Honoring Badass Activists

 
 Left to right: Lesley Bauer with EC Gold | Yael Kanarek with Jennifer Flynn Walker

Left to right: Lesley Bauer with EC Gold | Yael Kanarek with Jennifer Flynn Walker

Gifting Three Resist Necklaces

Last week, I made a Facebook post offering to gift three Resist Necklaces to women activists in celebration of the Women’s March. The fantastic response from compassionate women and men endorsing inspirational women for their resilience and leadership came from many corners of liberal activism.

We deliberated in the studio and eventually selected four women who represent incredible organizations: Lesley Bauer (Paveitblue); Jennifer Flynn Walker (Center for Popular Democracy); Tarana Burke (Girls for Gender Equity); and Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum from Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York City.

Lesley Bauer, alongside three other women, created the Atlanta-based organization PaveItBlue. As Director of Activism, she campaigns for progressive candidates in Georgia’s 6th District. EC Gold was the first to comment with her support for Lesley, celebrating her as “an inspiration to me and thousands of others.” Adrienne Twain-Witton seconded EC’s endorsement, adding that Lesley’s work has “galvanized a group of badass women who are doing the work, flipping seats, running for seats, and fighting against discrimination all over Georgia.”

Jennifer Flynn Walker co-founded Voices of Community Activists and Leaders (VOCAL-NY) and currently directs the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) Mobilization and Advocacy program. A strong LGBTQ* advocate, she has worked in providing housing during the 1990s HIV/AIDS crisis and trained hundreds of activists since. Lorna Gottesman endorsed her for her tremendous work “help[ing] folks organize locally and national, stay engaged, focused and fighting back.” Jennifer’s persistence, especially on the streets of NYC, helps those who are without home or healthcare.

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Tarana Burke originated the #MeToo movement back in 2006 while she was working with young women of color in marginalized communities. She is the current Senior Director at Brooklyn-based Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) and was featured as one of the “silence breakers” in TIME’s 2017 Person of the Year. It’s no wonder Judy Richter praised her and her movement as one that “completely upended the patriarchy this [past] year.” Tarana Burke has given voice to millions of survivors across the country.

To Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, I gifted a Be Light Necklace for her leadership in Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST) and solidarity with the Muslim community. "Under her leadership as Senior Rabbi, CBST has become a powerful voice in the movement for equality and justice for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and is a significant force challenging the radical right’s dominance over religious and political life in the U.S. and around the world." Rabbi Kleinbaum shows us time and again how spiritual-religious life and universal values of equality and liberty for all, are one.

And then we marched, and it was seriously amazing. Communities and generations were crossed to unite over a shared political agenda. This gives me hope and strength, knowing there are people all over the world who are in on this fight. We stand in solidarity.

Moving forward, it’s my hope for the future that KANAREK continues to expand and gift more. I love that our jewelry can connect people and celebrate the work of amazing women.

Who are you most inspired by these days?

Best,
Yael

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Yael Kanarek