I’m wondering what it is, really, that each of us might have been excited about after most midterm election results were in. With our country’s history of focusing on white males in positions of power, was it that the chosen representation in 2018 shows signs of being more inclusive? Several Native, Muslim, and Latina women, and LGBTQ+ people were elected as “first-evers,” especially in our state.

Was it that more women in general ran for office and were elected in record numbers? Or that youth turnout was higher than has ever been recorded for a midterm election?

For me, it is the expectation that many of the new people who were elected might use their positions of influence to engage and expand — not exclude and eliminate. Fresh voices might help reach more powerful consensus about priorities, and solutions to deep-rooted and long-standing issues.

My vision of hope was encapsulated by filmmaker Abigail Disney, as quoted in a Forbes column by Marianne Schnall (whatwillittake.com). Disney said, at a recent Women’s Media Center event: “We need to create our way out of the big deep hole that we've dug. Conflict and violence and aggression and a very old-school way of understanding things have dug us deeper and deeper, so we need freshness and newness and other ways of thinking. Women bring a really important way of understanding things. They have conversations longer, they are better on consensus, they manufacture relationships — and these are the things that make viable, peaceful societies.”

Schnall also quoted Jane Fonda: “Something transformative is happening. Women's voices, women’s stories, women's reality, and women's narratives are more important than ever because, frankly, if we’re going to solve the problems, women have to lead the way.” I’ve also heard it simply put this way:

“Women are midwives to the future.”

Giving birth to a new era in leadership happens not only through politics, but by grassroots organizing, education, new business, and conversation forums. This magazine is in the privileged position of sharing stories every month about women who deliver. All of the women featured in this annual issue about Changemakers are midwives to the future. 

2019 Changes

For the coming year, we need your help. Our Storyteller Fund is kicking into high gear. Please help us expand our tools and outreach.

1) Give a subscription to yourself and others, to boost our revenue as we prepare for enhanced digital tools.

2) Share our online videos. One video from “MWP Conversations: Using Our Voice & Vote,” for example, is about lobbying.

3) Especially if you live in Greater Minnesota, contact me at editor@womenspress.com for details about how you can help kick off a new MWP Conversations series in your community as we build bridges and share perspectives.

4) Submit story ideas for upcoming themes. Find details at “For Writers.”

January: Identity
February: Healing Trauma
March: Feminisms
April: Elders & Endings
May: War & Peace
June: Sports & Adventure
July: Transformative Justice