It is Women’s History Month! March is when we take the time to reflect and celebrate bold women whose actions led away to the freedom and opportunities available today.
Priya Parker is a facilitator and strategic advisor who is known for the book “The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters” and the New York Times podcast, Together Apart. Parker has devoted her life to helping out communities by steering conversations on identity and transitions. Parker studied organizational design at MIT, public policy at Harvard Kennedy School, and political and social thought at the University of Virginia. She is skilled in conflict resolution and participated in race relations and peace processes throughout Africa and India. Parker is the founder of Thrive Labs where she works with people to help move meaningful and transformative ideas into reality.
Parker was born in Zimbabwe and grew up moving often throughout the world. Her Indian mother and white father eventually settled in Virginia and divorced when she was 9 years old. Throughout her childhood, she went back and forth between a very spiritual and liberal household to a Christian conservative household. At a young age, Parker has been immersed in conflicting cultural differences. She believed that everyone has their own truths but a completely separate community might not share those fundamental truths.
Having non-white DNA in her, Parker has been asked the questions that many of us probably faced growing up, “What are you?”. Race questions as such pushed Parker to study race identity. Her podcast aims to remind people about the resilience of the human spirit while bringing people together creatively and meaningfully, even when we are apart physically. The podcast reconceptualizes virtual gatherings to hold onto that life that keeps us through isolation. Definitely give this podcast a listen!
While the efforts of Priya Parker and women like her made the world more comfortable to live in, there is still a long way to go and the fight for equality is a responsibility that rests on everyone’s shoulder regardless of demographics.