Iconic feminist speeches retold by young girls offer a powerful tribute to women’s voices

International Women's Day
All images from CARE, used with permission

Care's 'Her Voice Campaign' seeks to amplify women's voices everywhere


A banshee cry … a siren song … When a woman uses her voice, it carries enough power to change the world.

America witnessed an extraordinary potency in the 19th century with the speeches of women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth. And we experience it today in the poetry of Amanda Gorman. Both these women’s words teach, inspire, challenge and move us toward better days. Perhaps most important of all, they help encourage a future generation of women to speak freely, know their value and go after their dreams.

amanda gormanAmanda Gorman teaches everyone the power of poetry

International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on March 8, was created to commemorate the cultural, political and socioeconomic achievements of women. So it seems fitting that CARE, a global organization dedicated to empowering women and girls, just released a powerful video that echoes and magnifies the strength of the female voice.

#HerVoice | International Women's Day 2022www.youtube.com

In the video, young girls recite the iconic words of feminist trailblazers both new and old, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Vice President Kamala Harris, Gloria Steinem and Venus Williams, to name a few. Seeing these young girls channel those who paved the way before them is a heartwarming reminder of how far we’ve come, and how the compassionate, courageous acts of a single person can affect the lives of many. Among them are a few familiar voices; Sophia Bush, Laura Dern and Saniyya Sidney—all powerhouse actresses and feminism advocates in their own right—lend their vocal talents.

The video is so much more than a touching tribute to the past. It kicks off CARE’s #HerVoice Campaign, developed to explore new solutions to address equality in modern times. The campaign features virtual conversations led by today’s history makers, including activist Vanessa Nakate and filmmaker Zuriel Oduwole. CARE is also partnering with the Obama Foundation to provide school access and opportunities to more than 500,000 girls around the world.

“CARE believes in the power of women, today and every day. This International Women’s Day, we are especially proud to feature legacy voices and rising leaders across industries uniting for change. The past few years have been extremely challenging, highlighting the need for not only more women leaders but women led solutions. The #HerVoice campaign honors the extraordinary acts of women that enable us to continue to advocate for our communities, and push for real change worldwide.”

ruth bader ginsberg

This RBG Jr is both adorable and inspiring

This campaign strikes at the heart of what’s important: that while giant strides have been made for equality, there is still a long way to go. In recent times, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have made that even more evident. In a report titled “She Told Us So,” CARE provided some illuminating and heartbreaking statistics that show how the pandemic has affected and exacerbated gender inequality.

Since 2020, negative impacts have increased in almost every area of life for women. Their needs in the following areas were found to be high:

1. Mental health (63%)

2. Food security (59%)

3. Livelihood (55%)

4. Cash (54%)

5. Health services (47%)

As these numbers show, mental health and food security (both core needs) are the biggest concerns. And the two are deeply correlated.

care her voice campaign

Caring for precious young ones leaves women unable to properly care for themselves

In terms of food scarcity, the report finds that women are opting to skip meals to provide more nourishment to their families. One woman in Umbeda, Sudan shared her own experience as the sole head of her household during the pandemic. “It affected my body [but] I prefer to feed my children instead of myself … I have no money to support my family” she told CARE.

Daily struggles like this lead to a decline in mental health. The report showed how many of the underlying reasons for mental stress revolve around childcare—making sure little mouths are fed (again, when food is scarce) and taking on all household chores without payment.

As one women’s group representative noted: “If any opportunity appeared, the man would be the favorite, and for this reason, the man’s role was the strongest. This psychologically affected many women, as they turned to household work which included preparing food and cleaning only.” As the data shows, this idea that caretaking is a woman’s job is still pervasive, with potentially toxic effects.

We hear the phrase “the future is female,” but without actively empowering mothers and daughters in real-world situations, those words carry no meaning. During this time of unprecedented change, we have an opportunity to include everyone in the desire for a better tomorrow and strive to make equality the “new normal.”

international women's day

International Women's Day is an opportunity to amplify the voices of women everywhere

Some holidays are meant for remembrance. Others, like International Women’s Day, can also be a call to action. This is why CARE is encouraging everyone to not only repost this video, but share what #HerVoice means to them. Visit care.org/hervoice to learn more, donate and support women’s voices by signing your name to a pledge.

All images provided by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

Collins after being selected by Prudential Emerging Visionaries


A changemaker is anyone who takes creative action to solve an ongoing problem—be it in one’s own community or throughout the world.

And when it comes to creating positive change, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective can hold just as much power as years of experience. That’s why, every year, Prudential Emerging Visionaries celebrates young people for their innovative solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities.

This national program awards 25 young leaders (ages 14-18) up to $15,000 to devote to their passion projects. Additionally, winners receive a trip to Prudential’s headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, where they receive coaching, skills development, and networking opportunities with mentors to help take their innovative solutions to the next level.

For 18-year-old Sydnie Collins, one of the 2023 winners, this meant being able to take her podcast, “Perfect Timing,” to the next level.

Since 2020, the Maryland-based teen has provided a safe platform that promotes youth positivity by giving young people the space to celebrate their achievements and combat mental health stigmas. The idea came during the height of Covid-19, when Collins recalled social media “becoming a dark space flooded with news,” which greatly affected her own anxiety and depression.

Knowing that she couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, “Perfect Timing” seemed like a valuable way to give back to her community. Over the course of 109 episodes, Collins has interviewed a wide range of guests—from other young influencers to celebrities, from innovators to nonprofit leaders—all to remind Gen Z that “their dreams are tangible.”

That mission statement has since evolved beyond creating inspiring content and has expanded to hosting events and speaking publicly at summits and workshops. One of Collins’ favorite moments so far has been raising $7,000 to take 200 underserved girls to see “The Little Mermaid” on its opening weekend, to “let them know they are enough” and that there’s an “older sister” in their corner.

Of course, as with most new projects, funding for “Perfect Timing” has come entirely out of Collins’ pocket. Thankfully, the funding she earned from being selected as a Prudential Emerging Visionary is going toward upgraded recording equipment, the support of expert producers, and skill-building classes to help her become a better host and public speaker. She’ll even be able to lease an office space that allows for a live audience.

Plus, after meeting with the 24 other Prudential Emerging Visionaries and her Prudential employee coach, who is helping her develop specific action steps to connect with her target audience, Collins has more confidence in a “grander path” for her work.

“I learned that my network could extend to multiple spaces beyond my realm of podcasting and journalism when industry leaders are willing to share their expertise, time, and financial support,” she told Upworthy. “It only takes one person to change, and two people to expand that change.”

Prudential Emerging Visionaries is currently seeking applicants for 2024. Winners may receive up to $15,000 in awards and an all-expenses-paid trip to Prudential’s headquarters with a parent or guardian, as well as ongoing coaching and skills development to grow their projects.

If you or someone you know between the ages of 14 -18 not only displays a bold vision for the future but is taking action to bring that vision to life, click here to learn more. Applications are due by Nov. 2, 2023.

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