Shalane Flanagan, First Woman Winner of the NYC marathon in forty years. She not only won, she crushed her opponents by never looking back, her eyes ahead on the prize.

This year People Magazine recently announced this year’s list of “women changing the world.” Each of us, in our everyday lives, has an opportunity to make a difference, big and small. Find your passion and step forward. That’s all it takes; a desire and a first step.

Here are just a few who People has featured in the link provided.

“It’s a great time to take charge of your future and know you’re no longer held back by your gender,” says ER nurse Kelly Lynch, with Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot.

Sit with Us creator, 17 year old Natalie Hampton, helps connect students who are looking for others to share a table at lunch. The innovative idea is now being used by more than 100,000 people in eight different countries.

Harness is an advocacy organization that aims to shift current narratives about social issues by bringing leaders in communities of color, immigrants, refugees and Muslims together with Hollywood creators to help tell their stories. America Ferrera teamed up with her husband, actor-director Ryan Piers Williams, and actor Wilmer Valderrama to launch Harness.

Janelle Monae is unifying women with her organization Fem the Future, which seeks to unite professional women to uplift the next generation. “It’s a grassroots movement about making sure that those in a position of power are actively including more women who can compete at a high level,” says Monáe, who as head of Wondaland Records finds and employs female music producers and engineers.

When Ava DuVernay was little, her mom gave her sage advice: “If you try, and it doesn’t work out, you’re not a failure, you’re a risk taker.” Today the publicist turned Oscar-nominated director, 45, helps others take the leap through Array Now, which finds and funds films by women and people of color. 

I recently saw Ava on the PBS program “Finding Your Roots,” hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard University Professor, who is helping expand America’s sense of itself, stimulating a national conversation about identity with humor, wisdom, and compassion. With “divisions” all over the news media, I find this program, and those like it, providing hope, by shining the light on our similarities. He ends each show with a DNA analysis of each guest. There are very few humans on this planet that are 100% anything. What we are is of the human race. What we each can do is be of kindness. Look into the eyes of those you speak to. There you will find their truths…and yours. Be the best you can be. Each day is an opportunity to be more than the day before. 

Who inspires you? What is your heart telling you? 

Women Changing the World
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