Pat Mitchell declares herself to be a dangerous woman and is sounding the alarm to other women. She says that it’s a dangerous world and it needs us more than ever—needs our experience, our voices, our ability to bridge differences and forge collaborative alliances to right the many wrongs in the world. In her new book, Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World, Pat tracks her own course from a childhood on a Southern cotton farm through confronting injustices of racism and equal rights and forming alliances to tell powerful stories as one of the first women broadcast journalists in the 70’s. Being a lifetime advocate for women and girls led her to zig-zag her way through a career in media, seeking out opportunities to tell women’s stories, and then charting many other firsts: the first woman president of PBS and CNN Production, and winning the first Lifetime Achievement Award from The Women’s Media Center, and over 30 Emmy Awards, multiple Peabody Awards, and an Oscar nomination along the way.
Pat says that she is on the dangerous side of 60 now, as many women are, and it’s time to speak up and use our power together. She says that women bring different approaches to problem-solving and she is working with women leaders from all sectors—elected officials, big civil society organizations, and every part of life—to help them step into the power and accept they have influence to make our world less dangerous.
Read Becoming a Dangerous Woman
Her book, Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World, is a call to action for women to speak out against injustice, racism, sexism and violence against women. We need to speak up for the policies that matter and there are opportunities that may feel like small ways, but there is nothing trivial about injustice. This book is full of inspiration and ideas to help women see how they can help (no matter what their experience) by saying what they really think and feel. Check out Pat’s TED Talk for a brief overview of her message in the memoir.
Dangerous Women Support One Another
Pat says, “I think the most dangerous thing we can do in these dangerous times is show up for one another. Support one another.” The time for women to be polite and proper is over. Wherever women are making a difference—running for office, volunteering, organizing or teaching—support them. Campaign for them, join in and be part of that support network. She says that she has worked with women all “around the world who have truly redefined the meaning of the world community. When there’s a crisis in their community—and crises are every day now.”
Listen to this conversation for more of Pat’s story and Pat and Dr. Nancy’s experiences at women’s conferences. Check out Pat’s website and read her blog for more ideas about how you can make the world a safer place by engaging that dangerous advocate within that will speak out for change. Pat says, “I now make it a point of looking around the room, every table we sit at, and going, ‘Hmmm, who’s not here? Who’s not represented? Whose voices are not being heard,’ and speaking up about it instead of being quiet and nice about it. That’s part of being dangerous.”