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Ideas

What’s Next for TARRA: Women Who Create

By December 3, 2016 No Comments

What's Next TARRAA word from TARRA’s founder, Kate Bailey.

“May the election of Trump bring forth the fiercest, smartest, toughest generation of ass-kicking women this country could possibly imagine.” —Jeffrey Wright

The dust has settled enough to allow for some clarity. Since our October launch, the headlines have been filled with a daunting procession of unsettling (and largely unexpected) realities. In the wake of the November 8 election results, many of us are feeling a strong sense of loss and, dare I say, fear for the future.

Of course, the future has always been and will always be uncertain. Ideals of freedom, prosperity, and longevity are not maxims in our culture; they are ideals maintained through ongoing aspiration and grit.
However, there is one very important assurance that trumps all of the uncertainty.

If we come together and unite under a common purpose, chip away at our goals a little bit every day, maintain our fortitude, our kindness and our love of others, stay the course, and never resign ourselves to the status quo…

…then we have the ability to change the world.

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

A few weeks ago, prior to the election, I came across a documentary on Netflix called “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” —an exhilarating film that “resurrects the buried history of the outrageous, often brilliant women who founded the modern women’s movement from 1966 to 1971.”

It is a film about activism for women’s rights, human rights, the right to choose, and the right to equal pay for equal work. (Sound familiar?) It documents the worldwide revolution started by a small group of powerful, forward-thinking women who had the desire to change the world and the balls to take action.

The film is a poignant reminder of both how far we have come and how far we’ve yet to go.. Many of the issues they struggled with 50 years ago are those we continue to struggle with today.

How Far We’ve Come, Yet How Far We Have to Go

Yes, our experience of discrimination has improved since the mid 1960s, however I have heard countless stories from women across creative industries who have experienced obstacles in their professional careers because of their gender: an architect who was only given one week of pregnancy leave at her architecture firm; the founder of a prominent design agency who was publicly mocked in the press by her male peers; another architect who was laughed at when she presented her case for a raise and promotion and, while more than qualified, continues to make $30,000 less a year than a male counterpart in the same job role.

The point of telling these stories is not to complain, or feel sorry, or be discouraged. Instead, they are meant to galvanize the TARRA community to challenge the status quo so we can collectively work towards shifting the paradigm.

What Comes Next for TARRA: Women Who Create

The day after the election, once the shock and sadness gave way to anger and disappointment, I woke up newly determined to utilize the collective power of the TARRA community, not only to change the conversation about women in design by amplifying female voices and their influence on the built environment, but also to shape the future of the creative industries for the generations of girls who are growing up in a country and a world where equality is under attack.

The silver lining in all of this is echoed in the opening quote. I believe that the election of Trump was the catalyst we needed to jolt us out of complacency and fire up our collective consciousness. It was meant to bring us together to once again rise up and fight for equality, choice, reproductive rights, equal pay, equal political representation in Washington, LGBTQ rights…ultimately to be treated in our professions and our communities not as “women” but as human beings.

2017 Initiatives and Programming are Coming!

On December 2nd we convened a committee to decide the direction for programming and initiatives in 2017. One of TARRA’s key goals is to have this community inspire girls and young women to follow their dreams—enroll in shop class, apply to architecture school, apprentice with furniture makers, pursue graphic design degrees, and open their own businesses.

Among the topics we discussed:

  • Creating programs for middle and high school aged girls to learn about creative professions
  • Providing girls opportunities for apprenticeships, mentorships, and hands on learning in creative disciplines
  • Empowering college students and college graduates with the kind of business skills they need to thrive in their careers.
  • Creating the kind of community and network to bring together women who are forging their own path in the creative fields—building careers, operating businesses and bringing their everything to the table, each minute of the day

Time to Unite for Change

Now is the time to “unite under a common purpose, chip away at our goals a little bit every day, maintain our fortitude, our kindness and our love of others, stay the course, and never resign ourselves to the status quo.”

We have the ability to change the world…to claim our freedoms and imbue young women with the fortitude to do the same. This election will not dispel our momentum; it will ignite it.

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