The Next Conversation
Over the past decade, one of Omega’s most popular events has been the annual Women & Power gathering—a groundbreaking conference series that explores both the challenges women face and the leaps they have made—at home, at work, and in the world. This year we break ground again by inviting men to join the conversation. All around the world women and men are making dramatic changes—moving beyond stereotypes, breaking out of limiting roles, and helping each other grow into wholeness. Here, eleven of the faculty from this year's conference, Women/Men: The Next Conversation, speak to the facets of their expertise in imagining a culture of care and equality—for everyone.
“Women could do something else. Men could do something else. We could create space to make peace. That means 'emotional justice.' It means holding conversations around privilege, power and pain. We could deal with the living legacy of our untreated trauma. We could share that truth so our love and leadership is not informed only by our hurt, but by our healing. We could do that work. That is what I call our intimate revolution. Imagine.” —Esther Armah (Journalist and creator, Emotional Justice Unplugged conversation series)
"Longing is the true measure of a man or woman and alone has the power to draw us out of ourselves and into the vast air of eternity. But we shall not rely only on the winds of longing, for they can be fickle and unpredictable. We shall also need the fire of intent—that fine-tipped arrow of courage flying true and straight to its goal, piercing through the fabric of our dreams as it goes." —Adyashanti (Spiritual teacher and author, The Way of Liberation)
"In my 19 years, not once have I ever been confronted by an individual who realized independently that I was raised by a gay couple. And you know why? Because the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character." —Zach Wahls (Author, My Two Moms)
"Marriage has changed more in these past 30 years than the previous 3,000. We're in uncharted territory. If the traditional maps are leading to dead ends, it's time to collectively draw new maps." —Stephanie Coontz (Author, The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms with America's Changing Families)
“Great minds don’t always think alike; great minds often think differently.” —Barbara Annis (Business consultant and coauthor, Gender Intelligence)
"The overwhelming majority of men are adapting and even embracing a greater level of gender equality than their parents or grandparents could ever have imagined. Young men, especially, expect to be really involved fathers, expect their wives to be equally committed to their jobs as they are, and are already adept at cross-sex friendships." —Michael Kimmel (Author, Guyland)
"What I've come to realize about Afghanistan, and this is something that is often dismissed in the West, that behind most of us who succeed is a father who recognizes the value in his daughter and who sees that her success is his success.” — Shabana Basij-Rasikh (President, SOLA School of Leadership, Afghanistan)
"Envision the world you want to see for your daughters and other girls you love. Violence against women won't end until men become part of the solution." —Tony Porter (Cofounder, A Call to Men: The Next Generation of Manhood)
“Let’s create that field where we can all walk, transcend the situations we find ourselves in, a heart conversation, what are ingredients and things that are happening that are manifesting the world we are so desirous of creating.” —Mallika Dutt (Founder, President, and CEO, Breakthrough)
“People tend to assume that the balance between the sexes is a zero-sum game, that when women win, men lose. But it’s simply not true. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: When women win, we all win.” —Pat Mitchell (former President, PBS and the Paley Center for Media)
"Respectively they go to extremes of masculine and feminine
Chasing dreams but they keep on falling
'Cause they don't know no balance
When will they learn to come back to the middle?"
—India.Arie (Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer) from the song "Back to the Middle"
Copyright © 2014 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies