Infinite Circles: Celebrating Female Friendship in the Bible and Beyond

By Cara Curtis, a lifelong Quaker, a student at Harvard Divinity School, and a fan of noodles of all kinds. This piece is part of the ongoing series on badass biblical women.IMG_3146

When I think about the idea of “badass women of the Bible,” my mind immediately jumps to the several courageous and fierce ladies of scripture who pull off daring and deeply powerful acts. The Magnificat is a downright badass poem. Esther was clearly not one to be messed with. Ruth has a whole book commemorating her faith and story. I celebrate these women in all of their strength and power, as well as the many others like them whose acts of faith and bravery were not preserved for us in the canon. But you know that saying, “behind every successful man is a strong and wise woman”? In my experience, this is just as true of successful women–in fact, I’ve often found that it takes a whole community of women encouraging and supporting each other for acts of deep caring, bravery, justice, and truth telling to become possible. Simply put, badass women help each other be more badass! Continue reading

On the Trail Together: Confessing Resonances in Anti-Oppression Work

cara curtisBy Cara Curtis. Cara Curtis took part in Word & World’s 2011-2012 mentoring program. A former resident of Philadelphia, she now studies and centers her activism at Harvard Divinity School.

During my years at an elite, majority-white, social justice-oriented liberal arts college, I joined many of my fellow students in a process of awakening that many call “unpacking the invisible knapsack.” Coined in a landmark 1988 article of the same name by Peggy McIntosh, this phrase refers to a process of learning and re-evaluation in which people of privilege—economic, sexual, gender expressive, or in McIntosh’s case racial—begin to realize the ways that their lives are made easier solely by virtue of belonging to a dominant group. With practice, people also become vocal about calling out this privilege when they see it. They actively try to minimize their dominance in order to create greater opportunity and space for folks with non-dominant identities to thrive. Continue reading