Happy 85th Birthday to Gloria Steinem!
Tuesday night was a real "life event" for me. I had the honor of helping toast THE Gloria Steinem at her 85th birthday party at my friend Brooke Neidich's house. Surrounded by feminists of all kinds, underneath the glow of the Greenwich Village skyline, and basking in the beautiful sounds of Ezinma's violin (she wrote all the string arrangements for Kendrick Lamar's Black Panther: The Album, nbd), we sang 'Happy Birthday' to this legendary leader. And, I woke up the next day wondering if it had all been a dream.
The most striking thing about the whole night was the total absence of that sometimes unnerving "you're in the midst of a striking celebrity" feeling that usually hangs in the air in the presence of such "larger than life" personas. Gloria herself was 100% engaged and interested in everyone around her - more so than she was interested in talking about her own life. After a very brief speech spent thanking people (her foundation's leaders, the hosts, etc), she insisted the ENTIRE room of women go around and introduce themselves to the group - to serve as a starting place for connecting with one another. And so we did.
At HER 85th birthday party, we went around and told one another who we were, what we did, and who we'd love to possibly connect with. And afterwards, I walked the three blocks home with an iPhone full of new wonderful allies. This is Gloria's greatest gift to us - connecting women and encouraging us to go forth and conquer the world together. What a beautiful legacy she has built and continues to build! Lesson learned? Just by bringing your women together and encouraging sharing and collaboration, you too can make a great impact in the world. It was so refreshing. We shall overcome the world's injustices by standing together for each other. Gloria, of course, gets it. xo Rachelle