I cannot imagine a woman more deserving than Dr. Tererai Trent, her likeness one of ten life-size bronze statues unveiled in New York City on Women’s Equality Day this past August 26, 2019.
Australian global public artists and activists, Gillie and Marc Schattner, revealed the statues of these inspirational women on 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) that glorious summer day! Their organization, Statues for Equality, is on a mission to achieve gender balance in public statues worldwide. In NYC prior to their unveiling, only 3% of the statues depicted females; this climbed to 10% on August 26.
With much work left to do across the globe, Gillie and Marc invite nominations for inspirational women and welcome artists worldwide to join the movement. As it says on their site, statuesforequality.com, “Gender inequality is one of the biggest issues we face today. Women are still paid less, given less opportunity to rise to higher positions, and their successes overlooked. We cannot reach our full potentials if half of the population are not allowed to flourish.”
I plan to keep a very close eye on this project, for sure!
Here’s my original piece on Dr Tererai Trent’s remarkably inspiring book, The Awakened Woman:
I expected Tererai Trent would go into more detail about her personal story of accomplishment against all odds, but I had no idea how much wider and deeper her book would span than any one woman’s story.
As I read, Tererai’s words resonated with me and reinforced why my sister and I decided to create our Nasty Women Writers site, highlighting women who worked so hard, stepped up, spoke out, did whatever they were called to do for the benefit of us all. In the words of Tererai’s wise and beloved mother, “Every dream has greater meaning when tied to the betterment of the community.”(Trent 52) .
You may have heard of Tererai Trent. She has appeared on talk shows, podcasts and more. Her story should be included in the dictionary definition of the word PERSISTENT. But she is diligent in reminding us over and over that she did not accomplish her goals alone: “I feel the energy of generations of women before me rising up in celebration, chanting, and ululating,”(206) and here, “We need the wisdom of those who have traveled the same paths, these women pathfinders, the torchbearers, the ones who have been silenced but have found their redemption against all odds, claimed their own voices, and then remembered those left behind”(154).
Tererai, born in a “cattle-herding village in Zimbabwe”, a child bride with four of her own by age eighteen, has much in common and much to share with all of us, even those of us who ride the subway or drive spiffy cars to work each day and toy with decisions of where to live and whether to marry or not. The differences seem vast, but as sisters, Tererai reminds us, the connections are profound and vital: “My sacred sisters, regardless of our differences, perhaps shaped by class, race, gender identity, and geography, ultimately there is one thing that makes human beings profoundly fulfilled – it is life with meaning”(5).
Throughout the book, Tererai asks her readers, What is your Great Hunger? She explains, “The Great Hunger is liberating and energizing; it enables us to move beyond immediate gratification and toward fulfillment. The Great Hunger inspires us, leading us to discover new ways to grow, to give, and help others”(4).
Tererai’s book does much to whet our appetite and instruct us as to what it takes to satiate our Great Hunger. This purpose and fulfillment lead to a healthy wholeness, for us as individuals, for our communities and ultimately, for our world.
Sisters unite! Read this book and share it with others, and brothers! As Tererai says, “It is not about men verses women, but the ideas and practices that celebrate masculinity over femininity. The world can be a better place if we eradicate this unequal value system and bring more love, more light, and more life into all places where we experience silencing or invisibility”(211).
I noticed it says Self-Help on the back cover of the book and although I understand why it is categorized as such, I have to chuckle because its focus is on so much more than the self. The self is but the starting point to all things great.
The Oprah Winfrey Show ran for 25 years and hosted over 30,000 guests. Oprah chose Dr. Tererai Trent as her most impactful guest. NUMBER ONE! If that doesn’t shout something about this brilliant, brave woman who speaks her truth, our truth, from her heart and soul, then nothing does.
Dr. Tererai Trent is a Nasty Women Writer and Activist and we thank you.
© Maria Dintino 2019