I’m sure this seems a bit unusual, but today, I want to acknowledge and recognise three women who have positively impacted my life, as well as two men! After all, without women and men, no-one would exist… We are on this planet together, after all, and although there are many women and men who have influenced my life than I will mention today, as an activist, the few I am going to refer to here are often the reason I get out of bed. Rosa Parks, pictured here (image from Wikipedia) was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. The US Congress has called her “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”
My widowed aunt, Mavis Casey, is the next truly remarkable woman to have significantly influenced my life. She turned 92 in January, is still living alone, continues to volunteer at her local church, and each and every day, since about the age of 5, has been my metaphorical ‘rock’. Her wisdom, her love, her kindness, and her quiet way of encouraging, working and volunteering has had such an impact on my life, I find it difficult to find the words to express how much she means to me, and, importantly, how she has influenced me. I love her, with every cell in my body. My great grandmother, my aunt’s grandmother, had a similar impact, even though she died when I was about 10 years old. The photo here was taken of us at her 90th birthday celebration.
Two men also continue to inspire, apart from my husband and sons. Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. regularly motivate me to keep speaking up for anything related to social justice and human rights. King was an American minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his assassination in 1968. He is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, and was also inspired by Gandhi.