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Happy Women's Month!

Updated: Feb 12, 2020

Here at RICJ we were wondering how to honor National Women’s Month.

We came up with a 3-part question, tried to answer it, and now we want to hear from YOU too!

1. Who is a woman that you look up to and why?

2. How has she been a role model to you?

3. Have there been any women in your life who have impacted the way you present yourself?

A woman who I consistently turn to for inspiration is Brooke Gladstone. She is co-host of On The Media, “WNYC’s weekly investigation into how the media shapes our worldview,” in the form of a radio show and podcast. She’s also the author of 2 books, The Influencing Machine and The Trouble With Reality.

I am deeply interested in the media--what it is and how it works. It takes a special type of person to not just analyze this but to do it well, deeply and with great care. She is also a great editor who values brevity and clarity above all else, producing something that is not just interesting but also listenable.

What I’ve learned the most from Brooke is about questions. I am passionate about asking questions, and I understand some of the barriers to asking questions. Fear is a big one. The challenge of forming great questions which are clear and useful is another. I hear her listen deeply and respond with agility in the midst of interview after interview. And she is not afraid to just say the thing--or, if she is, she says it anyway!

In a world of people who talk around what needs to be said, this stands out.

More than anything else, what Brooke Gladstone models for me is how to use inquiry to embrace my power.

Learn more about Brooke Gladstone and On the Media here:

--Traci Picard, RICJ Communicator


My mom is an outstanding, strong, beautiful, strong, black woman who has shown me the importance of resilience. My mom is a fighter. Watching my mom face her own battles with her head held high has been a key motivator for me to push through any struggles I face. have watched her go through so much and still keep her head up.

Mom, I don’t know how you do it but I want you to know I see you, I’m proud of you, and I love you.

Another person who has influenced me is Taraji P. Henson aka Cookie Lyon. I know what you’re probably thinking - this is an odd and very random choice but she has helped me channel my inner diva. Through her roles as Melinda in the movie Acrimony and her character “Cookie Lyon” on Empire, Taraji P. Henson’s personality and talent has bestowed a confidence within me that I feel reflects both the actress and the characters she portrays.

The character “Cookie Lyon” has inspired my inner personality. She is fierce, real and comes with no filter (traits I share with her). That being said - she is also not afraid to speak her mind unapologetically even if it opposes what someone thinks.

Both of these women have helped build me up to be the person I am today. I am beyond grateful for the influence they have had in my life.

Happy National Women’s Month to all the amazing women out there making change and inspiring young women, like myself, to see a brighter future.

--Aireece Terry, Met School Intern


A constant source of motivation and encouragement in my life is my mom. She is an incredibly strong-willed, determined woman who taught me the value of honesty. She encourages me to always be as honest as possible with others but also with myself. I am constantly trying to mimic her ability to live in the present and to fully commit to my goals.

Another source of inspiration is the scientist, conservationist and environmental activist Jane Goodall. She also had a phenomenal mother as her staunch supporter and greatest source of encouragement. She entered a field dominated by men simply because she had a passion for the environment and learning more about it. She became a pioneer in the field of primatology and pursued her passion across continents even when she was often discouraged. When she did prove herself wholly capable by using unorthodox methods and groundbreaking discoveries with her long-term studies of chimpanzees, she was not taken seriously. She persisted and committed herself to her work until she became the world’s leading primatologist.

She now uses her notoriety and knowledge to bring attention to conservation and environmental issues, travelling over 300 days a year. She promotes the importance of being a part of something bigger than yourself to make effective change.

-Sam Thibault, RICJ Juvenile Justice Coordinator


Donna O. Kerner is the woman in my life that I have always looked up to. When I was a baby my mom made the bold decision to adopt as a single parent and from the moment she held me in her arms, we became the perfect duo.

All my life my mom has not only empowered me, embraced me for who I am and lifted me beyond my strengths. She reminds me to be strong, authentic and courageous every day. I've survived this far because of the support from my mom and I look forward to continuing her legacy of kindness to all and spreading love.

--Becky Kerner, Youth Empowerment Maven

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