Visioneering the Future
By: Dr. Adia Winfrey
The definition of women’s empowerment has changed dramatically over the course of 200
years. From seeking the most basic rights, in the earliest days of women’s empowerment, when
Sojourner Truth declared “Ain’t I A Woman,” to Ida B. Wells taking to the streets with Susan B.
Anthony guaranteeing women the right to vote in 1920.
Women with a call on their lives to be the light, by shifting systems are nothing new. But with the
advent of television, cinema, and print media, demanding accurate portrayals of girls and
women has become just as relevant, as the causes championed by the earliest advocates of
women’s empowerment.
During the last decades of the 1900s, women like Maya Angelou, Madonna, Oprah Winfrey, and
Ellen pushed the boundaries of what women could say and do via the media. Through the
literary arts, lyrics and visuals, behind the scenes positions, and on-screen roles, women of the
1980s and 1990s redefined womanhood through media. This wave opened doors and
normalized the women’s empowerment movement of today.
While embracing their femininity, and in the spirit of the trails blazed by the Idas, Mayas, and
Oprahs, women are elevating their positions in media by exercising their gifts. Women like
Beyoncé Knowles Carter, a mother, wife, and entertainer who has become an ever-growing
inspirational leader through each partnership, visual album, groundbreaking tour, and
documentary she releases. And Karen Civil, a visionary entrepreneur who revolutionized the
business side of music and entertainment, while embracing her femininity, sexiness, and
connection to Hip Hop culture. In the first two decades of the 21st century, the world has
witnessed women claiming our agency, kicking in centuries old boundaries that limited the
moves our foremothers could make.
Women are creating narratives through media and technology that speak to the diversity that is
us. Ensuring this progress increases, is why #SeeHer, a movement that recognizes the media’s
influence on how girls and women view themselves, remains important.
Yesterday’s glass ceilings are today’s elevated platforms, positioning women for an even
greater meteoric rise, as we enter the third decade of this new millennium. Cheers to the girls
and women who are the storytellers, light bearers, and media moguls of the future. When you
see her, salute!
Dr. Adia Winfrey is an author, Doctor of Psychology, and mother of 4. In 2018 she was a U.S.
Congressional candidate and was among the 70 Black women who ran for office in Alabama.
She has been featured on MSNBC, JET Magazine, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, and NPR.
Learn more at letsgethype.com.

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