5 Fascinating Women I Would Love to Chat With for an Hour
I remember almost two years ago working on my Barnard supplements and trying to figure out which woman I would choose to have coffee with and what I would want to talk about. My mind was spinning with so many women I look up to and so many different questions I could ask. With that in mind, I decided to compile a list of 5 women who I would love to get the chance to talk to today, some of which I have learned about and connected with through my time at Barnard so far. I hope this inspires some of you for your responses to the supplement question, and that you learn more about the incredible work these women have done and are continuing to do.
The Mirabal Sisters-
The Mirabal sisters were four incredible women from the Dominican Republic who were widely known for their heroic opposition to the Trujillo dictatorship. 3 out of the 4 of them lost their lives because of their actions against the regime. If you’re interested to hear more about their story, I recommend the book In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.
What I would ask them: Where did you find the courage to fight back against such a male-dominated, sexist regime at a time where women were not seen as leaders? What advice would you give other women trying to push back against the structures holding them back? What is your favorite part of being Dominican?
Priyanka Chopra is an Indian actress, singer, dancer, philanthropist, and is credited with being one of the only Indian actors to break into Hollywood with her show Quantico and movies like Baywatch. Outside of her career she is a UNICEF global ambassador and focuses a lot of her time on empowering other women, especially young girls, to follow their dreams and helps them get the resources they lack.
What I would ask her: You were named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world, how do you use your platform to raise awareness for the issues you’re passionate about? What have been your biggest challenges since coming to the U.S. and how do you deal with adversity?
Zora Neale-Hurston was an influential African American author and anthropologist whose work is associated with the Harlem Renaissance and focused on racial struggles in the South during the early 20th century. She is also a Barnard alum (‘28) who paved the way for many women interested in pursuing their education.
What I would ask her: Where did you find the inspiration for your writing and what inspired you to begin your career? What did you find special about your time at Barnard and how did it shape who you are?
Sharice Davids was one of the women who made history this past midterm election, she is the first openly gay person representing Kansas at the federal level AND she is one of the first Native American women in Congress. Davids is a member of the Wisconsin-based Ho-Chunk Nation and has lived and worked on Native American reservations. She also previously was an MMA fighter which she has seen as a huge part of who she has become and her power as a woman.
What I would ask her: What inspired you to run for office and how did you find the courage to make such a huge transition from being an MMA fighter to a member of Congress? How has your Native American identity shaped your aspirations and where do you find your strength?
Gabrielle Gregg, also known as Gabi Fresh, is a plus size body positive influencer, entrepreneur, and designer. She began her career by building a media presence focused on empowering women of all sizes to embrace their bodies and not hold back when it comes to fashion. She has created a swimsuit line, a lingerie brand, and Premme clothing which all focus on making clothing for plus size women.
What I would ask her: Where did you find the confidence and strength to create a career focused on women embracing their bodies? How do you combine social media and activism and what advice would you give to other women who want to become influencers?