My Experience at the State of Women Town Hall Event

Mar 22, 2024 | Career, Personal

Learn about my experience attending the State of Women Town Hall event that was held by State Senator Sarah Anthony on March 20, 2024.
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While working on March 20, 2024, my boss asked if I planned on attending the State of Women Town Hall event at 6 PM that evening hosted by State Senator Sarah Anthony at the Gier Community Center. I remembered seeing the event on Facebook previously and marking myself as “Interested” for attendance, but I hadn’t added it to my Google calendar yet. It was out of sight, and out of mind.

When I told my boss that I’d forgotten about it, she let me know that Sarah Anthony and her team were holding a donations drive at the event to collect feminine hygiene products or items such as tampons, dental supplies, shampoo and conditioner (for all hair textures), body wash, deodorant, and lotion that would be donated to the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing and she, along with some other staff members, would be attending. She told me that I could meet up with them there if I had planned on going.

After that exchange, I went straight to my computer and pulled up Facebook to look for the event. Upon finding it, I looked over the event details to see what was in store. Based on the description, the event promised to delve into crucial topics surrounding women’s business, education, and healthcare, and it certainly delivered an evening of empowerment, enlightenment, and a surprising personal connection. After reading it over, I changed my status from “Interested” to “Going” and added it to my work and professional calendars so that I wouldn’t forget about it again.

Introducing the State of Women

I arrived at the event a few minutes late because I had several things on my schedule that day, so I had to stand in the back for a while. Eventually, as people we coming and going, I was fortunate to find a seat among my coworkers from the Women’s Center, who I knew would be there. As I tuned into the event, Senator Anthony was making her way through engaging the audience and introducing the panelists, setting the tone for an engaging and informative discussion. The panelists, including Dr. Renee Canady, Jen Nelson, and Brandy Johnson, brought their expertise to the table, providing valuable insights into the current state of affairs for women in Lansing, across various sectors. From business opportunities to healthcare access and educational advancements, the discussions were eye-opening and inspiring.

Meeting State Senator Sarah Anthony

One of the highlights of the evening was the opportunity to network and connect with the panelists, Sarah Anthony, and other notable women from the Greater Lansing area.

As the event came to a close, my coworkers and I eagerly joined the line to meet the panelists and State Senator Sarah Anthony herself. Naturally, there was already quite a line of people waiting to do the same thing, so we hopped in line together and patiently waited our turn. While waiting in line, my coworkers and I chit-chatted for a bit about wanting to take a picture with Sarah Anthony and what we might have to do with the donations collected for the Women’s Center. When we got to the front of the line, I was basically standing right next to Sarah Anthony as she was finishing her conversation with another woman. What happened next took me by surprise and left a lasting impression.

After Senator Anthony was done talking to the women she was speaking with, she turned towards me and my coworkers who jumped right into introducing themselves and me as representatives of the Women’s Center. She was excited to be speaking with us! As we each started to give our names, she looked me square in the face and confidently said, “It’s Slaughter, right?”

Her recognition of my name before I was even introduced caught me off guard in the best way possible. Shocked and kind of flattered, I replied, “Yep, that’s me! Desiree’ Slaughter, but I prefer Desi.” She immediately asked, “Do you know Derrell Slaughter?” As she was asking it, I immediately knew where she was going. I replied, “No, I don’t, but I think we have been running in the same circles for years. I get asked about him often but I’ve never actually met him; He even worked at my last job before me and I got asked the same question when I started there!”

The exchange with Senator Anthony felt like a reintroduction, bridging our shared experiences and professional circles. Her acknowledgment was not only flattering but also a testament to her attention to detail and genuine interest in engaging with her community.

Final Thoughts…

Reflecting on the event, I couldn’t help but feel a renewed sense of empowerment and connection. The discussions on women’s issues were not just theoretical but grounded in real experiences and aspirations that I could personally relate to. The opportunity to interact with Senator Anthony and other leaders further emphasized the importance of active participation in shaping our communities for the better.

As I left the Gier Community Center that evening, I was filled with both insights and inspiration. I had a real-time example of the power of community engagement and the unexpected connections that can arise in the most meaningful of moments. As a sweet bonus, as I was making my way to the door, I noticed some beverages, desserts, and snacks were available to attendees at a table near the door. Before I left, I grabbed a vegan cinnamon roll from Honey Bun Bakery and a slice of lemon pound cake from Ms. Money Cakes. After such a fulfilling evening, what better way to close it out than with dessert?!

The State of Women Town Hall was not just an event—it was a catalyst for change and a celebration of progress, leaving attendees like myself eager to continue the journey towards a more equitable and inclusive future. In addition, I also got to personally connect with State Senator Sarah Anthony; she even accepted my Facebook friend request!

Check out our team photo with State Senator Sarah Anthony!

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Desiree' M. Slaughter

Desiree' M. Slaughter

Creative Professional, Solopreneur, Digital Creator

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