Many people have asked what I’m going be doing at the famous and fabulous Bioneers conference. Here’s a big part of it described in the post below, and I am so excited! Bioneers co-founder Nina Simons has created a stunning women’s leadership program that grapples with just the issues of women’s relationship with power that I discuss in No Excuses. If you’re going to be attending Bioneers, please find me and say hello. I’m also doing a book signing at 4:30 on Saturday Oct.16 in the bookstore, as well as two panels in addition to this. For more information, check out my events page.

Sat 10/16 @2:45 pm
Panel: Moonrise – Women Leading from the Heart

Sun 10/17 @10:45 am
Plenary Keynote: Riding the Leadership Wave

Sun. 10/17 @ 4:30 pm
Panel: Women, Gender, Media

Bioneers Conference programming is central to the women’s leadership program, as it not only creates opportunities for thousands to experience the stories of diverse innovative women leaders, but captures their presentations by video and audio recording for future radio, media and educational use. This year’s conference program is especially strong, spanning U.S. and global efforts, and bridging the environmental and social worlds with power, edginess and grace.

Plenary presentations – which will reach many thousands in satellite sites across the nation and on web casts around the world – will feature accomplished global sustainability youth leader Jess Rimington and international media arts innovator for women’s human rights Mallika Dutt, whose use of celebrity in media is saving lives and transforming culture in India and the US. National Geographic fellow and native Hawai’ian Elizabeth Kapu’uwailani Lindsey, who was raised by elders to be a steward of ancestral wisdom, will reveal the key role of indigenous science in planetary restoration. A legendary community organizer and leader at integrating faith-based organizing, Mary Gonzales will speak to the environment’s relationship to equity and the economy. Sunday will feature the activist/author of The Soul of Money and cofounder of The Pachamama Alliance, Lynne Twist, who works to save the rainforest and cultures that coexist with it, to reconnect money with what we hold sacred, and to awaken corporations and people to the urgency of global warming. Gloria Feldt, celebrated author and former president of Planned Parenthood of America will speak to the value of (especially women, but all of us) Embracing Controversy to cultivate leadership capacity. Jane Goodall, whose world-renowned primatology work in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park has already inspired generations of women globally, will offer her vision of empowering people to make a difference for all living things.

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Introductory note from Gloria: When you write a book, you never know how who will read it or what impression it might make. Imagine how moved I was to stumble across this post by someone I had never met and read her words about how No Excuses had inspired her. Elin Stebbins Waldal really takes the power tools to heart . . . read on and see.

A Twitter post has got me thinking today.

Although I have not met Gloria Feldt—I almost feel I have. After perusing her website and reading a few of her blogs—I feel it in my bones, there is a common ground that we stand on.

I happened upon her Twitter feed this morning and opened her link and read this:

“In No Excuses, I say women don’t yet know what to do with the power everyone else knows we have. That the time has come for women to embrace that power. What are your thoughts? What examples in your own life or your observations about others makes you think this is or is not women’s moment?” –Gloria Feldt

It’s quite possible that I have read Gloria’s question above about a thousand times, seriously, at least a thousand…or that is how it feels. I should state first that I have not read her book, No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Poweryet.

I have however, read her 9 Power Tools, love that—power tools, makes me feel as if I have a Lathe at my disposal—or is it that I myself am the Lathe, capable of re-shaping anything beginning with the way I think about power.

Yes, I myself am the Lathe.

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I was so excited to have the fabulous Shelby Knox (on the far right in the photo) agreed to live tweet from my book launch at the Barnes and Noble Lincoln Triangle on October 5th. Shelby is an itinerant feminist organizer, a writer, a speaker, and a self-described revolutionary. (And I would agree with that!) You can keep up with her on Twitter.

To see more photos from the event, be sure to check out the book tour page. And if you missed the event, here are Shelby’s tweets to give you a nutshell version of the night!

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This interview with Cherie over atDaily Femme was a lot of fun to do. They generously agreed to let me cross-post it here on Heartfeldt.


A teen mother from rural Texas, Gloria Feldt was active in the Civil Rights movement before committing herself to the advancement of women. She served as president and CEO of Planned Parenthood from 1996 to 2005 and is also the author of four books, including the New York Times bestseller ‘Send Yourself Roses’ and her latest book ‘No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think about Power,’ in which she argues that women are the ones holding themselves back and discusses the ways they can achieve power. When I heard Gloria speak as the keynote at this year’s BlogHer conference, I knew she would be an incredible interview for The Daily Femme. I am thrilled that she accepted to be featured on our site. In this wide ranging interview, she urges women to recognize the power they hold and discusses the hardest steps for women to take in order to exercise such power. She even argues that President Obama can use Feldt’s 9 ways. One of my favorite ideas in her new book is the distinction she draws between the “power over” and the “power to” which she explains in this interview.

Gloria is currently on tour discussing her book, No Excuses, and will be at the Strand Bookstore (828 Broadway) in New York on October 7th at 7pm and at Busboys & Poets (1025 5th St. NW) in DC on October 13th at 5:30pm.

Prior to becoming an activist for women’s rights, you were set on a more traditional path as a young wife and mother living in Texas. What made you decide to change routes and get involved in the struggle for gender equality? How hard was it for you to maintain a work life balance as you took on more responsibilities?

