Podcast Link:  Women In History: A Dialogue with Emily Smith

Other Platforms: Here


Since March is “Women in History” month, I decided to put a twist on it by not talking about famous women who are in textbooks and articles all over the world, and instead encourage my guests to talk about the women in their history!!  I believe that ALL our narratives matter and it is important for us to take opportunities to let them shine!!


Today’s topic is focused on how women in any industry seem to face scrutiny one reason or another.  We are often given messages to “measure up” to expectations of others.  Forcing us to sometimes defend our position of how we got that role.


In my own personal story, there were many women who didn’t think I deserved to be in one role or another, and they made their opinion known.  In one situation, I was told that I wasn’t “black enough” (FYI, I am not black at all and I was leading a women’s group that was multi-ethnic).


When my children were little, a woman asked, “should a mother of three really be travelling so much for work?”.  At the time, I was training and leading teams of women to do international work which required travel once a year for 2 weeks at a time.  I also had the full support of my husband.


Emily Smith

Emily Smith is a friend and colleague in Diversity and Inclusion work.  She is the Strategic and Collaborative Program Manager supporting the Director of Inclusion at the Grand Rapids Chamber.  Emily is also an Advanced Certified Cultural Intelligence & Unconscious Bias Professional.


As a white American woman in D & I work, Emily has had her share of challenges and continues to remind herself that she was “chosen” for the work in front of her and always puts her best efforts forth.


Listen in as she shares about the women in her history that paved the way for her to not only do the work she does today but how they shaped her to be the woman she is as well.   I hope you hear her heart in this interview!!


Quotes that hold personal meaning for her: 


“Peacemaking doesn’t mean passivity. It is the act of interrupting injustice without mirroring injustice, the act of disarming evil without destroying the evildoer, the act of finding a third way that is neither fight nor flight but the careful, arduous pursuit of reconciliation and justice. It is about a revolution of love that is big enough to set both the oppressed and the oppressors free.” Shane Claiborne



“One of the many criticisms I’ve faced over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough, or maybe somehow, because I’m empathetic, it means I’m weak. I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.” Jacinda Ardern


Emily’s Contact Info:  

Grand Rapids Chamber

Advanced Certified Cultural Intelligence Professional


Here’s to Growing Forward Together as we support other women as they are chosen for their roles in society.