by Angela Melfi & Kara Valentine
Threads Worldwide Founders
At Threads, we are committed to the notion that real power comes when we bring our truest selves and highest values into our leadership. We see our community as members of a global squad committed to ushering in and promoting a new understanding of leadership and power.
It’s heartening to see people in high office amplifying this conversation. Jacinda Arden, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, is being heralded as “the most effective leader of our time.” She says, “One of the criticisms I’ve faced over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive 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.”
We are grateful every day that we are engaging in this conversation, one that has the potential to transform the world into one that works for everyone.
This past week, our community in the US joined a call with our partners in India. The reality they are facing is a 24-hour lockdown suffering great consequences if they break the rules. Although there is fear, they are filled with pride, joy, and gratitude. They are proud that although they suffered from gender and sexual violence in their past, they are now accomplished metal smithers, some of the first women to enter this male-dominated trade. They are joyful that they are quarantined with their sisters and are able to be of service to their neighbors by providing food and other staples to those in desperate need. They are grateful for our partnership and the ability to draw strength from the knowing that they have sisters across the ocean who are committed to their well being.
We are grateful for the opportunity to be their partners during a time when others are not able to do the same. Our work is necessary, yes, but it is a privilege. It is a privilege to be connected to trailblazing women in developing countries transforming their communities. It is a privilege to be connected to our Fair Trade Partners here in the US taking a stand for equality, empowerment, and non-negotiable action. It is a privilege to have a seat at the table with compassionate global leaders committed to challenging the status quo. We do not take this privilege lightly and are grateful for the opportunity always. Thank you for all that you do to make our work possible.
Ang & Kara