The personal is always political and vice versa. I became an activist for women 40 years ago when I got ticked at discrimination that affected me personally—like “help wanted, male” ads that said I couldn’t apply for well-paying jobs. I married and had children in my teens, and then when the birth control pill became available, I realized I could plan my life more intentionally, and became aware of the importance of reproductive self-determination to women’s ability to determine anything else in their lives. So I started to college and as my children grew up, I needed to go to work to contribute to the family income. I was denied a credit card in my own name and refused a loan for a car without my then-husband becoming the responsible person. I became incensed at the unfairness of it all.

At the same time, I was immersed in the Civil Rights movement, volunteering with several local organizations. One day it occurred to me that women have civil rights too. That was a turning point in my life, and since then I have devoted both my professional work and my community service to advancing women.

There was no such thing as work-life balance then. A woman who worked outside the home simply had to be Supermom and do it all without complaining. So I did—for a while. Then I realized it was unfair and started enlisting my children to do some of the housework. But the male-female roles were relatively stuck. My first husband and I were divorced about that time after 18 years—not because of life balance, but because a teenage marriage rarely lasts forever. Four years later I remarried. I have often joked that I was taken with Alex because he cooked and had a housekeeper once a week. (He does have many other fine qualities too! )

In truth I work too much—always have and probably always will–and for me balance is in doing what I love.

In your new and 4th book, “No Excuses” you argue that the doors are open for women but it is women who are not taking the initiative to walk through them or break the glass ceiling. Why do you believe that women are the ones holding themselves back?

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Tuesday, 9/28/10 at 11 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Business Channel
Head Over Heels: Women’s Business Radio

Listen NowWomen’s Relationship to Power
and Leadership

Women have a very complicated relationship to power. Is it possible that women keep themselves back from parity? My guest, Gloria Feldt, has studied this topic and it is the subject of her newest book, No Excuses:9 Ways Women Can Change the Way We Think About Power.
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Missed the Live Shows? Past Episodes are available On Demand and Podcast Ready.

Listen Live to
VoiceAmerica Business

Be sure to tune in to Head Over Heels: Women’s Business Radio with Bonnie Marcus

Tuesday, 9/28/10 at 11 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Business Channel

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PunditMom Joanne Bamberger hosted a very fun get together for DC area bloggers last week. I had a chance to tell them about No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power and to ask for their publicity suggestions and their support in getting the word out. This guest post appeared Friday, September 17, 2010 Friday, September 17, 2010, on I’m Not the Nanny, a blog written by Thien-Kim aka Kim. I was so touched by it that I asked Kim if I could re-post her comments here on Heartfeldt. She kindly let me share her post with you.

In the midst of diapers and runny noses, sometimes I forget that a world outside of mothering exists. I have gone days without reading or watching the news. (Thank goodness Twitter keeps me in the loop.) Some days I don’t even try leaving my apartment. It doesn’t seem worth the fight to get the kids dressed and the snacks packed to go on a outing.

Those days I forget that I am more than a mother.

I forget about me.

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Young adults ages 19 to 29 make up less than 15 percent of the total US population, yet they comprise a staggering 30 percent of the 46 million uninsured and have the highest rate of uninsurance among any age group. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the vast majority of this group—88 percent, according to a survey conducted by the Commonwealth Fund —support health care reform.

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Many Americans assume the new health care reform act will benefit mostly the poor and uninsured and hurt everyone else, according to polls. As Matt Yglesias wrote, “Basically, people see this as a bill that will take resources from people who have health insurance and give it to people who don’t have health insurance.” Those who still oppose the reform say that people ought to pay for their own health care.

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Feministing.com’s Chloe Angyal asked me the five questions that the terrific online community puts to a different feminist every week. In case you have ever wondered what food, beverage, and feminist I’d take with me to a desert island, read on…

Gloria Feldt is a force to be reckoned with. Feldt is the former President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Foundation of America and has devoted her entire working life to women’s rights. This week marked the conclusion of efforts to pass health care reform, and because abortion coverage was used, successfully, as a wedge issue in the debate over those efforts, it’s important to reflect on what went wrong, what we did right, and what our next steps should be. And who better to help us understand that than Feldt?

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After last night’s historic health care vote in the US House of Representatives, I feel a combination of relief that the (flawed but symbolically important) bill passed and fury that the ban on abortion coverage will not only remain but will remain by virtue of an executive order issued by the hand of a president who during his campaign pledged to repeal the Hyde anti-abortion coverage amendment. In my often expressed opinion, repeal of Hyde and full integration of reproductive health services including abortion is what the president and the pro-choice groups should have demanded in the first place. For if they had, we not would have ended up with this travesty for women’s health. The pro-choice women in the House fought hard, but without the president, Speaker Pelosi, and pro-choice groups standing firm behind them, they were left twisting in the wind.

Linda Lowen, who writes the Women’s Issues column at About.com, suggests that one intangible benefit to women will be a huge increase in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s stature and power. Jen Nedeau, who manages the Not Under the Bus campaign, describes a sense of betrayal shared by many—and how to move forward, in this exclusive written for the Women’s Media Center and reprinted with permission. Kindly scroll down to see one specific action you can take to help right the wrong done–and indeed the only action that can. Let me know your thoughts.

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