A few days ago, a Chaldean colleague invited me to join him to the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. The meeting was held at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the guest speaker was Mayor Brenda Lawrence of Southfield.
I had previously met Mayor Lawrence, when earlier in the year she spoke at an International Woman’s Day event. Given her motivational stories, her pride in her work as “a public servant”, and her down-to-earth personality, I was glad to have this opportunity once again.
“The voice of women and the voice of minority are very important,” said the Mayor. “There is a window to see things from them that people without diverse background have not seen.”
A real go-getter, Mayor Lawrence refused to sit down when in the past she lost a political race.
“We as women allow ourselves to be a ‘loser’ when we lose,” she said. “We often allow others to define us. But my grandmother always told me, ‘Don’t ever let someone tell you to sit when you have the right to walk through the door and stand in the room.’”
She stresses the importance of having more women and more minorities at the congressional table, because, she said, “As they say, if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”