After attending yesterday’s Women in Leadership: Pathways and Possibilities event held at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, the number one question that continued to ring in my mind was: From where do women who run for office receive their strength? There are many ways in which women receive their strength; however, from my perspective, its about using power from within.


Boston City Council President, Michelle Wu and I!

What is the “power from within”? Well, have you ever felt compelled to ask the question or bring light to a very important topic during a meeting, class, or a conference? And in that moment, did your stomach start to turn? Did your nerves start to race and your whole body start to sweat incessantly? Yet, before you know it you’re up on your feet and the words are coming out of your mouth and then people around you start to clap because you voiced the exact same thing that was on their minds.
Well that’s the power from within.
It’s the moment that while your heartbeat races incessantly,  you feel that you must do and must say something because its fair and just. Let it be on a subject that you care very passionately about and before you know it–nobody can stand in your way. When you speak from your truth, that’s when moving through your power is at its utmost high.
Selfie with Boston City Councilwoman, Ayanna Presley

Selfie with Boston City Councilwoman and SWSG’s Special Advisor, Ayanna Presley!

Not every women moves through that power and that is okay. Often times, women are in a powerless position where they can not do or say. It takes other women who move through their power to empower the voiceless, and maybe at times speak on their behalf.

That’s me standing with Boston City Councilwoman, Andrea Joy Campbell.

Yet, where do you get this “power from within” from exactly? Maybe you derive this power from the multitude of experiences within your life. Perhaps, its observing the transgressions of others that within you grows an empathetic and transformative process of wanting to do something about it. Like State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry shared, it “was the lenses of growing up Haitian-American that began my journey to run for office.” Or as Boston City Councilwoman, Ayanna Pressley eloquently declared, “I run on a platform for girls and women”.
Here at Strong Women, Strong Girls, mentors empower girls through skills on self-awareness, empathy, and critical thinking. We want SWSG girls to realize the inner strengths–the power from within–to dream and do. We want SWSG girls to be informed about what is going on with their selves, their schools, their homes, and the world around them in order to make informed decisions. Just as Boston City Councilwoman Andrea Joy Campbell stated on how to make a decision in voting. “It’s about being informed and knowing who the candidates are and knowing what they stand for through their actions.”
So what’s your power from within? What gives you the strength to wake up everyday and DO?
Kenyora Johnson is the Senior Operations Manager of Strong Women, Strong Girls-Boston. You can contact her at