The Oprah Speech Effect
Oprah Winfrey's speech at the Golden Globes was posted on my social media feeds so many times that I finally gave in. During a break from working 10-hour days on a major deadline, I clicked on the link with one hand while holding a bowl of plain rice (my dinner) on the other.
For the first time ever, I felt like one of these "celebrities" was speaking directly to me.
Me too, as a young girl of color, aspired for more than sitting on my mom's linoleum floor. And I too still look up to other people of color who have achieved the impossible -they have managed to be seen and heard.
The moment in Oprah's speech that touched me personally was when she said this:
"So I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue. They're the women whose names we'll never know. They are domestic workers and farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they're in academia, engineering, medicine, and science."
Those of us who endure outside the spotlight to feed our children, pay our bills and pursue our dreams in academia, engineering, medicine, science and all other fields, we also need to be seen and heard.
I think I will find myself walking a little taller and speaking a little clearer today knowing that a new day is on the horizon.
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Dr. Luz Claudio is an environmental health scientist, mother and consultant, originally from Puerto Rico. She is a tenured professor of environmental medicine and public health. Luz recently published her first book: How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper: The Step-by-Step Guide. Dr. Claudio has internship programs and resources for young scientists. Opinions expressed in this blog are solely her own and may not reflect her employer's views.