. These unconscious or implicit examples filtrate not only the public's opinion of women as leaders, but our own images of ourselves as leaders. I recently listened to one of our state senators talk about her experience meeting a woman senator years ago, then turning to her mother and saying she never thought she could be a senator because she hadn't seen many women in that role. From that moment, the trajectory of her career changed; she no longer assumed only men could be our community's principal players. As we are seeing more women hold office, run major companies and influence outcomes of political office races (thank you alabama african american women!), these biases are weakening. But even so, they are still there. We need to look for them, address them, and stomp them out to prevent biases continuing to be a barrier for women and minority citizens.

3. If you could have dinner with any woman, living or not, who would it be and why?

It might seem a little cliche, but I'd like to meet Hillary Clinton. One of the biggest reasons is because she's seen an advocate for children and families, especially of lower socioeconomic statuses, from the start of her career. She's done a lot of work with school systems which would make for a fascinating conversation about the direction of education in the united states. Also, her career has been filled with opposition, some of which I attribute to her being a female amongst many men. I'd like to talk to her about how she powered forward and didn't let biases influence her career. Finally, as she is now working to help young politicians advance their careers, I'd discuss the role people like myself can take to support future women leaders.


Erin Miles

1. What does it mean to you to be a woman?

It means everything; it’s my superpower.

2. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

Ourselves. Women, in general, are nurturers to those around them but often not themselves. It is easy for a woman to be harder on herself than anyone else is, which sometimes makes the obstacles ahead more ominous and challenging than they really are. However, when a woman loves and believes in herself, she has the tenacity, the gumption and ability to make her goals reality and get things done.

3. If you could have dinner with any woman, living or not, who would it be and why?

Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn was a renowned, respected actress and fashion icon. But she was much more than that. She built a humanitarian career based off of her experiences during the german occupation of world war ii and became the goodwill ambassador of UNICEF. During her later years, she went on many missions on behalf of UNICEF, bringing aide to numerous people in need all over the world. She was a strong woman who stood by her values and her resolve, all the while maintaining an air of grace, humility and genuine geniality.


Lauren Farris

Bio: my name is Lauren Farris! I am a photographer/videographer/all-things-visual person. Someone once described me as a hurricane with white hair. They weren’t wrong. I’m always going, doing, moving, dancing, drinking iced coffee, learning about the cosmos, playing with my sweet angel baby cat, asking someone if I can take their picture, loving, and drinking more iced coffee.

1. What does it mean to you to be a woman?

To me, being a woman has meant being a human being regardless of sex/gender and it has been coming to terms with and appreciating myself for what I am, and (arguably more importantly) what I am not. It is appreciating my soft spots while owning my strengths and desires and the drive it takes to allow those to manifest.

2. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

I think the one of most significant barriers to female leadership is the self-doubt that’s woven into us from a young age; the idea of little girls being warned about being “bossy” while little boys are praised for being “leaders.’’ I think it can be difficult for female leaders to break out of the mindset where they’re afraid of stepping on toes or being perceived as harsh or demanding. You don’t need anyone’s permission to be a boss, though. Stake your claim and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want and/or need. You are competent, capable and deserving of respect.

3. If you could have dinner with any woman, living or not, who would it be and why?

Honestly, I think my answer to this question would change weekly. Currently though, I would have dinner with Zoe Ligon, a totally badass sex educator from Detroit. Positive sex education and empowerment is something I have been becoming more and more passionate about and Zoe’s confidence and openness is something I find very inspiring and admirable. She’s also just outrageous and hilarious and I bet dinner convo with her would be next level.

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