Christine Rush, chairperson of the Greater Erie Community Action Commitee, spoke with the students of Villa to discuss decision-making in young women. On Sept. 24, during lunch periods in the Villa Auditorium, the Diversity Club held an event to encourage the youth to guard their time and energy and to never settle.
Rush serves on the Board of Directors at Greater Erie Community Action Committee and works with state representative Pat Harkins. She was appointed by André Horton, representing District 2. Her term ends in December 2025, and she has many goals she hopes to accomplish before then. Even though Rush and Harkins have different views and different ideas of resolution, Harkins encourages her creativity and individuality in the workplace.
Rush plans on tackling issues regarding women’s rights. This is specifically in regards to pink tax and women’s reproductive health and freedoms. Her confidence, innovation, motivation, and vision guide her through the struggles as a woman of color in politics.
Rush has and will continue to represent not just women but women of color.
“Misogyny is inherent in a patriarchal society,” she said. Women’s participation and motivation to work in politics is essential to reach goals of equality. Representation matters to have equality within communities. This can begin locally.
UN Women states that most countries have an underrepresentation in government. Women cannot help but perceive the world of politics in a way that is highly competitive and biased. Rush herself has had experiences where she felt degraded. She has experienced the feeling of others wanting anything other than her success.
“What do you do when you feel like you are not enough”? Rush was asked by a student at the event.
“For me, all of that connectivity is society playing tricks in our heads,” Rush said.
She believes affirmations begin the process of accepting that life is hills and valleys.
“These affirmations can become a part of who you are and help you to thrive in this hard world,” she said. “I’m beautiful. I’m smart. I’m enough.”
These affirmations can strengthen not only the perception of young women, doing all they can to thrive in a male-dominated world but also how to encourage them to keep moving forward. Persistence is key when you have something that you want to peruse.
“Never settle, ever,” Rush said.
She came to Villa to encourage the students to use their sisterhood to unite and work towards a common goal of equality. She believes that the strength women hold can power them through the struggles of the real world.
The diversity club plans on continuing to have speakers throughout the year to raise awareness of the struggles of other people. The next speaker is planned for sometime in October, according to Mr. Moffett. Consider joining diversity club if you want to be made aware of the struggles and resilience of others in a world of inequality.