Woman to Woman is a program dedicated to fostering connections between women and enriching women’s self-growth. Women gather monthly to enjoy activities, guided conversation, dinner and reflect upon their life experiences. Together we redraw traditional conceptions of leadership, imagining how our creativity and unique experiences as women may inform how we carry ourselves and express our voices. Our group composition is eclectic and testifies to our commitment to celebrate and benefit from the diversity in age, experiences, backgrounds, and self-understandings among us.
During our monthly Tuesday night meetings, we break out into small group circles to engage in a variety of activities: we eat together and then draw on our individual memories, collective wisdom across our differences, creativity exercises, and helpful resources to reconceptualize the role of leadership in our lives. We recognize and affirm that leadership looks different to everyone, and by considering its meaning in this community, we gain new insight about what leadership can look like. Additionally, the circle format, which combines structured activities and informal conversation, frees participants to form relationships with those they enjoy and to enhance their own introspection by listening to and discussing experiences with others.
For 2013, Woman to Woman has chosen to consider creative leadership specifically through the mode of storytelling. Why storytelling?
- Self-awareness: We come to know ourselves through intentional conversation with others.
- New community: We organically create new community and new friendships and resources as we explore our stories with one another.
- Power and leadership: By owning our stories—by controlling how they are framed—we ensure that our stories do not own us. We live more fully, more vibrantly, into the roles we may already have and perhaps look for new ones. We find ways to bring our creative presence to our diverse roles and relationships.
Storytelling might be more broadly conceived. We informally engage in storytelling even when not focused on an activity. Our conversation around issues, life challenges, and our self-understandings all weave a larger story about us as individuals, as a community, and as women.