Tag Archives: Oprah Winfrey

Oprah & #MeToo. TimesUp for Sexual Harassment.

Oprah Winfrey receives the Cecil B. de Mille Award at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards

If you watched the Golden Globes last Sunday, you probably felt the same awe we did at hearing Oprah’s speech and her powerful words to all women and girls: a new day is on the horizon.

The #MeToo movement has been unlike anything else this past year. It has grown into something so much bigger and broader than imagined, with countless women speaking out throughout Hollywood, the country, and internationally. And perpetrators have fallen. Finally, real consequences.

Oprah’s impassioned words struck a deep chord, especially:

“They’re the women whose names we’ll never know. They are domestic workers and farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they’re in academia and engineering and medicine and science. They’re part of the world of tech and politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and they’re our soldiers in the military.”

This global issue is a stain on humanity. Sexual assault and all forms of harassment must come to an end. For that to happen, we have to expose it (as so many have, at great personal and professional risk) and make sure there are consequences.

It was Hollywood actress Alyssa Milano who sparked the #MeToo movement across social media, but women have long been fighting to be heard. Before that there was Recy Taylor, the woman who was kidnapped and raped by six white men, but never lived to see them persecuted. And there was Tarana Burke, the woman who first started the Me Too campaign in 2006 to raise awareness around sexual assault in underprivileged communities. And there are thousands – millions – more.

Prosperity Candle has long stood for women’s rights. We believe in equal opportunity, equal pay, equal representation, and equal education for women and girls everywhere in the world. We are inspired by people like Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who became an activist for female education after being shot for going to school, and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate

Here in our studio, women artisans relocated to the U.S. from refugee camps through UN and federal programs pour candles in a joyful, safe environment. When we first approached them in 2010, we had the idea to help set up their own candle business. They asked instead for living wage employment, flexible work hours, transportation – and an environment free of sexual harassment.

Some of these women refugees had experienced offensive advances and unwanted contact here in the U.S., but were afraid to confront managers for fear of losing their jobs. So we set up a candle-making studio. And since several planned on having children, we added a crib, private nursing area, and a “babies welcome” sign.

That was twenty years after Anita Hill testified that Clarence Thomas, nominated to be a Supreme Court Justice, had sexually harassed her when she was his assistant. He was confirmed to the Supreme Court. She was called a liar.

And now here we are at the start of 2018 with Golden Globes actresses dressed in black as part of the #TIMESUP protest, speaking forcefully about putting an end to sexual harassment, the most powerful of whom was Oprah. It feels like we are – finally – at a tipping point.

Time's Person of the Year Silence Breakers

We are grateful to the countless women who have bravely shared their personal experiences over many decades – you helped make it possible for today’s voices to be heard. Add the very public courage of Time Magazine’s Silence Breakers and we have a loud call for real change.

It is time to be bold. We have the opportunity to substantively shift the balance of power in the workplace, in our communities, and in Congress to be more representative of our nation’s citizens, more equal. After all, the United States is 51% female, a.k.a. the majority.

As Oprah said last Sunday, “a new day is on the horizon. And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘me too’ again.”

Thank you, Oprah.


Before you click away, do 5 these simple things:

  1. Support the #TIMESUP movement

  2. Join a Women’s March this weekend
  3. Connect with the Women’s March on Facebook
  4. Share the links below with everyone you know
  5. Tell us about about initiatives supporting women’s rights and helping put an end to sexual harassment… we’ll broadcast far and wide


LINKS TO SHARE

What You Can Do as a Bystander to Sexual Harassment

Time Magazine’s Person of the Year – the Silence Breakers

About the #TIMESUP Movement

Women’s March 2018

Massachusetts’ March Forward #WeekendOfWomen 2018

Women’s Leadership Gap – by the Numbers

Pro-Feminist Men’s Movement

Anita Hill’s Story, Revisited

The “Shocking” Revolt at Golden Globes


World Gratitude Day 2016

World Gratitude Day Prosperity Candle

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

What are you grateful for?

The answer to this simple question can unlock the fullness of our lives. It turns what we already have into enough – and more… into a recognition of abundance. On this Sunday we are taking a moment to celebrate World Gratitude Day, which was officially a few days ago. Since 1965, September 21 has been celebrated as a day to appreciate all that we have in our lives, and reflect on the meaning of gratitude.

