I’m Excited-My Spoken Words Are Affecting Change!

In honor of Women’s History month, I wrote a poem and then read it in my monthly drumming/spoken word circle. The response surprised me. I am an advocate for human rights, and one of my missions is to empower women. I’m tired of the disrespect and abuse and the second class rating women hold in America and around the world. My work is to help women show up in their lives and not be held back. The words in my poem speaks to this. We women are smart, strong, and capable of doing and becoming anything and everything. And we shouldn’t be overpowered, hurt, disrespected and demeaned because others think they have the authority or power to inflict pain on us. The audacity for anyone to even think they can! I want women to begin saying, “Not Anymore!!!!”

I was surprised at the response of my group, because even though this was June of 2012, somebody in the group knew about the One Billion Rising event that was to take place in February, 2013. And that person said, “This poem is so great, we should do something for the One Billion Rising event next year!” And somebody else said, “Yeah, I can write a rap to that!” And somebody else said, “Let’s get a bunch of drummers together!” So, from the intention of preparing something for the OBR event 7 months away, things really unfolded.

My spoken word group came together and decided we would create something magical which would have an important offering to the community for women and girls around the world. We collaborated weekly to get our performance down to be able to take part in this important global event. Alongside my poem, a rap was written which led to 18 drummers accompanying us. At the center of the performance is a woman in chains who is journeying toward freedom as I speak the words of my poem. She vocalizes a loud sound that releases the burden of all women and girls who have been abused and violated and squelched. She accepts the invitation to rise! It’s deep and powerful to witness.

My poem speaks to what Eve Ensler is calling for with One Billion Rising-ending violence toward women and girls all around the world (below are excerpts from the poem). If you need to be uplifted and empowered and held by so many women and men allies around the world, you will want to see our Sisters Rising performance piece,  Rise, My Sister, Rise! We were the finale at the One Billion Rising event in Petaluma on February 14, 2013. Check out our YouTube-One Billion Rising Northbay/Petaluma on my Multimedia page!


Rise, My Sisters, Rise

Too many women have been abused, squelched, denied, imprisoned.

Afraid to rise.

Afraid to show their fierceness,





And their creative capacity.


Come on women.

We have work to do!

This one down position must end.

No more hiding.

No more deferring.

No more playing lesser than.


Rise, my beautiful sisters.

Rise with me.

Let’s rise together.

Let’s be fierce together.


No more following.

It’s time for you to lead.

Our settling days are over.

Reach out to your sister.

Help her up.

Support her.

Let her know she’s not alone.

The time is now!


When you change the way you think,

When you change the way you feel,

When you change the way you act.

Then others have no choice but to change.

So I invite you.


Rise, my sisters, Rise.

Release yourself from the spell.

Rise with me.

My beautiful sisters.

Rise! Rise! Rise!



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