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LeadHERship | Honoring Female Leaders

March 15, 2023

Last week, BCF hosted its annual LeadHERship event in honor of International Women’s Day on March 8. BCF created LeadHERship to provide a platform for female leaders to share their stories and inspire action. This year's event honored women of color in our community, where they shared stories of oppression and talked about the power of resilience and healing. When discussing the work happening here in our community, Akuyea Karen Vargas said, "This community for years has been doing the work on healing and race equity. We have to keep breaking down these barriers, and we have to have race equity work. We can come together to celebrate each other, and we can build healthy relationships."

The reception was surrounded by Bainbridge Island Museum of Art’s Rosa Parks exhibit, which highlighted her power, humanity, and determination, along with her broader civil rights activism. BCF was honored to host this event and we are thankful for everything the speakers do for this community.    

When asked what gives them hope, panelists answered the following:

"People are showing up, and they want to hear these stories," – Carol Reitz, Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

"It's a feeling, actually, rather than being able to articulate from events or actions. There is an energy exchange happening here, and this movement on Bainbridge is what gives me hope." – Gina Corpuz, Bainbridge Island Indipino Community

“The Suquamish Tribe went from 130 in 1950 to over 1,100 today. And now the children are speaking the Lushootseed language better than their parents.” – Barbara Lawrence, Suquamish Tribe

"Children want to be valued for who they are… they want to have an identity, they want to belong. Our young people are now stepping into who they want to be, and they are focusing on truth and reconciliation. We need to keep talking." – Akuyea Karen Vargas, Living Life Leadership

Thank you to Puget Sound Energy for underwriting the event.