Last week, we held the first Be Your Change Women’s Podcast Retreat in Arizona. ⠀

What strikes me the most during those couple of days, was the desire of all these women to tell their stories, both personal and about issues they genuinely care about. I was grateful and nervous about the opportunity to bring together this incredible and diverse community of women changemakers.

It was a surreal experience. We knew the world was about to collapse, yet everyone showed up. We all felt it was our last opportunity before something big happened. From time to time, we all talked about staying at the El Coronado Ranch, mainly because it is such a magical and remote place. It also felt incredibly safe.

For some of us, it was the first time we went on a hike, the first time we were brave enough to decide to put our voices upfront; the first time we tried new food; the first time we learned about gabions. We laughed, we cried, we loved, and we ate SO WELL, thanks to my incredibly talented sister Céline who spent the four days making delicious meals, aka apple pie, vegetarian lasagna, lemon mousse, fishballs, and vegetable curry. She also has been thinking about what’s next for her and starts imagining her new life.

Lindsey a hilarious woman. We could tell her podcast is going to be a hit.

Kendra is working on sharing personal stories about the healing and the meaning of food and it’s history in Tennessee. In the process, she is also inspiring her community to join the podcast train.

Eleanor a talented podcast producer and journalist, brought her knowledge and expertise and ear for listening. I can not wait to hear the podcast about her and her mother.

Dalia has probably five podcasts in her. They all would be interesting taking us on a journey of engaged female politics to women stories and childhood trauma. Music plays a big part in her life. ⠀

Carol Langlois’ life mission is to connect with teen girls and improve their mental health. She has already achieved so much: a book, a play, and now a podcast. For all of us, who have teens, it is going to be a must to listen to.

Jina Moore, who is now in quarantine in Burundi, is another talented journalist who is cooking up a super cool podcast about changemakers.

Marisa, a highly regarded journalist is already a podcast producer and was so generous with her time and expertise in audio. Marisa is thinking about what’s next for her and we are all excited to see where this is going to take her.

Ruxandra was our PHENOMENAL teacher. We could not have wished for a better audio oral transmitter. We all felt so blessed and grateful for her generosity, talent, and insights on storytelling.

And then there was Valer Clark, the founder of Cuenca Los Ojos Foundation. A real source of inspiration for many of us, a revelation on how we can live our life and the impact we can have on any part of our journey. Valer famously said, ‘people are asking me why I don’t travel anymore; why would I? I can dig under my feet and learn about the world.’

I came back on Sunday evening after driving 10 hours straight with my sister. My son was sick with a fever of 104. He was miserable and we could not get him tested for the coronavirus. It was a harsh reality to go back to, the craziness of a society where we can not get proper testing and the medical supplies are lacking. Everyone knew a pandemic was likely to happen, just like everyone knows a strong earthquake is going to hit California at some point, it is inevitable. We understand that every time we cut corners, it ends up in a disaster. And yet here we are, still, debating in the Democratic primary election about where or not health care is a fundamental human right.

It is one of the reasons I do what I do. Because this reality is NOT ok. It is NOT ok to NOT have healthcare; to have to fight to preserve our environment. It’s NOT ok that people need to get themselves into debt to provide a decent education for our children. For some time now, we have lead to believe that this reality is ok.

After getting organized back at home and finding the right path to coordinate schedules and routines, I finally sat down to watch The Post and I was shocked to learn of politicians lying to us, and just how far back it has gone. I did not realize the U.S presidents lied to Americans because they felt that admitting the truth meant humiliation. How shortsighted.

So, let’s make the most of our isolation and self-distanced life by educating ourselves even more about what is going on in the world because what is happening today is not a coincidence. This happened because of neglecting throughout our institutions worldwide and because of politicians choosing profits over the health and well being of their people and we have forgotten the fact that it is NOT ok. That’s why I want to teach as many women as I can about podcasting. To help them amplify their impact and voices because guess what? We can change this broken narrative.

At this time of uncertainty, pain, and fears; we need to stay connected to what is essential, our love for others, our love for our families, and our desire to improve the lives of others. I feel now more than ever, now is the time we have to offer our help…. to cheer people up and get over this challenging time.

If you have read this far, join us for a podcasting challenge by commenting on this post!

With love and gratitude.

Juliette Roy