Linkage Love: The Power of Sheroes

By Brenda Bethman

One of the best things about my job is that it brings me in touch with a variety of incredible people. One of them is Gloria Feldt, amazing feminist and former president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. I am lucky enough to be in the middle of talking to Gloria about the possibility of a visit to UMKC to talk about “The Power of Sheroes,” which meant a phone call on Tuesday morning to discuss details. After our phone call, I was motivated to post this as my Facebook status:

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This week’s Linkage Love is dedicated to sharing the names of some of the folks I listed as my mentors, role models, and sheroes with links to their websites, blogs, etc. I wish I could include all of them, but I am fortunate enough to know too many inspiring women and men to be able to list them all here. So, here is an abbreviated list:

  • Kristen Abell. Because she’s my work BFF (it’s true — she said so) and because she’s fierce, funny, and honest. UMKC would not be the same without her and I’m lucky to call her a friend.
  • The Staff, Advisory Board, and Constituents of the UMKC Women’s Center. For making my job fun and meaningful.
  • Courtney MartinFor being an amazing feminist, for the inspiration she brings, and for making everyone around her want to be better people.
  • Kassie Stallings Sands. Because her blog makes me laugh and think. Many, many thanks to Kristen for introducing us.
  • Casey and Sloane Simmons. For being the most generous, giving people I know (and that is really saying something given some of the people I know). The good they do for Kansas City is unmatched.
  • Barclay MartinFor the reasons Chris Dahlquist lists. And for being an awesome scheming partner.
  • My #femlead ColleaguesFor teaching me something new every two weeks.
  • Rosemary FealFor making the MLA fun (no small feat!).
  • Anitra. Because she is awesome in all ways. She is also fiercely private, so I will go with one name and no links.
  • Shaun LongstreetFor being a fabulous friend, super smart, and the best business partner a girl could ask for.
  • Deb Schmidt-RogersFor being a friend and showing us that it’s okay to be vulnerable and how to build community.
  • The Snow GlobesFor making beautiful Christmas music and doing good at the same time.
  • Liana Silva-Ford. For being a great friend and inspiration. Our talks always leave me feeling better.
  • The SAWTT BloggersFor being better than Kristen and I ever imagined when we started this project.


There are so many, many more folks I could list, including friends, family, colleagues past and present, former faculty, and current and former students, but there is just not enough time to list them all. I am truly lucky to have this network of support to draw on. Who are your mentors/role models/sheroes?

Linkage Love: The Power of Sheroes