Today was the second day of our trip at Liverpool Hope University for the Big Hope 2 Conference. The day started off pretty easily, with meeting new local students from the university, seeing children in their English school uniforms, and a beautiful walk across campus to our first Keynote speaker of the week.
The biggest highlight of the day came mid-morning when I attended a discussion forum on Women in Leadership. It was such a brilliant and inspiring talk, given by four talented women. An interesting quote that stuck out to me during the talk was by Angela Samata, who said, “ Don’t assume that everyone has your back just because they’re a woman.” What a strong thing to say.
She then continued on by explaining how women become afraid of other women who could be a possible threat to their position; the worry of being passed by another woman. This ultimately can lead women to knock one another down, instead of lifting them up. My belief is that we should create and have a sisterhood between the women in leadership today. Another message that all of the speakers portrayed to the audience was that you need support from others in your journey in leadership. We cannot do it alone, and that is why I think it is extremely important for women to empower each other rather than tear each other down. We must “have a vision and see the possibilities, see the talent and power around us” as another speaker stated. The entire panel was excellent and there were many inspiring ideas said. There were lessons here today that I hope to take with me back to America and share with other women.
That afternoon (and into the evening) the delegates gathered in their learning tracks for the first time. I am a part of When Love Hurts, which discusses relationship abuse and teaches the students about the motives behind the abuse and how to spot the signs of it. I look forward to learning more throughout the rest of the week and to see the projects we come up with.
After dinner I took a much-needed walk around campus with a friend to explore the parts we had not seen yet. We strolled passed other residential halls, out onto the streets, and even into a lovely little neighborhood. It was refreshing and wonderful to experience Liverpool on my own in someway. On this trip I hope to see more of the city, and view it in a way that is different from how most tourists would. I want to get an insight into the everyday life and observe what life is like for locals, rather than simply find all the tourist attractions.
Today was a great start to an exciting week we all have ahead of us! I am looking forward to the other discussion sessions, meeting new people, and experiencing Liverpool even more.
By Anna Vostrizansky
PS: Below are some photos showing some of our explorations of the city of Liverpool this far!