Living in Metro-Detroit definitely has its perks around this time of year... only 4.5hr drive to Chicago, Toronto, and all Michigan up north oases.
This early Spring, I took a long-weekend trip to Chicago (where weather conditions can be risky), and I was blessed to have 2 days of full sun and 64 degrees, then of course the next 2 days were snowing. I can't be too shocked, because Michigan is known for its unpredictable drastic weather changes. Anyways, we took full advantage of these beautiful 2 days and enjoyed all of the colorful tulips around the city!
This weekend didn't initially turn into a Women Empowerment Weekend... I was exploring the city with my boyfriend who lives out of the country. As we are both interested in philanthropy and entrepreneurialism, we were looking for events & seminars that spoke on these topics.
Only two hours before the event started, my boyfriend had found that Melinda Gates was speaking at the Chicago Humanities Festival at 11am. Tickets were sold out, we still had to get ready for the day and take a 30min uber to the UIC Dorin Forum. Determined to get there and hopefully find someone who was selling tickets, we showered and hopped into an uber! Arriving 20 minutes before everything started, I was approached by a woman out of the blue who asked if I had a ticket and said she had an extra! Completely meant to be. However, we were also on the scout for finding one more ticket for my boyfriend, which we were also able to snag. He has always taught me that things happen to those who take action. I love this, because I believe that when we see a wall, often we just give up without even an ounce of effort to find a way through.
Chicago Humanities Festival
This speaking engagement lasted about an hour and it was so inspiring to see a woman of such power to be a humble voice for the millions of women living in countries that are silenced because of government and gender biases. We got to hear some of her stories and it was really fun to hear about this particular story;
When Melinda & Bill had their first child, their house was 1 hour from the school that both Bill & Melinda wanted their child to start school in. Melinda's concern of spending 4 hours a day to drive their child to and from school, brought up a question to Bill to just change schools to the school closest to their house. Bill was opposed to the idea and then offered to take their child to school in the morning twice a week. Melinda was surprised, because the school was in the opposite direction to Microsoft. However, that is what Bill ended up doing! As time passed, one day when Melinda was at the school and another school mom turned to her and asked, "do you notice anything different?" Melinda then answered, "yes, there are a lot of dad's here!". The mom then said, "the women noticed your husband was taking your child to school, so when they went home they told their husbands that if Bill can take his kid to school, then so can you!"
I love this story, because its amazing how if we see one person take action that it can lead to domino affect.
When we entered the Forum we received a hand painted bag with a signed copy of Melinda's book inside. After finishing the first chapter of the book, I am hooked on the inspiration of really what small steps can lead to leaps within philanthropy and making a difference in the world. The Moment of Lift speaks about her journey into philanthropy and becoming a voice for women empowerment. There are endless inspirational sentences, in the first chapter I came across this one;
"If I didn't fill my schedule with the things I felt were important, other people would fill my schedule with things theyfelt were important."
At some point, everyone experiences this... especially when you are younger and finding your way and career path.
The book is filled with stories, her personal experiences, and life lessons that should be shared with the world. All of the proceeds from the sale of her book will go to the organizations listed within the book that she is inspired by.
Now, the next steps for Matcha Fit Tea will be to get in touch with the Gates Foundation and contribute to their mission that All Lives Have Equal Value.