Top 10 People I Met This Year

And when I say meet, I mean in person, flesh to flesh:

10] Dr. Susan Wicklund: Sure we didn't have coffee or anything, but meeting her at Women & Children First was certainly a game changer. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have fears of raising my daughter in such a politically charged home & society. Dr. Wicklund gives me hope that I'll do it right.

9] Melissa at Shakesville: I hadn't attended a meet-up in a long time that wasn't about a political campaign, so it was totally geeky for me to come out to meet such a famed blogger like Melissa & her gang. It was nice to hang out for a bit with fellow bloggers!

8] The women from the CAF Leadership Group: It's hard to find a braver group of women.

7] The people I work with at my day job: I won't name you all, but I've had new people enter my life this year and I am grateful.

6] My new mentors: I was extra lucky to get two new official mentors thru programs I'm involved with this year. One mentor is a woman I've known for awhile (she use to be Senor Feminista's boss' boss), but I never got the chance to get to know her. The other is the executive director of one of the most kick ass orgs. It's a priviledge to know them both and to have them if I need someone to talk to.

5] PunditMom: While we are both graduates of the Progressive Women's Voices training, I knew Joanne from our time together with the SVMoms Blog group. I've always been in awe of her style, writing, and mothering. I know she's not perfect, she's quite too honest for me to ever think that.

4] The juvenile parole officer: I attended a career day and was put in a group with this man who was a parole officer for juvenile offenders. He grew up in Humboldt Park before it was hip, his parents house still has bullets in the walls from the rougher days and his brother isn't a role model. He seemed genuine in his desire to talk to youth about living a good life and staying away from gangs. I think of him often, especially as I have two tween boys in my life who will be making decisions daily about which road they will travel.

3] brownfemipower: It's hard to believe that bfp has only been blogging for a few years because she's changed me more than I can say. She pushes my beliefs, challenges me to think new thoughts, and still loves me when I say "I can't go there." Bum rushing her at WAM! was one of the highlights of 2008.

2] Latoya Peterson: I met her at the Progressive Women's Voices training and fell in love with her energy immediately. It's also nice to have someone younger and hipper to go shopping with in NYC. She doesn't give herself enough props, so I feel it's part of my job to do it as much as I can.

1] Alida Brill: Another PWV friend. Alida waves herself off as a has-been-Second-Waver, but she has more insight than most veteran feminists I've worked with. She seems the connections between the generations, the gaps, the dovetails, all of it. Perhaps the fact that she has had to fight each day for her life (literal and metaphorically) she doesn't have too much time for bullshit.

2008 was an amazing year for meeting people off-line and so many of you touched my soul. I know missed some of you, I could have made this a top 20! I look forward to meeting new people in 2009. Not to mention nurture my new connections. It's so much easier to work with people online after I've met them. Yeah, I'm old school that way.

Special kudos go to the feministas at the Women's Media Center & Center for New Words. Do I really need to tell you how much I love yas?

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