What can a woman do with the power of her voice in the media? Loom participated in an event called “A Night for Women in Media” put on by liftUPlift, an organization dedicated to both providing a marketplace for women-owned businesses and working internationally to end violence against women. The event, which took place on June 29th at the Catalyst Ranch, was put on with the intention of connecting women in Chicago media so that they could share stories and talk about the challenges they face as well as the ways they can use their voices to positively impact the lives of women everywhere.
The event’s open discussion on the representation of women in the media was led by Kendra Chaplin, founder and owner of Chicago Woman magazine, Heidi Stevens, “Balancing Act” columnist for the Chicago Tribune, and Amanda Elliott, writer of the blog Windy City Cosmo. They spoke about some of the challenges they face in their professions, like judgmental criticism and a focus on body image over intelligence. What they agreed upon, though, was that the way to rise above the negativity is to acknowledge the value of what they have to say and to set a strong example for women everywhere.
One way they can do this is by spreading positivity and awareness about the great accomplishments being made by and for women. Another part of the event was dedicated to female entrepreneurs in Chicago sharing these types of stories. Loom Coordinator Allie and Loom artisan Batool spoke at the event to share the story of how Loom empowers women in Chicago. Speaking alongside them were fellow female entrepreneurs, Emily Snider from Heshima Kenya, an organization that works to care for and protect refugee girls and young women in Kenya, and Karen Torres from Tulia’s, which provides a marketplace for indigenous tribes and traditional artisans from Columbia to sell their products. These organizations, like Loom, work to help empower women beyond their struggles. The stories of these women lifting each other up present a strong image of women and their power to make a positive change in the world.