The following quotes are excerpts from Marianne Schnall’s interviews, many of which appear in her books What Will It Take to Make a Woman President? and Daring to Be Ourselves.


“I advocate that every woman be a part of a circle that meets at least once a month or, if you can’t do that, once every two months or every four months. But you have to have a circle, a group of people—smart, wise, can-do women—who are in the world doing their work, and you need to meet with them as often as you can so that they can see what you’re doing and who you are, and you can see the same. And you can talk to each other about the world and about your lives in a circle of trust and safety. It’s crucial for our psychological health and our spiritual growth. It’s essential.”

— Alice Walker • Writer, Poet, Activist 


“If we’re by ourselves, we come to feel crazy and alone. We need to make alternate families of small groups of women who support each other, talk to each other regularly, can speak their truths and their experiences and find they’re not alone in them, that other women have them, too. It makes such a huge difference.” 

— Gloria Steinem • Writer, Political Activist, Feminist Icon 


“When women get together as a group, it’s immensely powerful.” 

— Annie Lennox • Singer/Songwriter, Activist 



“I always think it’s important for communities to join forces. You hear everybody talk about the importance of being a part of a network, a part of knowing that there are women out there who are thinking like you and moving like you and organizing like you, and who understand what you’re going through. Ram Dass talks about the illusion of aloneness, and I think that’s what we all fall into sometimes—as women, as people of color, as educators, as organizers—this illusion that we’re trying to do this all alone or that we’ll never make a difference. Coming together is what allows us to keep moving forward. 

It’s so important that [women] look each other in the eye and go, ‘What’s happening is not okay, and we are not alone in trying to shift it. We are not alone in our pain, and we are not alone in transforming our pain into power.’ We’re all doing it, and we support each other in doing it.” 

— Kerry Washington • Actress, Activist 


“Be a sister—reach out to other women, ask for help when you need it. Women are very inclined to isolate ourselves and to feel like we have to solve our own problems alone, but we don’t. Have the courage to put the issues out on the table if we see an injustice, if we see something that needs to be fixed. Have the courage to put it out there, because almost always, there will be other people who have that point of view, too, but they haven’t had the courage to talk about it…. There’s great joy in joining together with other people to make something big happen. Huge joy. Even to make something small happen, but it’s the joining together that gives you the joy.” 

— Gloria Feldt • Author, Founder of Take the Lead