Welcome to Organize Your Butterflies, an original podcast by YWCA
Each episode, we discuss the ways women — including many of the amazing leaders at YWCA — are working to organize, strategize, and mobilize around issues like equal pay, domestic violence, entrepreneurship, and more. We “organize our butterflies” to create change and build a better future for women, families, and our communities.
Episode #1 – June 28, 2019
About Organize Your Butterflies
Host: Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO, YWCA USA
Guest: Blanche A. Williams, creator and author of Sisterhood of Greatness, founder of National Black Women’s Town Hall
In July 2008, the first annual National Black Women’s Town Hall (NBWTH) meeting convened at the historical headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women in Washington, D.C., Dr. Dorothy Height invited NBWTH founder Blanche A. Williams, with whom she had previously worked with on The Souls of Black Girls, a film about the media impact on the self-esteem of Black women and girls, to her office to chat.
Blanche was feeling anxious and nervous about this first-of-its-kind, sold-out, standing-room-only event, which was being covered by C-SPAN for a national audience and featured panelists that had flown in from across the country. Seeing this, Dr. Height — a civil rights icon, longtime leader in the fight for women’s rights and racial justice, and advisor to U.S. presidents — gave Blanche this profound advice: “All you need to do is organize your butterflies.”
As Blanche tells it, once Dr. Height imparted this piece of wisdom, it was “as simple as that… The nervousness didn’t go away, but it sort of was shifted and it became more of an energy and more of a commitment for me to make sure that this was something that she was proud of… You organize those butterflies and you continue to get it done.”
Dr. Height, well known for her leadership role with YWCA and the National Council of Negro Women, was one of our country’s most fierce and steadfast advocates for civil rights and gained notoriety in pioneering the intersection of gender and race activism within the civil rights movement.