“I’d rather be under-estimated than over. I know what I’m capable of and what I had done in my life and if people want to think that I’m just a grandma, well they can. But I’m not just a grandma.” ~ Teresa Shook
If you heard my chat with Teri Waros of Moloka’i, you would have learned that Moloka’i is a pretty special place. It somehow manages to throw all the right people together and things just magically align there.
I had numerous magical moments but one of those was that I happened to be there the very day that Teresa Shook, the founder of the Women’s March, and I’m talking THE founder of the worldwide Women’s March, was there. She was visiting from Maui, where she lives. And she was there for one day to speak at a small event at Teri Waros’ bookstore. Though I had a busy schedule, I did have a chance to pop in and meet Teresa and spend a little time at her event.
We didn’t have time to record just then but, as luck would have it, she was headed to the Seattle area where her son lives. So although we didn’t get to speak in Hawaii, we were able to arrange a convenient time while she was on the mainland.
I knew from just the little bit that I heard during her event on Moloka’i that this was going to be a special conversation. Teresa’s an interesting woman on a lot of levels. I mean, how could you not be as the founder of the Women’s March, right?
But as we dug into a bit of her history, the environment in which she grew up and how she never seems to take no for an answer, you begin to understand how the women’s march could have grown so large.
We, of course, talked a lot about the Women’s March, including what motivated her to start the event and the power of women showing up en-masse. She talks about how she pushed back against some of the initial naysayers who at first told her it wasn’t possible.
Although she was on Facebook, she had to learn how to create an event really quickly in order to get the Women’s March rolling and she talks about how Facebook initially shut down the event on their platform because so many people signed up.
We also talked about her theory of how 53% of white women could have voted for the current president. And you’ll want to hear about that because she says out loud something I’ve thought but couldn’t quite put into words.
Outside of the Women’s March topic, we meandered into some other areas including how she didn’t accept a doctor’s diagnosis that she was going to be blind in six weeks’ time from a rare eye disease. She refused to believe him and overcame it by sheer will and, later, through stem cell treatment. Though that was just a small segment of our conversation, that might have left the longest lasting impression on me.
She also talks about how she gets motivated when someone tells her she can’t do something—and keeping her eyesight is just one of those examples.
Prior to my speaking with her, I asked listeners what they wanted to know so she answers a variety of questions from what inspired her to start the march and to how that positive energy can be sustained.
Please enjoy my conversation with Maui resident, grandmother, retired lawyer, kick-ass woman and Women’s March Founder, Teresa Shook.
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Other things you might find interesting
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Fearless Girl by Anthony Quintano