Monday, October 3, 2022

Power Women Summit 2020: Congresswoman-elect Cori Bush Talks Being Mistaken for Breonna Taylor

Soledad O'Brien & Cori Bush

*Today, during Day 3 Main Stage programming at WrapWomen’s Power Women Summit 2020, the largest annual gathering of the most influential women in entertainment, media and technology, Congresswoman-elect Cori Bush, in conversation with Soledad O’Brien, discussed being mistaken for Breonna Taylor on her first day at “Congress school,” the need for a diverse Congress, and how she plans on winning over constituents.

Highlights from the conversation with Cori Bush include:

  • On the need for a diverse Congress: “We need regular people who are doing work for people on the ground in communities seated in Congress. We need people from every area, from every sect of our society. We have to be a diverse Congress because our country is diverse. And if we don’t have those perspectives — if we don’t have that type of leadership where people feel touched, where people feel outreached — then we’ll continue to have this disconnect that people feel between the government and the people.”
  • On her shock of being mistaken for Breonna Taylor in Congress and how it gave her conviction: “The first time it happened I just paused, and my mind was racing, it was like ‘Is this malicious? Is this serious? Did I just hear Breonna? Like, what am I…?’ And so then I had to discern the spirit because I’m like okay, I need to figure out what this really is. And it was actually just the person did not have a clue…That’s why this voice and the voices of so many people like me have to be represented. Each one of us brings something different and for me, there are many people who would like to silence me. There are many people who feel like, ‘We’re tired of hearing about Black Lives Matter. We’re tired of hearing Cori the Activist. She’s always talking about this particular subject,’ but you know what? Because we’re still dying, I’m going to keep talking about it!”
  • On connecting to constituents: “We are looking also for representation. There are so many women, and young girls, who have said to me, little girls, and even little boys, that run up to me and grab me when they see me they’re like ‘Oh that’s Cori Bush!’ People feel represented, whether it’s the fact that I’m a woman, the fact that I am of this age that I am, the fact that I’m a regular person, I’m a nurse, I started out in early childhood, so in so many ways, and then, I’m somebody who’s been evicted. I’ve lived in my car with my two babies, moving it around St. Louis. I’ve been a low wage worker, I’m currently uninsured, people see themselves and their own struggles in me.”
  • On whether or not a divided electorate will prove to be a challenge: “I don’t believe it will be a challenge, I think that it’s just going to take us listening to one another, because the thing is, this is the reason why I am going to Congress. I don’t care about a name, title, fame, this is not about my career, this is about saving lives 100%. I am only trying to save lives and then help build a better quality of life for my people. That is what I’m doing, I’m tired of St. Louis struggling, I’m tired of us hurting, St. Louis has to be the center of everything I do, and the root of what I do is just a love for humanity.”

You can watch the full conversation here or, below:

Additionally, highlights from the Celebrating Progress, Not Perfection conversation with Jameela Jamil include:

  • On how cancel culture should handle J.K. Rowling: “I think it’s important to make sure that we are clear on the fact that there are some people who do irrevocable harm, and they make the same mistakes repeatedly. We have to have boundaries for how many times you can overstep the line in a way that will actually harm or endanger a marginalized group. Someone like, for example, J.K. Rowling, who is just doubling down on harmful misinformation sometimes about a certain group, I think in those instances it’s not my place to decide to ‘cancel anyone’ but I think that she would have to do significant work and make significant amends in order to be able to be reaccepted by certain communities who stand against her values. Harvey Weinstein, all these kinds of different people, not to say that they are equal in their harm, I’m just giving examples of people who have done irrevocable harm.”
  • On the defining moment that made her start ‘I Weigh’: “[I saw] a picture of the Kardashians, you know, who, whatever anyone’s opinions of them are, they have created an empire, they have achieved so much in business, this is a family of billionaires, it was a group shot of all of the women in the family, and there were numbers written across the bodies of the women of the family. And those numbers weren’t how many awards they’ve won, or how much net worth they have, which are significant things in business. Instead, it was just how much they weigh. And because of the algorithms on social media, once I clicked on that post, more posts that were similar started coming to me, of Selena Gomez, and Taylor Swift, and all these different iconic women who’ve achieved so much in their careers, still only reduced down to a number on a scale. And I think it just, having suffered with an eating disorder for 20 years, I kind of snapped, that I can’t believe the belief system I had at 12 years old, that my value was determined by numbers on a scale, is still being upheld, even for the most successful women in the world, the ones who are history-making and record-breaking.”
  • On her work with Congress: “We are working on one bill to end weight stigma in schools, so I just spoke at Congress regarding that. We’re working on another bill which is a tax incentive for companies that no longer airbrush their photographs because of the false advertising, and the ways in which we now have got proven studies that show the impact of airbrushing on the way that people perceive themselves. And finally diet and detox products for under 18’s, we’re trying to get them off the shelves and trying to no longer allow them to be available online…”
  • On encouraging others to achieve authenticity: “Really make sure that you don’t just diversify your feed, which people are learning how to do, but you have to diversify your day in order to actively instill empathy inside of yourself. You’re not going to get that through the blue light of a mobile device…And also be very mindful of what you are taking in, be mindful of your news sources, be mindful of the people that you are choosing to follow, and the impact, not only on the way that you think, but also the way that you feel.”

You can view the full panel here.

You can view additional Day 3 Main Stage programming here.

 

ABOUT POWER WOMEN SUMMIT

The Power Women Summit is the largest annual gathering of the most influential women in entertainment, media and technology. Hosted as a free event, the Summit aims to inspire and empower women across the landscape of their professional careers and personal lives. This year’s all-virtual PWS provides three days of education, mentorship, workshops and networking around the globe – to promote “Inclusion 360,” this year’s theme.

ABOUT WRAP WOMEN

WrapWomen is a power base of influential women of entertainment, media, technology and brands committed to changing the face of their industries. Through media and live events, we provide a platform to accelerate the vision of women who are building towards a more equitable world. Our events attract a broad network and community of professional women who are decision-makers and mothers, leaders and wives, innovators and activists.

source: Erin Freilich | High10 Media | erin.f@high10media.com

 

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