Thank you to all our sponsors! Shopkeepers Gallery was our venue, Maketto for all the grub, Kicheko Goods for providing jewels and discounts, Republic Restoratives for amazeball drinks, and Dana Myer for leading the discussion! From the smallest kindness towards a stranger to sharing time with a loved one; from creating a global campaign to starting an organization; all these acts matter, make a collective roar, and make a difference. Together, we can embrace our power and shake the world.
Seda Nedak | Shopkeepers Gallery
"I spent all of my 20's trying to be as socially and politically active in Cambodia, I even followed Obama when he visited in 2012 in an effort to raise awareness on the elections and land evictions. After a lot of different stints with different domestic and international organizations, I realized I needed a platform to make a difference beyond just being passionate. When you focus on building your own foundation, you discover a new way to present your message that could be more effective and genuine."
Dana Maier | Illustrator
"It’s no surprise that there’s a hunger for thoughtful conversations instead of superficial small-talk-y ones, so it’s great that Behold.HER is there to give you permission to say, “hey, let’s talk about how we REALLY feel instead of how we’re supposed to feel!” And it was inspiring to get to know such a unique batch of women. It seemed as though everyone there was thinking bigger than herself: "what can I add to the DC creative community? How can I make things better?" I'm genuinely touched I got to be a part of it." ⠀
Kate S | Republic Restoratives
"I've spent a lot of the last year trying to discover who I am through my ever-changing conception of "strength". I used to think this word meant the absence of weakness, but I find now - through not only looking inward but surrounding myself with powerful, inspirational women outwardly - that strength is actually the acknowledgment of that weakness... and the humility to ask for the support and collaboration to combat it. I drew strength from the women around the table tonight, and I will carry that with me in all the weaknesses to come."
Sussanah Compton | Florescent Perfume
"I've spent a lot of the evening listening. I realized as I get older I've become more of a listener and less of a talker from what I used to be when I was younger. I think being a listener suits me. I feel like it can be a service to pay it forward to others to be there to listen. It's also something I'm trying to do for myself, and it's really difficult to do. Making time to turn inward and hear your own thoughts and voice and heart, that's something I'm finding incredibly important and valuable and try to make time for.”
Sarah Bayot | Kicheko Goods
"Making a difference can be an intimidating topic and cheesy to talk about. But hey I like a challenge. :) so a little about me - faith in God and faith in humans have been a part of my life since I was a child (thanks to super religious Filipino parents haha) but if I'm honest, I've been on a spiritual journey the past couple years and that has led to a lot of reflection. I think making a difference doesn't have to be big or scalable or systemized. I believe that anyone and everyone can make a difference - no matter how momentary, small or hidden it is. don't get me wrong, I think big organizations doing big things and replicable things deserve props - it's not easy to keep that soul and be effective when you grow but with this particular campaign, I want to encourage everyone that their "difference maker moment" doesn't have to be big or forever. I bet there's someone out there who only you can reach whether that's your fam, your friends, your community. Women hold a special place in my heart because we're so powerful and full of complexity and beauty and potential but there's a lot around us in culture and old systems that tell us we can't, we shouldn't, or we're not enough... or even more confusing, we're too much. As women, we internalize that and convince ourselves we are not worthy or deserving of the opportunity, a good life, full freedom, love love, love. So we're in our own heads battling the monkeys, how can we make a difference for ourselves and for others around us? I think making a difference means being connected to the universe, loving yourself and loving others. All of it. I hope this campaign and these portraits inspire more difference maker moments and that people walk away remembering that their difference doesn't have to be gargantuan but it just needs to be."
Rosa | Barber
"I hope that I made a difference just tonight, and touched someone's life... that was the goal because I feel like we all need that little push here and there and the support more than anything. I think what's really important is to become a better person by being self-aware and resonate with others who are going through a tough time they see that she can get through it."
"In our conversation what I recognized is that I still don't know who I am. I knew this before, but what I can do to make a difference is tuning into that and just taking control of that process, whether it's introspection or taking some alone time. I need to recognize what I want to do and less of what's expected of me."
"I think that diversity is so important. I want to be an inclusive person. I love to immerse myself in different cultures and people from different walks of life. What I appreciated about tonight is that everyone comes from something different and we're essentially here to share the same things but from different perspectives. I think that's really powerful. I believe that's the driving force of creating change. Whether that's in yourself, your community, or relationships, it doesn't matter; we will all take away different things and take that to our own spaces. I think it's beautiful that a group of women have this candid and organic conversation that will translate into something bigger. I appreciate that we're all willing to express ourselves and authentically say our opinion. I appreciate that there was a safe space created because I think that's hard. I think it's important to be a part of things like this."
