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  • Writer's pictureJessica

Spotlighting Kerry- Women's History Month

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

During Women's History Month, I have invited several women who have been formative in my life to share about their journey and callings. As you learn about these women, I hope you are inspired and challenged.

I am fortunate to know Kerry as family, and a friend. Having a big extended family, Kerry is one of the big bunch I have always felt easy to connect with. She is deeply kind, sensitive, empathic, funny and just an all around great human.

1. Would you share a bit about who you are; where you live, how you spend your days, your work, volunteering, your family makeup, your race, cultural background, faith context, pets, etc? (whatever you feel comfortable sharing)

I work as a museum registrar at a historic house museum run by a grant-funding organization. I’m responsible for our archival and digital collections, which includes a very large photographic collection. My undergrad degree is in photography, and I hold an MA in Arts Administration. I feel lucky to work with a collection that touches on a lot of my interests; art, photography, and local history. Not everyone with art-related degrees are that fortunate.

2. Who is one or several women in your life who inspired you, and how did they influence you? Both of my grandmothers were very inspiring to me. You’ve already highlighted on of them as she was grandmother to both of us. I love that she was determined to send her daughters to school and she made her own road to get there. I think she wanted to make sure that her daughters had a level of independence that was possibly not afforded to her.

My other grandma was easily one of my favorite people. She was valedictorian of her H.S. class and went on to study math at the University of Michigan in the late 1940s; she earned her bachelors in 1950. It was much let common for women to earn degrees at this time, let alone in that field. Besides being incredibly intelligent, she was thoughtful and witty and gentle and fun. I miss her very much.

3. Would you share about a time when your way/path was blocked or hampered because of your gender, and how you navigated this?

I can’t think of an example where my path was blocked specifically because I’m a woman. I think what I’ve come up against has been more subtle. Having my ideas or input dismissed or my opinions being challenged because incorrect assumptions have been made about my level of knowledge on the subject, etc.

4. Was there an implicit or explicit message about being a woman that significantly formed you that you would like to share?

I think the cultural message about womanhood when I was young really hammered in this idea that your greatest goal or desire should be attaining the status of wife/mother. I struggled with that message because those roles seemed so devalued. I couldn’t really see how I would benefit from becoming either of those things. I’m married with a toddler, but I credit my resistance to those messages for the partnership that I have with my husband. I didn’t have a strong desire to get married until I met someone that contributed to my life as much as I did to his.

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