Hacks Newsletter Week 118- #HERStory


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I have known Rebecca Sive for over 20 years, since my days as Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s finance director. I find it inspiring that she has decided to use her time and network to publish “HERStory” with the goal of sharing “the story of every woman and girl who has cared and made a difference for the better.”
In short, it’s a series of exercises, tips, and motivations for self-reflection, a how-to “journal,” an opportunity to hack “inspiration.” In it, Rebecca reminds us to “fight for what’s right” (timely with the latest horrors in Ukraine); and most importantly, write down all of your hopes and dreams to provide ongoing inspiration and accountability to achieve them.
As we kick off Women’s History Month, it made sense not only to feature HERStory, but to do a Q&A with Rebecca on why she decided to create this “guided journal to justice” at this time.

Q: What inspired you to write Herstory?
During the pandemic, I wanted to be positive and helpful in the face of the sadness. Since I’m not a doctor, or a nurse, or an EMT−say−I thought about what I could do to be helpful. I realized one day that there was no women’s writing journal-workbook focused on helping women build their public lives and charitable activities. So, given my prior writings and lifetime advocating for women’s leadership, I decided to write one. It became Make Herstory Your Story. Your Guided Journal to Justice Every Day for Every Woman. This journal uniquely complements journals that focus on recording and examining one’s personal life, thereby guiding every woman who seeks to be a public leader. (Here is what one of our mutual girlfriends/heroines had to say when I shared the mss with her: “Make Herstory Your Story is the perfect journal for every woman who aspires to lead and make the world a better place. Time to record your dreams and make your plans! Heartfelt thanks to my friend Rebecca for this beautiful gift for all of us.” The Hon. Jan Schakowsky, Member, US House of Representatives.)
Q: If there were two key takeaways from Herstory that you believe are actionable for all women, what would they be?
  • Takeaway One: Every woman has the power within herself to make a positive difference for women and girls. You just have to choose to find it and act on it.  (Make Herstory Your Story will enable you to do that.)
  • Takeaway Two: There is great joy to be found in gathering with other women in common cause to improve one’s community. And it doesn’t matter what the project is. Once you take that first step, you’ll feel just what I’m talking about. (“Just do it.”)
Q: Who are the most impactful SHeroes in your life and why?
Since I began my work advocating for women’s opportunity and organizing projects to benefit women and girls, I have both been encouraged by heroines from Herstory and by the women with whom I’ve worked and become friends. In Herstory, I always look to Ida B. Wells and Jane Addams, two turn-of-the-20th-century leaders unwavering in their commitment to equal justice and opportunity. I’ve also always greatly admired Shirley Chisholm, first African American woman Member of the US House of Representatives and first woman and African American to run for POTUS in a major political party (1972!). Chisholm’s motto, “unbought and unbossed,” has always reminded me to have the courage to seek my own path and have the confidence to follow it. Lately, I’ve been inspired by my students (I have taught at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy) and mentees. What a joy it has been to watch them grow, succeed, and show the path forward, too.

Find the book here.

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WHAT: Talk & Taste Finance & Wine
WHEN: Wednesday, March 9th, 3:00 p.m. Cental / 4:00 p.m. Eastern
WHEREInstagram Live! @alyssajrapp

Missed the previous episode of #talkandtaste? 
Watch the February 2nd episode here.



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There will be no end to the curveballs that life throws. As soon as you feel comfortable, another setback or new challenge will arise. Alyssa Rapp is driven to help people like her—the doers, those who keep swinging—seek to succeed in both life and career. Every challenge is an opportunity, are you making the most of yours?

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