I had an extraordinary experience last week. I got to meet and listen to a woman who is an important part of our not so distant history. She’s a small woman, I had to create an apple box for her to stand on to make her comfortable at the lectern, but if she is small in size she more than makes up for it with her fiery passion and compassion and deep humanity. She touches you -- breaking though the cue calling and monitoring the camera shots -- and you listen. She is Dolores Huerta and she is the Working Mother Media Legacy Award Honoree 2018.
You might remember her as a recipient of The Presidential Medal of Freedom. What you might not remember is she, along with Cesar Chavez, launched the National Farm Workers Association, was instrumental in the enacting of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act and directed the National Boycott of California Table Grapes – something I still remember. Today, well into her 80s, she continues her work through the Dolores Huerta Foundation. She said that we all have to make change ourselves, not sit back and wait for others to do it for us. Then to illustrate she told a wonderful story about a woman farmer worker who did just that. She started by getting an auditorium built for her children’s school and then moved on to accomplish more exceptional things – demonstrating the power of belief in yourself and not waiting for someone else to do it. Her story was amazing
This was our 11th year working as the creative and technical producers of the Multicultural Women’s National Conference and as we worked through the footage of the event, preparing it for edit, I was struck by how lucky we have been to be associated with not only this event but all of the Multicultural Conferences. We have watched, and we believe done our part to make this event into a world-class forum on diversity and inclusion and so much more. As creative and technical producers for Working Mother Media it’s energizing, and exhausting at times, to participate in the construction and execution of an event, understanding, if you get it right, it has the potential to impact the culture of organizations and change individual lives.
For us “getting it right” means a lot of the standard things – making sure everyone is heard and seen at their best, the environment is inviting and supportive for both speakers and participants and so much more. It means listening and translating visions into reality and thinking about what the message is and supporting it in a way that delivers the desired impact. It means building an apple box so you can really see the wonderful expressive face of your award honoree above the lectern, making sure your keynote meets the stage management staff and has that quite moment backstage to gather their thoughts or going that extra step to build a briefing document and a rehearsal process that relaxes your award acceptors and their support staff. And the reward is you help people, you help deliver their story and celebrate their achievements, you know you make a difference and you get to meet and hear people who are making a difference. It’s inspiring and exhilarating and all the exhaustion melts away and you think, ‘God I love this – what’s next!’
We’re in the process of editing Ms. Huerta’s remarks and the remarks of the other wonderful keynote speakers and panelists from the conference. They will be able to be seen on the Working Mother website and we will be sure to let you know when they are posted.
Till next time, and we will make sure it’s not as long in between posts. Cheers!