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Growing as an Activator

Written by Activator Dana Marlatt

When I was in University I used to write every scholarship essay based on Olivia Pope from Scandal. I was awe-struck by her ability to handle any problem with a graceful posture and that she was capable and fierce enough to accomplish it. When I reflect now on those traits that made her so inspiring, I realized that I don’t have to look to fictional characters to see representation. There are real life radically generous gladiators out there.

They’re called Activators, and you can find them at SheEO.

Activators participate in the community by voting to select women and non-binary owned Ventures that are working on the World’s To-Do List, connecting with them to offer help or guidance, and cheering them on along the way. This powerful exchange of care is called Ask/Give and creates #SheEOmagic.

Watch Dana perform her poem about #SheEOmagic at one of our Global Activation Events

As one of those Activators, each time I’ve been part of a community call there is effortless warmth, encouragement, and a ton of spirit. Some days I have less time or capacity to show up, yet there is peace of mind that my gift of $92/month is still creating impact behind the scenes. This helps to take off any pressure or modesty norms that more is required. Like plants, Activators are enough as is to contribute to the ecosystem.

In fact, sometimes I think about my journey as an Activator like that of a new plant.

I first learned about SheEO in University, yet at the time I didn’t have the resources to Activate. So I made myself a promise that one day I would; like planting a seed. Five years later, I was able to Activate, as if to sprout above ground. Every SheEO interaction or workshop has been like watering/nourishing me with empowerment, confidence, and support. Now, I am ready to grow leaves and am doing so by facilitating Global Activation Events and gifting my time and energy to support others in the community. One day, I’m hoping to bloom by becoming a Venture.

Dana hosting a SheEO Global Activation Event with women and non-binary folks across the globe

For those Activators that take the leap of faith in oneself to host, it’s a safe space to grow and practice leadership skills (like public speaking, or facilitation); while giving back to a radically deserving group. From my experience it’s a beautiful ecosystem of support and learning.

As someone with a former fear of public speaking, this is the arena to unlearn such mindsets and feel comfortable being heard. If you are considering hosting a call, it’s important to address our own self-stereotypes and learned modesty norms, and simply give it a go! You’ll figure it out, there’s support, and a ton of accepting community members ready to receive with an open mind.

SheEO is a steady reminder of the remarkable women and non-binary folks wayfinding a better world for our future generations.

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