Setting Up the Ladder

A letter to the Feminists and the Intersectionalists, the Woke and the Open Minded, the Experience-Disclosers and the Forward Thinkers, the Skill-Seekers and the Talent-Sharers, the Nasty Women and the Warren-ites and the This-Is-Not-Normal-izers, the Marchers and the Congress Callers and the Internet Activists: Thank you.

Thank you for being your bright, brilliant, positive, strong selves—thank you for letting yourselves "sparkle." From the very first enthusiasts to the brand new members, thank you for your support of HerChesapeake—support, really, of each other. Each of you has something unique to give, whether a skill, an experience to learn from, or an outstretched hand. Thank you especially to the Founding Officers—Stephanie Smith, Catherine Krikstan, Joan Smedinghoff, Emily Morrow, Emilie Franke, and Natalie Gardner—without whom, HerChesapeake simply would not be. These women have dedicated many post-work weeknight hours brainstorming, envisioning, and building the HerChesapeake future, sacrificing valuable free time with friends, family, pets, and Netflix. I am sincerely grateful for your commitment and creativity to the benefit of HerChesapeake's members.

Today, International Women's Day, HerChesapeake celebrates the collective "us" of the present, past and future who hope and dream ambitiously, think critically, problem-solve conscientiously, and act earnestly in the pursuit of environmental protection and social inclusion. 

As we focus forward on our common goals of support, growth, and connections, let's reflect and build upon the lessons of those who have gone before us. As Laura Boykin, one of the 12 Badass Scientists photographed below, notes, "When I see this image, I realize I will never be alone again. I also think about all the young females in science who can stand on our shoulders, because we will be providing a ladder for them." With HerChesapeake, let us help extend that ladder, so that women working in the watershed feel the support of those around them and have the room to grow into the important work that they're doing.

Happy International Women's Day!