By Tatiana Gonzales-Quiroga, Movement Maker Tribe Editorial Team
Women Supporting Women through Storytelling
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of strength”. These are the words from Brene Brown, TheSheSaidProject’s National Director Jenette Jurczyk’s favorite female role model. The quote perfectly encapsulates the beauty and the purpose of TheSheSaidProject. TheSheSaidProject was founded after three mothers were hanging out together in their hometown of Champagne, Illinois watching their young girls play. Together, they pondered how they could make the world a more empowering place for their young girls. After cracking a lot of “That’s What She Said” jokes, they realized that they could use this tagline to create a platform where women could speak openly about their experiences. They created the first show in October of 2013 and it was a roaring success that sold out a 700-seat theatre. Both the women attending the show and on stage were enamored by the platform’s ability to capture raw emotions and empower women by being vulnerable. Today, TheSheSaidProject is led by Jenette who has used her passion for theatrical arts and her passion for women empowerment to help this movement grow and expand into something all the more beautiful.
The Beauty of Deep Human Connection
TheSheSaid Project has now produced 5 shows, and the 2019 show broke its record with an attendance of 1,100 women from all backgrounds of life. Jenette’s mission is to continue to create a safe space for women to come together and listen to each other’s stories in an environment that allows them to feel safe while being fully vulnerable to the audience. The platform deeply dives into real human experiences and intimately strengthens the bonds of the women who attend in a way that is not normally expressed in society. The platform looks for speakers that will bring out “the belly laughs, the ugly cries and everything in between.” Women from an assortment of backgrounds speak about their experiences in hopes that their voice will inspire and empower the audience and also themselves. The stories told in the show are served to act both as a mirror and a window. A mirror in which the audience can see a piece of themselves in the stories that are being told and a window in which they look through and experience something new that they didn’t know about the speaker, the community or themselves. These stories are raw and go beyond regular everyday life conversations in order to invigorate those who normally suppressed and internalized.
Expanding and Connecting
At this day and time, women are empowered now more than ever to speak up and share their stories in order to create change. Jenette has allowed these movements to organically appear in TheSheSaidProject. People can now take the platform and embed it into their own communities across the States in order for women’s voices to be heard in a safe environment. Jenette’s goal is to be a force behind launching this national theatrical movement aimed at raising women’s voices, building communities and giving a voice to stories that need to be told. The movement takes a village, but this is what makes it so beautiful. Everyone involved is passionately working to uplift women’s voices so that they may be heard without consequence. Now the SheSaidProject has created the ThatsWhatTeensSaid project, which allows young women to share their personal stories and uplift their confidence. This new movement is one of Jenette’s proudest moments because she is enchanted by these young women’s desires to express their stories and vulnerability. TheSheSaidProject also has a new podcast, which allows a larger audience to connect and listen to the stories of these women from previous shows. The podcasts’ goal is to help people understand the impact that women’s voices can have on changing the world. These podcasts are meant to be a place of easy access to share stories from different shows around the country and it’ll be a blend of different women’s voices across the country. The podcast can be accessed on any platform that supports podcasts and it can be found by searching TheSheSaidProject. Overall, TheSheSaidProject is an incredible and unique project that uplifts women by providing a platform in which they can safely share their most vulnerable stories in order to connect in a deeper manner and transform the way the women’s voices are heard and understood in this country and globally.
About the guest author: Tatiana Gonzalez Quiroga is a student at Louisiana State University and a 2018 graduate of the inaugural Governor John Bel Edwards Fellowship. She is also the 2017 Undergraduate Student of the Year, and, like Terri Broussard Williams, is an LSU Ambassador. She is president of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) on Campus at LSU. Tatiana serves as an intern for the #MovementMakerTribe. She is spent her summer interning for Sen. Bill Cassidy in Washington, D.C.
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