Even in the darkest and most challenging of times, there is still some light and something to be grateful for. While we can’t always control events adversely affecting our lives and communities, or people across the world, we can make an effort to focus on the positive as often as possible, and express appreciation to those around us.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it,” said author William Arthur Ward. That seems an apt metaphor. More importantly, it got each of us here thinking about what we are thankful for, yet never say so. A lot, it turns out. The more you think about it, the more you realize how rarely we express gratitude for everyday things that go right, that nourish you, that contribute positively people’s lives.

That’s why in recognition of World Gratitude Day, we’d like to start a wave of gratitude… of sharing over the next two weeks what we each appreciate and are thankful for.

So what are YOU feeling grateful about? Share your answer on Facebook and tag a friend! Let’s see if we can generate not just a wave, but tsunami of gratitude for things big and small, consequential and seemingly trivial. Every share gives you and your friend a chance to each win a Burmese Gratitude Candle.

We’ll start. Here are 3 things we are deeply grateful for:

Women Artisans and Our Partners

The Little Market Lauren Conrad Prosperity Candle

We started this small social enterprise to support women in and from regions of conflict, helping them to build new lives and a brighter future. Turns out they have given us far more in return… we are grateful for their friendship, how our lives have been enriched by their traditions, and the meaningful connection across cultures. (And on the more trivial side, we are grateful for incredible lunches featuring dishes we’ve never heard of – yum!).

Of course, none of this would be possible without partners who embrace fair trade principles and care as much as we do about the good a handmade product can do.  From stores like Ten Thousand Villages to organizations like CARE and companies like Univision, we are incredibly grateful that so many people bring their values to work and help ensure that everything they do – even events gifts – are in alignment with those values.

The Little Market, founded by Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla, is one of our favorite partners. Their mission to empower women artisans complements ours, and we simply love working with their team. It’s amazing what kindness can achieve in business relationships… we so often hear about the opposite, the fiercely competitive side of commerce. Yet there are countless examples where businesses are created for the greater good to positively impact people’s lives and the environment. The Little Market is one of those companies, and we are grateful for their partnership.

Global Impact

World Gratitude Day Prosperity Candle

That we can live in a small town in Western Massachusetts, work out of a beautiful studio in an old mill building, collaborate with women in places like Haiti and Iraq, and purchase handcrafted vessels from artisans in over 20 countries around the world, is amazing. A few years ago we were a couple of people with the silly idea of changing lives through candle-making. Today we’re a few more who are actually making that silly idea happen, one candle at a time.

We also appreciate the international groups that recognize the uniqueness of our mission and model, and have made room for us in their membership. The World Fair Trade Organization and B-Corp, which recognizes Prosperity Candle as a Best for the World enterprise alongside the likes of Warby Parker, are two we are especially grateful to.

YOU!

World Gratitude Day Prosperity Candle

Let’s face it, without people like you, businesses that prioritize social good could not exist. Conscious consumers care as much about how a product is made as the design and price. Everyone loves a deal and the convenience of shopping on Amazon. We all care about the world, but we’re also busy and mindful of expenses. So it takes an especially thoughtful individual to take the extra step of “shopping for change” as a friend of ours puts it.

Thank you. Since our beginnings in 2009 – before we were even a real entity – you have followed us, purchased candles made by women artisans, and shared a message of creating a brighter future for all. You have made Prosperity Candle what it is today… still small and unconventional, but sustainable and contributing to a better world.

We pour every candle by hand one at a time, usually the day it’s ordered so we can make exactly what a customer asks for. That much care doesn’t lend itself to mass production – everything we do is as “small batch” as it gets – and is only possible when people recognize the value in this. We are incredibly grateful that so many do.

Finally, we are grateful to our families, friends and mentors who have given us such unconditional support and understanding. We couldn’t even begin to count the ways you have helped make Prosperity Candle possible. Thank you so very, very much.

Gratitude Candle

Gratitude Candle Prosperity Candle

Now it’s your turn!  Click here to express your gratitude and for a chance to win a Burmese Gratitude Candle for yourself and a friend. Winners will be randomly selected on October 15, 2016. Good luck!

 #WorldGratitudeDay   #ThankYou   #gift

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