Dream, Girl Meets NASA
We all have those moments in the thick of the grind where we feel unseen in the work we are doing- where people we admire don’t give us the time of day or the doors we are desperately trying to knock down to reach our goals stay firmly in place.
However, there are moments when everything comes together in such perfect alignment that you feel like it was written in the stars. Our Dream, Girl screening event at NASA Langley Research Center was one of those moments.
My goal for any Q&A is to make the audience feel seen. I try to zero in on the topics and sometimes uncomfortable conversations about women in leadership they want to have (or want their bosses to hear). My hope is that at some point during the event they start sharing in the conversation and continue it when I’m gone.
Walking into NASA was no different- I wanted to be present and helpful to the community I was serving. And while the screening and Q&A after the film definitely set the stage to do that, what happened after the film was nothing short of extraordinary.
I was ushered upstairs for a roundtable discussion with about thirty NASA executives from eleven different locations to lead a conversation about inclusivity and diversity based on the topics covered in Dream, Girl.
I’ve been invited to speak at over forty screenings but I’ve never had an organization sit me at the head of the table and ask me what they can do to be better.
We had an open conversation about privilege, the importance of creating safe spaces and encouraging talking circles, and how to identify and curb the subconscious bias we all carry with us. Often when the team at NASA spoke, they referenced a specific woman in the film and her experience: “When Suzanne talks about vulnerability...we need to implement that energy in our culture.”
It was as if the women in the film were all in the room with us and their stories helped shape and inform the conversation.
After a whirlwind day I was ready to wind all the way down at my hotel. I flipped through a souvenir book full of images and stories that showcased the innovation and history of NASA, and a pride swelled in my throat that I haven’t felt in a long time about our country.
Not only are these women and men having these important feminist conversations but they asked me and my film to be a part of it. That’s a powerful thing for a young woman to experience and I’m grateful for it.