Women’s Leadership Breakfast 2021
On March 11, 2021, CSA hosted the 17th annual Women’s Leadership Breakfast. As has been common in this most unusual of years, the event was celebrated virtually. The event featured the “courageous initiatives” of Mother Agnes as manifested in the ministries of a 6-person panel engaged in the fields of social services, education, and health care.
The presenters all spoke in terms of “pre-Covid” and “during Covid” and outlined the challenges they and their programs faced in moving from face-to-face experiences to mostly virtual ones. The loss of socialization and peer support were identified as significant losses that began a year ago last March and, in many cases, persist to this day. Emotions like fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and sadness were identified as strongly present within their organizations and among their co-workers. However, they also identified creativity, resiliency, and flexibility as “gifts” the Covid experience called forth. The presenters expressed their hope that these gifts would continue to be valued and deepened.
The phrase “new normal” was used to express how they and their programs were evolving. One presenter spoke to the organic, changing nature of normal through use of the phrase “normal-ish,” a term that resonated with many as a reflection of the fluid nature of our current experience.
Attendees were able to engage in question-and-answer sessions with each pair of panelists to deepen their understanding, and many expressed feeling empowered and enlightened by the presentations. Each presenting pair shared opportunities for action, and attendees shared intentions to volunteer in the organizations that were represented, to research volunteering with other community-based programs, to share information about relief programs with those in need, to support women-owned businesses more intentionally, or even just to find joy and focus on moving forward. As one participant noted: “Working together we can do great things!”
Watch the full video of the breakfast at csasisters.org/breakfast