7 Lessons From Bermuda

7 Lessons From Bermuda


This past week I had the opportunity to present at the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute’s (IBWPPI) Annual Retreat in Southhampton, Bermuda. While there, we met with an intimate group of women leaders representing five countries across the globe. I had the honor of being one of the workshop presenters. My session was toward the end of the retreat so I’d spent the days learning and growing from the inspirational women present. Right before I took the stage, I remember thinking “What in the world am I doing here? Who let me in this room with these women? What if they find out I don’t really know what I’m doing?” Almost immediately, I read over some notes I took during previous sessions. It occurred to me. We’re all in the fight toward justice – together. No one is above, beneath or below the other. God allowing me to enter the room and take a seat at the table is in spite of me, not because of me. Like one of my Haitian sisters said during her presentation, “The load is much lighter when we carry it together.” So with that, I grabbed mic and the rest is HERstory.

Below are some learnings from the retreat, and from the moments leading up to my presentation:

1. Have presence. Any room you enter, believe that you’re supposed to be there…because you are.

2. Sit down. When The Lord prepares a table before you, you’ve only to have a seat. And feast.

3. Respect your elders. I journeyed with my village (IBWPPI): a group of 15 women I love and adore, who (after God) can take all the credit for the woman I am today. They’re not old enough to be my elders, but I respect them as such. When they call, I come.

4. Respond to the need. It’s easy to give the type of empty assistance you’re comfortable offering. Instead, what would happen if you asked hurting communities what they need, and then met that need by strategizing sustainable solutions to prevent the problem in the future?

5. Do the work. There are no shortcuts to progress.

6. Listen. Then respond accordingly.

7. Stay ready. So you don’t have to get ready.

Remember, God loves you and so do I,
Ebonee

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Ebonee Speaks was born at the intersection of Jesus and Justice. We are a global ministry committed to illuminating the voices of women and girls who have been silenced. Our charge is to honor God through our gifts, social justice advocacy and kingdom living.
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