(#30 & #29 in a series of people who changed the course of my life)
A shero is basically the exact same thing as a hero–you know, someone you look up to, a mentor, a person whose life has influenced you heavily. Only a shero, in many cases, has had to work even harder to make her voice heard and her place in a patriarchal-dominated world.
So my use of the word shero to describe Patti Fink and Erin Moore is very purposeful.
These two women are a significant part of why residents of Dallas county and the city of Dallas enjoy the rights we do and why Dallas is like a “blue city, set upon a hill” for the rest of Texas to aspire to be like.
Working tirelessly, Erin and Patti have individually worked within the infrastructure of the local political system to fight for change and as leaders of local organizations that advocate for fairness and equal treatment.
And as a couple, they are this lockstep, power-couple whose relationship longevity inspires as well. They make it work.
I have taken notes on them since coming to town. I have observed the way they come to the table with facts and passion–everyone knows that–but they also possess a willingness to work together with others. They are knowledgeable, yes, but they are also humble. They have the capacity to lead–and have led efforts many times; but they are just as likely to be found working behind the scenes and doing the less glamorous work that is just as necessary as the out-front work.
I have benefited so much from not only their example but the advice they have lent and the way they have welcomed me into the movement.
Earlier this year, Erin asked me “Why are you leaving to go learn about the work you are already doing?”
That question really challenged me to think through, again, what the heck I’m doing.
But the answer is the same, now more refined. I want to go because of people like her and Patti. Their hearts for activism and standing up for others have inspired me to take pieces of this local model and increase the knowledge and experience I have gained.
And in doing so, maybe someday I will be able to look back on the kind of legacy these sheroes have themselves been building for decades.
(And ok I saw this on Patti’s wall and just had to post it. I mean–1998?! How EPIC is that caption?! I’m so proud to know them!!)