So many of us are trying to find ways to make a difference in our communities, sometimes politically and other times for social issues. We do what we can, but of course change can happen a little more quickly when those with slightly higher profiles decide to get involved with causes.
More Magazine Editor-in-Chief Lesley Jane Seymour is a supporter of CARE, a humanitarian organization dedicated to fighting global poverty. CARE recently held its annual national conference to help teach women how to lobby and approach lawmakers on behalf of some of the poorest women around the world. Seymour thought it would be a great idea if she could convince a group of her readers to attend the conference with her, so she launched the 40 Over 40 Making a Difference effort, which ended up being 50 Over 40!
50 MORE readers accompanied Seymour to the conference to learn about how they can lobby Congress on behalf of the poorest women around the world, with the focus being on securing the positions of women in their families and communities to better their economic situations.
Just days after conference, over 25 new co-sponsors in Congress signed on to the Child Marriage Prevention Act that was in the works, which is important because one of the goals of this year’s CARE conference was to bring attention to plight of so many girls around the world who are forced into marriages at incredibly young ages.
While Seymour was heading back home on the train after the conference, she took some time out to talk with me about why she thinks she, as a magazine editor, should be promoting women’s activism.
“We have the power and the time to help. It’s our obligation to change the world and our readers want to help do that,” Seymour said. “But to do that, we have to know how the legislative process works and get Congress to work for us.” And that’s where the work of the Care National Conference came in, teaching her and other 400 others how to navigate Congressional offices on behalf of causes they believe in.
Seymour talked with the “50 Over 40″ who accompanied her, and said so many were anxious to be more involved in helping to make change for women around the world.
“These women said they had all written checks to charity in the past, but that just giving money alone didn’t feel tangible to them. They wanted to work on a project that could do something with a specific impact,” said Seymour right before she almost missed her train stop because of our chat!
If I had been paying more attention, I would would have signed up for the Care conference, since it was held in Washington, D.C. Because what better information to have as Mothers of Intention, than knowing how to get doors opened and phones answered in the offices of our lawmakers. Just think what we could accomplish if more of us knew how to get that kind of access.
Maybe we should ask Seymour for 60 Over 40 next year?