Dialogue and strategizing to move forward took place in the Frank Ogawa Plaza at the Women's March in Oakland, last Saturday.  

More than 75,000 people who walk different paths in life, took a stand to bring all important issues to the forefront in order to unite together to make a change. 

Five women expressed their concerns and revealed how change starts from within.

Here are their voices! 

Serving as a free listener for a community project, Sidewalk Talk, Myisha Hill speaks on how uniting as one can break the generational gap of division. In addition, she is the founder of an organization, Brown Sisters Speak, which focuses on mental health by empowering black women to speak on their mental illness. 

Q: How do you think us uniting together as all women, walking different paths in life, regardless of weight, size, or color, can help us move forward?

A: Uniting as women as a whole will help us bridge the gap of what's missing. You know for far too long since African American women were slaves there was a division with the slave owner wife and us as black women and women of color.

I think by uniting we can break that generational gap of division, coming together, supporting together, and just rising above everything and just bringing it together because the woman is the head. 

The women have the power to bring everything together. So whether your black, latino, or white, if we came together we can actually help move this country forward. 

Q:  What are some issues that you hold close to your heart and how are you making an impact in your daily life?

A: I’m the founder of Brown Sister Speak and we're mental heath organization for women of color. Empowering them to speak up about their mental illness, share their mental health story because in doing so it breaks the stigma, it breaks the shame, and it helps them walk into their power. 

So part of my work as an advocate is to be able to inspire and educate us on how to do so. So whether if it's giving a webinar or workshop on how to tell your story. Whether it's me being venerable, visible and sharing my story, it's just the whole empowerment and advocacy piece on mental health, because we don't talk about it in communities of color. My heart is in the work. 

Q: How do you express your creativity and femininity? 

A: I love wigs and weaves and I'm just going to be real and say that so I express it through my hair. I’m a single mom of three so I'm just now getting back to getting comfortable with my body.

 I’m trying different fashion trends that work for me so tight pants and a crop top. So exploring my sexuality which is something I haven't felt in a long time and just letting it shine through,  through what I wear, my hair, and my makeup, when I do wear it. 


Jhanelle Rivera