January 1, 2022
Alliance for Women in Media-2021 Year in Review
Becky Brooks, AWM/F President
We are closing out another year that was largely nothing like most of us anticipated. Nearly two years into a pandemic and many are ready to say what one of my favorite holiday cards we received this year said, “Dear 2021 (and 2020) Really?!, Signed, Everyone.” That may sum it up best. Quite simply, we’re done!
This is a year that began waiting on a vaccine to be available for the masses, an attack on our Capital, inauguration of new administration including the first female, and woman of color, in the White House and the unforgettable Amanda Gorman. Her words of hope, with layers of transparency, set a tone we could all use. One excerpt was:
And so, we lift our gaze, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.
We saw this manifested in many ways including through the Olympics with the world coming together when we were unsure it was feasible. Seeing the courage of Simone Biles saying, “it’s ok to not be ok” and reminding us to take control of our own stories. (Thank you to Simone Biles for serving an important role as a presenter during the Gracie Awards to Taylor Swift! Another moment we will not forget.)
Through it all, you, the media community, have continued to tell important stories. Some still in the basement, from bedrooms and perfecting the art of connecting with the public from wherever, and however, it was possible at the time. The community is stronger, more resilient than maybe we’ve ever been.
The Alliance for Women in Media has stayed in the center of media for 70 years. When we talk about courage of the media this year – imagine the courage of 12 women signing our organization into existence in 1951! While we would have preferred to lift champagne in-person throughout the year celebrating – we are so proud of this digital tapestry doing what we do best, celebrating storytellers to celebrate our 70th. We hosted more important conversations through our Gracie Interview Series and created a video series through the support of SiriusXM that will combine the lessons of our leaders – the first of which is on the topic of mentorship. The year was capped off with the AWM Connects, our first mentoring experience bringing together those new to the industry with a mentor where they asked any question including – how to ask for a raise, how do I get to the next step in my career and more.
These are only possible because of the guidance of our leadership and support of members, sponsors and donors. The $21K in 21 days was a yearend fundraising campaign intended to support another scholarship in 2022. Please consider a tax-deductible donation – there is still time for the AWM Foundation to achieve this goal.
On a personal level, this year has proven what we all know, community and connection matter. After our two kids spent more than one year in virtual school, they are back together, albeit masked up! We spent time with family and friends that didn’t happen in 2020. Maybe more than we’ve ever, needed togetherness. Having hard conversations and being authentic with one another.
So, while life isn’t quite back to “normal”- here’s to finding more ways to be together in 2022, continuing to tell important stories and being the positive light our world needs!
Becky Brooks, AWM/F President