This week on Voices of Courage, Ken D. Foster is joined by Kate Nielson, the American Association of University Women’s top policy advisor and counsel, Robin Kagan, former Program Co-Chair, Membership Co-Chair, and now Co-President of AAUW, and Jim Case, the author of “Fear Is A Choice” and host of the podcast, “Adventures in Truth,” to discuss releasing old unnecessary beliefs and fear, and creating equal opportunity for all human beings to thrive.
Ken introduces the theme of this episode, which is freedom. He talks about the difficulty of entering unknown territory both personally and professionally and how it’s essential to understand that most of our learning comes from experiencing different things. He stresses that fear can be a motivator for people who can not fully live to the extent that they want and how hard it can be to break from this mindset. Ken talks about living within our own spirit and how that can help us control our lives in a greater way. The stress that the presidential election is brought up, and Ken says that no matter who wins, we should not let whoever wins determine our success. Ken introduces his first guests Kate Nielson, the director of public policy and legal counsel for The American Association of University Women, and Robin Kagan, former Program Co-Chair, Membership Co-Chair, and now Co-President of AAUW.
Ken asks Kate and Robin about what the AAUW does, which brings them to talk about how the organization was founded to promote education and equity for American women. The AAUW was founded 140 years ago and is one of the largest educational organizations for women in the United States. Ken asks them what some of the most significant challenges women are facing today. They stress about protecting women and families as well from workplace harassment and ensuring equitable pay. Ken asks what type of women the organization is for, and Robin explains that the AAUW supports all women, and anyone is welcome who loves activism. Kate elaborates on how diverse their members are and their training for members about how they can be good advocates. This has Ken ask what makes a person a good advocate. Kate explains it’s not as difficult as it sounds but mostly boils down to making people in your community aware of your platform and the issues the organization is facing.
Ken asks Robin what a woman can look forward to at a local chapter of the AAUW, which causes her to talk about the organization’s sense of community and the diverse programs they offer. Ken asks why equal pay and educational opportunities are still topics argued over to which Robin and Kate mention how federal and state laws are starting to help solve this issue. Ken asks them how they are working to make education more accessible and affordable to women. Robin discusses the AAUW’s scholarships and food drives they do for women students and their free negotiation course for women. Ken introduces his next guest, author James Case who’s passion is to help people grow their lives and overcome fear. Ken asks James what inspired him to write his latest book, which he tells Ken was inspired by a trip he took and how his clients were always encouraging him to write. James discusses how we are not born afraid but about how fear is trained and how we can choose something other than fear. The constant exposure to media can influence our fears and drives away our common sense. James stresses how if we only look through a lens of fear, we prevent ourselves from opportunity. He says how, when we change our relationship with fear, we become more aware of it and are even able to conquer it.
James begins talking about the importance of making decisions that not only benefit yourself but the world around you as well. When someone is confronted with an unknown scenario it is important to recognize your fear and not prevent you from engaging. Ken talks about how surrendering is not about giving up something else but realizing when your energy is better spent elsewhere and no longer continuing a situation that does not benefit you. Holding on to the opinion that you are always right is another way fear manifests in us.