by / Friday, 18 July 2014 / Published in Latest News

It’s been a while since I posted to my blog. You know, what can I say- I’ve been busy. But, I feel compelled to take a few minutes to write this. I want to say “You go girl” to a very inspiring young woman. I am inspired by #I AM JADA. No, that isn’t accurate. Inspired doesn’t even begin to define the amount of respect and admiration I have for her.  I am inspired and moved. I am motivated, emboldened, invigorated, and empowered.

At 16 I had the opportunity to stand up for something I believed was really important. I had the chance to make a difference. And, I took it. I did the right thing. I spoke my mind and let everyone know of the grave injustice. I had the love and support of my parents and initially the approval of my friends. I was strong. I was brave… for 48 hours. That’s how long it took me to fold. My cause was inconsequential and not even worth discussing compared to the injustice, pain and torment facing young Jada.

And, I couldn’t stand up to the peer pressure. Once my friends withdrew their support and I had to carry the burden all on my own, it quickly became way too heavy. I was quick to compromise my beliefs and justify the situation. It wasn’t as important as I thought, was it? I really was overacting wasn’t I? I could make do, work it out, not rock the boat.

And, I was fortunate. I grew up in the 90’s- before Twitter, before Facebook, before Instagram. All I had to contend with were whispers in the hall and notes passed in class. Nothing, like the complete disregard for privacy and immediate judgment faced by young girls, like Jada today.

I would tell anyone that moment where I made the choice to walk away from something I believed in so strongly, was a defining moment for me. I think about it even now and it makes me sad that I didn’t have the courage to go the distance. I am stronger now obviously, and if I had to do it all over again, I would have stayed the course but then wouldn’t we all. It’s not about the go-backs. It’s about being strong enough when you’re actually on the battlefield, all alone.

Jada is just one girl and I know there are many more like her. Many with the strength and courage to stand up for what’s right, no matter the consequence. I applaud you all. Girls, keep your heads held high and stay your course. It won’t be easy but you are future leaders and you are role models for even younger future leaders watching you. And, what a wonderful future awaits us when you, the leaders of tomorrow already possess this amount of will, determination and conviction at such a young age. You make me want to be more:

  • more courageous,
  • more compassionate,
  • more supportive,
  • more tenacious,
  • more dynamic,
  • more inspirational,

Just more!

2 Responses to “More”

  1. Cathy R says : Reply

    I am so inspired to complete my doll and book project.. IVE BEEN SITTING ON IT SINCE 2010!
    SACHA is so me … Fashion, cheering and yes I grew up to be a teacher! Can’t wait for the doll!

    • Kelie Charles says : Reply

      Hi Cathy-
      Thank you so much for your kind words and support. I am glad to hear it has encouraged you to move forward with your doll project. We definitely need more multicultural dolls . I’d love to help in any way I can.

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