The Grown Ass Woman Brigade (“GAWB”) is a nurturing, supportive network of amazing and fun women. As you might guess, the GAWBs are a bunch of gals with chutzpah and a strong sense of humor. They are, by and large, professional women from all walks of life and all races, ages, shapes and sizes. We come together for a cause or a celebration, to learn and to support one another, or just to hang out with other grown ass women! We are, at our heart, women helping women.
To that end, we have organized ourselves as a 501(c)(3) charity that supports women who are trying to change their lives for the better and support their families through:
- Scholarships for women starting or returning to college or a bona fide career training program;
- Micro loans to women starting or growing businesses; and
- Grants to charities that support women.
We also hold educational events for women and, once in a while, throw a helluva party to raise funds.
Our story starts with cofounders Heather B. Lam and Suzanne D. Meehle, longtime friends who had a moment of epiphany a few years ago: “I was having a really terrific conversation with Suzanne one day when I had a revelation,” Heather says. “‘You know,’ I said, ‘It’s just so nice to be talking to another…grown ass woman.’ Suz immediately understood what I meant. It’s hard to meet other women who are creative and strong and smart and okay in their own skin. No crazy drama…no weird insecurity…no inexplicable competitiveness.”
“That revelation turned into dinner with our grown ass women friends,” Suzanne adds. “We thought it would be fun to introduce them.” The night turned out so well that the two then set up a Facebook group to facilitate setting up more opportunities to hang out with other GAWBs.
“One thing led to another,” Suzanne says,”and before long, the group had over two-hundred members and had taken on a life of its own.”
In June 2012, the GAWBs had our coming out party: the now-annual Red Dress Ball. The GAWBs were in fine form! Many of us were in red ball gowns. There were several that came looking like a 1940′s pin-up. A few came in corsets and motorcycle boots. One wore a wedding dress. One even came dressed in an Elmo costume.
The event got massive support from local businesses and the Orlando theater community. We ate, drank, danced, talked, laughed, watched musicians and belly dancers, introduced our husbands and significant others to each other…. and raised more than enough money to get the non-profit off the ground. In July 2012, we had our first official GAWB seminar, with GAWBs who achieved success teaching and mentoring other GAWBs. One of the most powerful thing about the GAWBs is that they do not take themselves so seriously all the time. That seems to foster mentoring and support and growth.
We hope that you will join us in our quest for WORLD DOMINATIO…. Umm… Here’s a picture of llamas.
Oh, also, we are accepting donations for the GAWB fund. Click here.