The Path to Healing A Nation Is Through Speaking Up


Jennifer WilkovBy Jennifer S. Wilkov, Founder of the Speak Up Women Conference,

The historic 2016 election is over and the results are in. Whether you are celebrating them or disagreeing with them, they are final. It is what it is.

As the saying goes, ten percent is what happens to you; the other ninety percent is how you choose to handle it. It is up to you: how you choose to handle the election results will determine your experience and affect the experiences of those around you.

Make no mistake – emotions are raging high today on both ends of the spectrum. Americans are confused, frightened, sad, angry, disappointed, exuberant, relieved, or happy. Regardless of whom you voted for, it is now time for the healing of a nation so divided.

The path to healing is paved with the use of your words and your skills for speaking up – in your personal, professional and philanthropic lives. Communication is the key to healing wounds between individuals, groups and countries.

This means that courage, confidence, care and consideration will become the stepping stones toward our successful reunification. After all, our great nation was founded by our forefathers who were faced with the same path in order to form a more perfect union.

Let those in your personal life know how you feel. Be sensitive to the fact that they may or may not feel the same way you do about the election results. Instead of shunning them or cutting your ties with them, see if you can share your feelings authentically and with care and listen to theirs without judgment. Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and feelings about the election results. Allow them to surface – for you and others. Think about how you can agree to disagree and still love one another and carry on.

In the workplace, tensions may run high by the coffeemaker or water cooler and also with clients and vendors. The financial markets were already “speaking up” last night as the votes continued to be counted and our nation stood at attention with baited breath for the election results. The Dow Futures were at one of our nation’s all-time lows last night, predicting an opening of the Dow Jones Industrial Average with a drop of more than 700 points lower than yesterday’s close at one point. This morning, they were down more than 638 points, which rivals the drop in June earlier this year when the United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union, the crisis known as Brexit. The markets do not like uncertainty either and are not afraid to speak up and show it.

We will all need to work together in the workplace and have respect for one another, beginning with everyone’s responses to the election results today. This will be essential in order to ensure our ability to move forward and continue to prosper with our respective businesses, large and small, under a Trump presidency for the next four years.

If you have strong feelings about a particular group you feel may be compromised by the impending Trump presidency, speak up and ask others how you can support these types of people and what organizations you can join. Keep in mind you can also speak up and start your own to help them.

As the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States says, “We the People need to communicate with one another and work together to establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

This is our time to insure domestic Tranquility, to come together as a nation, speak up about our thoughts, feelings and ideas so we can heal and move forward toward a prosperous next four years.

About the Author: Jennifer S. Wilkov is the founder and producer of Speak Up Women (, a national conference designed to support women with understanding the importance and impact speaking up has in their personal, professional and philanthropic lives.  The 2017 conference is set for March 3rd at the United Nations. 


Why Speaking Up Matters for Women in the Workplace Today

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