10-28-2016  2:47 pm      •     

I just finished reading both Mike Green's speech and Bernie's speeches.  Mr. Green's caused me to pause with his current statistics which tell a story of a different America than I thought existed today.  I, apparently, am ignorant of the current facts.  I find those facts disheartening.  What action needs to be taken?  There are some facts that are not revealed here that I think would be powerful in unleashing and leveraging what is possible. 

He didn't entertain any statistics that I recall about women of color over the same period of time and how that impacts all of these statistics.  What I have to say next may seem a bit harsh but please hear me out.  I have only witnessed from afar the MLK breakfast over the past decade+ which may skew my impression, nonetheless, it is a perspective from what is PUBLISHED.   I have always been disturbed how most of the spoken credit to the incredible work The Skanner has achieved has gone to Bernie, when I firmly believe The Skanner would not have been able to be the influential force and model it has been for Portland and America without you and your expertise and the quality of relationships you bring to it.  Now, please hear the higher story of YOU that I'm pointing to here.

I get angry about the silenced voices of women of color that runs under the radar to men in America as well as for other women. That is all men, no matter the color.  Certainly I do not intend to undermine any of Bernie's incredible, innovative, and instrumental talents.  I feel you demonstrate an underrepresented path and voice of The Skanner and of women in America.   One whose story is incredibly inspiring and catalytic, and has altered what has been possible not only for you and for women in your family and our communities,  but for the men, women, children and businesses who are supported by you and by those same women for GENERATIONS to come, inter-generationally, intra-culturally and cross-culturally.  That includes me and my family and my circle of influence.

This is a force of well-being that changes the world in which we live and feeds our children literally and figuratively.  It is a story that begs to be told by more than Oprah but perhaps with Oprah, with Michelle Obama, with Condoleeza Rice, Maya Angelou AND YOU.  This is part of what I see as so powerful to the telling of your genealogy, your legacy within the context of the times in which we live.  You have altered  your  course permanently and 10,000 more behind you.  That history needs to be documented and leveraged  and studied for clues along with other successful women to bring about the change to which Mr. Green points.

Your life, your contribution and all that you stand for with Bernie and with The Skanner needs to be revealed for all of our children that follow you, so they can own and believe what may be possible for them as a result.  So that WE citizens of the UNITED States of America can get it together.  So that we have a deeper understanding of the role women like you play in those relationships to bring about the change to which Mr. Green makes reference.

I deeply honor and love the contribution that you are Bobbie as a woman, as a mother and grandmother, as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, as a mentor, as a leader, as a woman of faith and as a trailblazer.  I would be honored to help you in any way to have this story be told and be PUBLISHED.

Kellie Gale-Butto, Muskegon, Mich.

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