Six Ways To Be Woke During Women's History Month

03/07/2017 11:43 am ET Updated Mar 15, 2017

It’s Women’s History month, and we’re in very strange times. America is more divided than ever before, and executive orders and bills are being signed, daily, that will erase one hundred years of progress.

There’s never been a more important time to be a woman, except maybe during the women’s suffrage period, pictured above, when women were fighting for basic rights to be considered equal as men and to obtain the right to vote. The Women’s Suffrage March occurred in 1913, the same year my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., was founded. Black women also marched then, but at the back of the line. Like those times, it is particularly important for women of color to be woke during these times.

I’m a mother of three sons, but If I had daughters, I’d be clear with them that this is not the time to fall asleep behind the wheel. It’s time out for worrying about fairy tale endings. It’s time to reject the mainstream’s obsession with hairstyles, make-up, fingernail polish, fashion, and social media, although I know we all need a break from the movement and the struggle from time-to-time. My own natural hair is in full-blown transition mode as I type, but I have refused to become obsessed about it.

If I had girls, I’d tell them to love their brown skin, their nappy hair, and their body size and type. I’d assure them that they’re perfect just as they are, although I’d encourage them to work-out as much as possible because of its positive impact on their state of mind and their bodies. I’d tell them to wear whatever they good-well pleased. Sure, I’d say, relax and enjoy a little fashion, make-up, and hairstyle relief. Go to a mall from time-to-time. But know it is just trivial relief from what’s important in life.

I’d tell my girls that the time is now to go deep, to be woke, and to make sound decisions that will be impact the rest of their lives and will shape their communities for decades to come.

If I had girls, I’d share six ways to be woke during Women’s History Month:

Be Absolutely Clear About Who You Are. This will take some down time. You’ll have to listen, be open to receive new information. Perhaps, get a mentor. Invest the time to get clear. Even though I’m ____ years old, I have a new mentor, and I’ve just re-written my “I Am” statement.

Know Your Gifts and Talents. We’re in crazy political times, and we all must work hard to protect our democracy. But the way to eliminate the stress of doing your part is to know your talents and gifts and donate those to a cause you care deeply about. I’m donating my love of communicating and writing to my local political resistance movement.

Value Yourself, Regardless of Failures. We’ve all been disappointed in life, been rejected, or missed a boat or two. It’s called being human. Dust yourself off. Get up. Keep moving forward with your life. I want to sell a television pilot idea and script, but it hasn’t happen yet. But I’m moving forward with producing a multi-media, state of the arc, project that I’m really excited about. Keep moving.

Do Not Compare Yourself to Others. Social Media is a toxic waste-pool when it comes to this. Limit your time on social media and increase your time praying, meditating, and exploring ways in which you can uniquely express who you are. My husband made love to me in front of a fire place during a Women In Hollywood Awards’ show. That took the edge off of comparing myself to the Hollywood stars. Haha. Afterwards, I laughed out loud.

Surround Yourself with Supportive People. By being active, politically, I’ve met new friends who see me as I see myself at a time when it is so important for me to bring new people in my life. Make sure you cultivate friendships with people who support you. There’s nothing that will zap your energy more than being around people who don’t get you or don’t like you.

Attend Events Where You Can Receive One-on-One Attention and Care. It’s time out for one size fits all worship, school, events, and care. It’s time to be face-to-face with people to exchange ideas. Women need to look into the eyes of others and have them look deep into their eyes. We need to speak and allow our voices to be heard. We need to listen to the voices of our peers and our elders. I’m hosting a Do U: Everything Begins Within Residential Retreat at my place this weekend with a few wonderful women.

Meme Kelly shares at www.memekellyinspires.com

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