smart-party
Accepting my award at the 2012 Smart Party

I didn’t feel smart that day.

It was a Thursday and we’d just had a meeting at work, a meeting at which some of my colleagues made disparaging remarks about a project I’d worked on, disparaging remarks that made me feel, well, stupid.

But just a few hours after that meeting a press release went out announcing that I was one of the women to be honored at the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham‘s Smart Party. This award would be given to women in Birmingham who were doing innovative things in the arts, business, or education and I was being recognized primarily for my work through See Jane Write.

This announcement made it to the front office at my school and soon our executive director sent out a mass email sharing the news proclaiming that I was one of the smartest women in Birmingham.

In that moment, thanks to the Women’s Fund and the Smart Award, I remembered who I am. I remembered that the negative opinions of others only have power over me if I allow them to. I remembered that I am doing important work and I’m doing it my way.

But this isn’t the only reason the Women’s Fund means so much to me. As a feminist, I’m also deeply moved by its mission. The mission of the Women’s Fund is to move women and their children beyond poverty. But the Women’s Fund recognizes that a single organization can’t do this alone. So the Women’s Fund grants money to various non-profit organizations in Blount, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, and Walker counties that help women with the things necessary to escape poverty, such as postsecondary education, quality childcare, and safe housing.

And that’s why I recently accepted a challenge to raise (or give) $750 for the Women’s Fund. Since I don’t have $750 just lying around, I’d really love your help with this so hubster and I aren’t eating PB&J sandwiches for a month.

If you would like to help me raise money for this great organization, there are two ways you can do so.

smart-party-5-0

First, the more fun way, is to buy a ticket for Smart Party 5.0. Each year the Women’s Fund hosts the Smart Party, which is both a fundraiser and an awards ceremony at which the organization honors local women who help make Birmingham a better place. I was part of the inaugural class of the Smart Party honorees in 2012 and this remains one of my proudest moments. This year’s party is set for Thursday, Oct. 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Iron City. It will be fun and swanky and a great opportunity to meet amazing women in Birmingham. (FYI: This event is all about girl power, but the boys are allowed, too.) Tickets are $75, but if you use the code EARLYBIRD16 by Sept. 22 you can get $10 off your ticket price.

If you don’t live in Birmingham or can’t make it to the party for some other reason, you can help my fundraising efforts by making a tax-deductible donation. No contribution is too small. If I can get 75 people to give just $10, I’ll meet my goal!

To purchase a ticket or make a donation please visit: http://womensfund.smartparty.org/user/javacia.harrisbowser.

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