Grrrl PowHER Hour Speaker Invites Students to ‘Step into Somebody Else’s Story’

Brenau University students heard powerful stories during the fourth annual Grrrl PowHER Hour Thursday, Oct. 26, in Pearce Auditorium. Keynote speaker Rachel McGowan, program director of I AM THAT GIRL in Santa Monica, California, challenged the Women’s College students to think about themselves in an open, new way and to be authentic to themselves.

“I think being authentic means to really sit with yourself and allow yourself to be all that you are,” said McGowan to the packed auditorium of Brenau students, faculty and staff. “All of the good things you’ve done and all of the mistakes as well. I believe all those things can co-exist; I can be both a masterpiece and a work in progress. We are not ‘human doings,’ we are human beings.”

The theme of this year’s PowHER Hour was empathy, which McGowan defined as “choosing to step into somebody else’s story in order to experience it.” She described empathy as a superpower, a tool to connect with others, and the key to overcoming division and isolation. McGowan also encouraged the students to be in tune to one’s own sensitivity and to pick up on injustice and the social “toxins” of the world.

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