I had a very insightful conversation with fellow tech women in the afternoon at Indiana State Museum. They asked me to share with them what fuels my passion for inspiring and mentoring women and girls in the STEM career and how you define success? I told them that success is a very relative term. If I can inspire a young girl to dream of being a doctor, scientist, or engineer, I have achieved my goal. With my role as a columnist at Indianapolis Recorder, I can use this medium to inspire, encourage, and educate thousands of people to follow their dreams to pursue a career in STEM and tech. It fuels my passion. We are not leveraging our young girls' and women's potential, and we are missing out on a huge opportunity. We also discussed the importance of role models, mentors, and resources to generate interest and keep them thriving in achieving their goals.
I drove a few blocks and stopped by Indiana Avenue to visit the Black Lives Matter mural. I saw some of the images of artists painting it, but the final image taken by a drone was outstanding. Every letter has a different artist conveying a story. However, seeing it in person with one of the artists and her daughters explained the true meaning of the mural. It has a tale of two young girl's dreams and future.
Haley Rose was taking pictures of artist Ashley Robinson of Ashley Nora Art and her daughters Jurnee, 5 and Ariah, 3, who painted "R" in the word Matter with portraits of her two daughters and their dreams. The girls were very excited to see their faces painted on the street with their handprints and dreams. They posed like divas for the pictures but could not wait to get ice cream to beat the heat. Ashley said, "I dedicated this to them. I asked them what they wanted to be when they grow up. Jurnee said a dentist and Ariah said a painter. If these change tomorrow, I want them to know that their dreams matter and their futures matter! I want them to be whatever they want to be and not be judged by the color of their skin! All of us deserve to live and to bloom to our full potential.”
Onus is on us. It is our responsibility to make sure that Jurnee and Ariah get the resources and opportunities they deserve to make their dreams a reality. They should feel confident that their dreams and future matter to us as much as it matters to them.
What story will you reveal from the mural?
Rupal Thanawala is managing director at Trident Systems leading business and technology consulting practice, and tech editor for Indianapolis Recorder. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.