Overwhelmed. Excited. Scared. These are some of the emotions I feel as I double check my bags, print out my itineraries and wait to be taken to the airport bright and early Monday morning. The biggest question is, what is going to happen?

Who will I meet? What will I do? I think about these things, as I now that the message I will be delivering is not one that is easy to swallow. I think about how overwhelming it is to live in this country as a Black Latina woman, and how I am constantly reminded that I am of color. I think of the history that comes with my skin tone and my very existence and how hard it can be to condense that into a bite-size morsel. Conversely, I think of how far women of color have come in this country despite every single godforsaken effort that has been and is continually made to annihilate a woman like me. I think about how many of us rise and resist oppression every single day, from bravely raising our children in a country that seeks to kill us on sight to becoming a midwife like myself and fighting to give mothers of color more options and choices.

I am more than anything excited. Because even with the state of affairs as they are in the world, there is change in the world. There are more people than we think striving to change this world. I trust that I will get to stand before people like this who, despite their race, religion, creed or political leanings, understand that the most vulnerable of the world are in need of attention and help. I am excited because more than talking about the problems, I know there are solutions. "The universe is so well balanced that if there is a problem, there exists a solution."

I'm also excited that the first stop is New York City - my hometown!!! So excited to be in the most pulsating place of power and movement in the world (in my opinion anyways!). I look forward to meeting Olanike and Jampa, as well as the whole World Pulse team in these next 3 weeks. Let's do this!

Topic Leadership
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I look forward to meeting you and hearing your powerful voice during the World Pulse Live event next thursday in Portland, Oregon. I am a volunteer with World Pulse working with the online community. I am interesting to hear of your experience with midwifery and maternal health. I've heard nothing but great things about the women presented in this upcoming tour. I wish you best of luck on your travels and with your nerves. I'm sure you'll inspire countless people.

Best, Ashley

Think big, dream big, believe big, and the results will be big!

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