"Is it possible to give back if you're not able to take care of yourself first? I think we were all grappling with "how do you embrace the feels and allowing yourself that space to really grow and to forgive yourself, be patient, and become your own best friend. I think it was really great to hear women talking about going through very similar struggles and listen to their advice and tips - everything that they brought to the table was awesome."
Torie Partridge | Cherry Blossom Creative
"I think one of the biggest things that I heard from all the different women tonight is we ALL struggle with finding ways to value ourselves as individuals and just the fact that each of us matters so much and is deserving of such great care and such great tenderness from ourselves and others, it's something we need to be constantly aware of and remember."
"I think this is really good for me. I'm very much an introvert. I definitely cherish my alone time and I'm very good at having a relationship with myself; I want to be the observer. But I think it's good for me to try and focus on being present and being a part of the conversation instead of enjoying my space on the outside. Enjoying observing, I think I struggle with being very involved and being a part of the conversation. I have an Art History background so I'm an observer to my core I guess. I think even if I lack the confidence it's important to butt into the conversation. I think with my job I talk so often to people that when I have my down time I want to be alone and it's seeing that as a joy and not just a task."
Carolyn Misterik | Matine
"The big take away - the theme that keeps coming up over and over and over again, given that we're a group of women, no one is taking care of themselves first. I've mentioned that the airline metaphor of putting your own air mask on first, but wow, we all just give and give and give and don't even realize a) what we are already doing to make a difference and b) having to take care of yourself first. Every single person keeps coming back to the same idea of "OH I need to take care of me" and I think when we do that, that will help us move forward with really making a difference."
"It's amazing to come to a thing like this where I feel like most of the things that I have been thinking about personally have been talked about at the table. It's been the perfect intersection of people who have been in a job that they've really liked or didn't like at all and made a jump that took courage and took some confidence or just maybe a little bit of stupidity. But I’m finding myself at similar crossroads of being out of school for a little while, enjoying a job, but not necessarily having it be THE job or maybe it's not a job in the first place. I’m now taking time to think about that and to be inspired by those who have thought about it and acted on it."
"I am struggling right now with being uncomfortable with things, along with feelings that come up in my life. I just struggle with it, but I'm trying to work on being more gentle with myself. None of us like being uncomfortable but all of us feel like that at some point in life. It's normal. Being gentle with yourself can be hard and I don't feel like it's something I'm used to, but what's important is that I am trying to learn."
"I volunteer with teenagers. That's my side gig; I don't get paid to do it, it's just something that I always felt like I was made to do. I think we are totally accountable to the generation that's coming under us and it's really important to take time to take care of ourselves. I remember being a teenager and walking down the street and these women who were dressed in their power suits and looked put together. Their lives seemed totally figured out and girls look at us and see that. They see the way we carry ourselves walking on the street when you think nobody's watching, but there are. The girls that I work are awesome but they also go through a lot of stuff and I know that I'm making a difference just by talking and listening to them...watching them grow up in this crazy world...so when I think of making a difference that's what comes to mind."
“One of the things that we talked about today is really reflecting on what it takes to fill yourself up enough to actually do something in the world. I don't think a lot of us take time to really do that. I noticed a lot growing up and saying "I am worthy because I am doing these things..." I think that accolades become a trap for us too, because we live for that affirmation beyond what we're actually doing. It ends up being more about the trophy and I think that's not the way we should live. We should live based on the impacts that we can make. Sometimes it's just a conversation with a stranger, it's not something you can Instagram. Actually, I have found lately that smiling at a stranger is helpful; it brightens my own mood. Appreciating the little things can make a difference, even more than saving the world through social good. Every single interaction is an opportunity to make a difference in somebody's life. I think we need to take the pressure off a little. Focus on what's happening in the moment with who you're interacting with on a daily basis.”
"What I'm taking away from this conversation is to continue to be self-aware and realizing when I need a little more me time, but still being able to push myself and be like the amazing women that are around me tonight. Being able to realize the difference of when I am doing something just because or when I'm doing something because it's meaningful, I feel like those efforts is what helps me make a real difference."