Growing up, being friends with girls was sometimes difficult. Not always, but there were certainly narratives that would involve phrases such as:
- She thinks she’s better than me
- She thinks she’s cute
- She thinks she is so smart
- I just can’t stand her
Truthfully, sometimes these things were being said about me and sometimes I was saying them about other girls. From secret three-way calls, to notes being passed around school, there just seemed to be an air for competition even though I did not always have the language to describe it.
As I got older however, I realized this competition wasn’t the way it had to be. In fact, particularly to some credit of social media, there is now a desire for “collaboration over competition” and it is something I can definitely get behind.
There is an organization called ACHI which is defined as “strength in sisterhood.” The entire organization’s premise is women supporting women. Each year during gala season, they have an awards ceremony in which women can nominate other women to be recognized for all of their magnificence in categories from best makeup artist, hair stylist, entrepreneur of the year, author of the year, etc. If you can think of a category in which women can be honored, they probably have it listed.
Unbeknownst to me, I have been nominated two years in a row for categories such as educator of the year and volunteer of the year. In 2018, I won Volunteer of the Year and in 2019 I won Woman of the Year. I was astonished each time, but for me it was not about the awards.
What I felt during each ceremony was a strong sense of unity amongst a large group of diverse women across the Charlotte and Triad regions. I wanted to bottle up those feelings and carry them with me every day. I realized that I can do just that by making it a personal goal of mine to work with women, support them, and encourage them.
So today, I want to encourage you to do the same. That “yaaaaaaas sis” in the comments of that Instagram post may not seem like it goes a long way but trust me it does. Uplift the women in your life. Support their dreams. Pray for their strength. Encourage their mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. If we don’t have each other’s backs who will?
Learn more about ACHI here: https://www.wswassociation.com/ and nominate someone for next year’s award season tour!
In addition to them, check out another organization while you’re at it: SheE.O @she.eoinc on Instagram.
In the meantime, drop suggestions of other organizations and shout them out for the work they are doing encouraging women to support women!