Feature showing – The Heart to Lead, July 23, 2011

Posted on July 24, 2011 by


The evening began as our volunteers, displayer’s and presenters began arriving to set up their displays. This group would be the welcoming community for our audience as they began arriving for the documentary, The Heart to Lead – Women as Allies for the Greater Good.   Prior to opening the doors we gathered for a few minutes in circle for the purpose to set an intention for the upcoming unfolding of the evenings events.  Reverend Jennifer Rose lead an invocation followed by a spontaneous singing circle led by Gloria Hansen to lead us into the night in a moment of adventure and fun.  The doors opened and soon there was a glorious buzz in the lobby of the Victoria Truth Center.  Looking around people were being welcomed in a way that I had only hoped could happen.  The openness and letting it unfold had the space to occur in ease and with flexibility in the strength of pre-planning and the building a strong center,  that became invisible as the event began to roll forward and spontaneity was able to manifest without glitches.  The evening was a success.

The presentation began with Reverend Jennifer telling the audience her vision for the Truth Center and how they would like to take part in the future with the Victorian community.  Reverend Jennifer Rose gave me the floor to introduce Gloria Hansen.  Gloria is the administrator of the Gettin Higher Choir and co-ordinates the Community Choir Leadership Training programs.  She is also on the board of Power of Hope.  Gloria discussed with the audience  the connection the choir makes with its members individually that expand into a community joined together through the joy of singing.  She explained that the success of the choir began with a belief that everyone can sing.  There isn’t anyone in the world who cannot sing.  It’s time to forget all the times we have heard we couldn’t sing.

Next our guest,  Marion Little,  passionately shared with us how she came to be at the 2011 UN Status on Women and that she went with a general understanding that women were important, yet not really understanding what this really meant!  She went on to describe how the impact of the women delegates stories effected  her and how their sharing deepened her understanding of the importance of women.  The theme for 2011 – “The Participation of women and girls in education, training, science and technology, including equal access to full employment and decent work.”   (What is interesting is in my research the Canadian Government on line page has titled it – Girls’ Rights Matter.)   Marion shares,  “Women already drive 75% of the economic engine in the Global South, and that ensuring equitable distribution of resources (especially resources as simple as a solar stove, clean water, food storage, & education) would increase the ease and efficiency of the work already undertaken by those women.  Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the UN, has noted that the fastest way to end world poverty is to ensure equitable distribution of resources to rural women.  I know this may sound like “women in southern country’s will end world poverty” but it’s important to recognize that resources must be equitably distributed in order for poverty to end as a result of women doing what they already do.  The things I list are examples of how even a few resources can have a profoundly positive impact in their lives and by extension in their entire communities and countries.”  

Marion went on to say, “I was physically ill after hearing women report from about 18 different countries concluding with a report from the Congo.  I felt sick because even though I had been relatively aware of the challenges facing women in the world, until these presentations I had not fully understood (and am sure I still don’t fully understand) the scope and depth of the desperation, oppression, terror, and extreme poverty most women in the world live with.  I felt such deep despair and hopelessness hearing the women speak and simultaneously I had a new and profound awareness of the incredible resilience and resourcefulness of the women facing these challenges.  It was awareness of the dramatically unmet needs of millions of women and the persistence of these same women to strive towards wellness for themselves and their communities (the extreme despair and extreme hope, experienced at the same time), that left me physically shaken.”

Marion’s appreciation for the existence, good work  and the continued participation of the delegates to have this dialogue through the UN Status on Women was palpable.

I would like to mention that it was Victoria’s St. John Divine Anglican Church and their members that rallied together to send Marion off to be a presenter, one of 200!, to represent Victoria, British Columbia and Canada.  How many of us knew this?

The Heart to Lead documentary followed and as in its first pre-showing, it proved to very stimulating to many in whatever was alive for them in their own lives.  Many audience members personalized the messages in the documentary and how it compared to them.   All in all, the messages I received immediately after and again today have been a range of deep appreciation for creating the opportunity to view this documentary to how it could have been done!

I have witnessed the value this documentary has had on the many who have viewed it.  Cheryl Taylor wrote to me this morning, “Today is Sunday. In this moment, I appreciate so deeply that movie that I had the honour of viewing last evening. It’s called ‘Heart to Lead’….a call to women to gather, share, support, step into the fullness of ourselves. It honours our gifts as women and the vital role these gifts have to our planet’s wellbeing.”  Kathryn wrote: “Thanks for the wonderful event last night, Renee. I am inspired.” 

Wrapping the evening up with a little laughter and some fun, we gave away some amazing door prizes and as we came to the last one, audience members began donating more to give away spontaneously.  A sign of its success.  For a story in pictures.