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Beyond Emerging Voices: A Declaration

Emi's Opening Statement at the Plenary Panel "Emerging Voices" at the National Teleconference on Women in Higher Education

Date: March 27, 2000
Location: University of Minnesota
Format: Panel

We are emerging voices, as well as full participants in contemporary discourse. We are tomorrow's leaders, as well as today's revolutionaries. We are the wave of the future, but we want the power now.

Our voices deserve to be heard, not just out of obligation or pretense, but because we have something important to say. Our messages deserve to be respected and honored, instead of patronized as naive or immature. Listen, and we will show you why.

Share with us your power, which you have fought several decades to establish. Stop pretending powerless in front of us; you have the power as professors, administrators and community leaders. You are the first generation of women professionals to have the opportunity to pass on their power.

If we work for women's centers, pay us decent wages. Insistance on volunteerism keeps less privileged women without opportunities to develop skills and connections. If we do work or volunteer, let us join boards of directors where we can practice using real power. In Women's Studies departments and elsewhere, involve us in committees that actually have the power as its full voting members. And support us beyond our fixed roles as teachers, students and administrators so we can support you.

Do not choke down our different views to our ignorance, lack of experience, or consumeristic mind-control. Respect our differences. We are different because the world is different, and we owe it partly to all of your battles and glories. Pass along your banner of liberation to us and let us continue changing the world for our daughters' generation.