Women Lead Arkansas, Inc.
P.O. Box 250558
Little Rock, Arkansas 72225
BOARD MEMBERS: We want women and men of all political persuasions to join us. One of the few requirements is that you believe women should be better represented in politics, policy, and leadership. That is non-negotiable.
Our current board is composed of these extraordinary people:
Lisa Carver, Moxie Consulting
Amanda Denton, PPGMR Law
Alexandra Rouse, Prosecuting Attorney, Pulaski County
Yendel Jones, Consultant
Nic Williams, Law Student, Bowen School of Law
Stephanie Harris, Founder
My journey to Women Lead Arkansas was a meandering one. I was raised by a feminist and I have always been a feminist, although it was not until 2012 that I acknowledged it out loud. I did not disavow feminism. I just did not think about it consciously.
Looking back, I can see that I knew women were not treated equally, even though I didn’t think about it as discrimination. I wouldn’t wear pink. I didn’t want to be treated “like a girl.” I always used a firm handshake and looked people in the eye because I wanted to be taken seriously. I wanted to be one of the guys, and I hated baby showers and other girly things. Despite my deep insecurities (which I still work on), I felt like I had to be strong.
On February 6, 2012, I went to see Geena Davis, who was in Little Rock as part of the Clinton School of Public Service’s Speaker Series. I didn’t want to go. I loved Thelma & Louise and everything it stood for, of course; I’m just not that into celebrities. But, a friend wanted to hear her, so I went.
It changed my life.
When she said that the United States was “ranked 90th in the world as far as female representation in government,” I could not believe it. I always thought the U.S. was a leader for women’s rights and participation. Not so.
Then I took my 14-year-old niece to a screening of the documentary Miss Representation, which is about how women and girls are represented in the media. That film should make every person who watches it sit up, open their eyes, and demand better for our girls.
Once I started paying attention to everything around me, I realized that the work of my foremothers was not yet finished, and it was up to me to pick up the baton for the next leg of the feminist movement.
And what does that mean, “the feminist movement?” It means we still have a lot of work to do, because women only account for about one-fifth of our elected officials. We are still not thought of as leaders. We are afraid to negotiate our salaries or to speak up in meetings. Our girls are killing themselves with eating disorders. We still blame sexual assault victims. We “have it all,” which often means we just do twice as much work, but still for less pay. The list goes on.
Ready to run? We’ve been training for this for generations. Help Women Lead Arkansas carry the baton forward, for us, for our families, and for our communities.