“I am writing this book at a place in my life where I am no longer going to pretend I don’t have any power. And I am definitely no longer interested in being a good girl. And my intention is that by the end of this book, you’ll step out of your version of being a ‘good girl’ and step into becoming a fully expressed woman.”
POWER Kemi Nekvapil
In Kemi Nekvapil’s life experience growing up in an unequal world as a woman of colour, power was white.
“Either a white man in a suit, or a white woman who was blonde and thin,” she writes in her latest book POWER.
Raised by five sets of white foster parents and by virtue of being born in England in 1974, Nekvapil was minority by birth.
She has had to fight her way out of learned smallness to become the fearless advocate we see today.
The part memoir, part coaching manual POWER published by Penguin, creates a five-step framework to guide women of all races, ages, creeds, identification, orientation and ability to increase their power.
She uses inspiring stories with reflective coaching practices to share actionable tools to navigate a variety of ills. From discrimination, powerlessness, burnout and self-doubt.
By the final chapter readers are exposed to twenty-six ‘power processes’ which Nekvapil hopes shifts lives in big and small ways.
She encourages readers to move into active application of these insights.
But it is on page 13 where Nekvapil’s potential greatest impact within Australian cultural landscape resides where she speaks directly to her black, brown and white sisters.
POWER Kemi Nekvapil A message to women of colour
“If you are a woman of colour reading this book and, like me, you live in a place of white majority our journeys may have been different in the detail but our feelings and experiences will be similar.
I know you have been sidelined, overlooked and patronised. I know you have been called ‘articulate’ as if this wouldn’t be expected. I know you worked even harder than your white colleagues and been expected to prove your worth, only then to have your worth questioned. I know you have been the survivor of conscious and unconscious bias.
I know you have internalised racism, and this may have caused you to hate your appearance, question your talents, and want to hide your difference.
We survive racism and micro aggressions nearly every day and the gaslighting is abundant and real. So this is a note just for you, in case you have forgotten.
You are worthy. You are smart. You are beautiful. And you are needed. Exactly as you are.
You and I must not hide anymore. We have gifts to bring. This book is for you, and it’s about all of us.”
POWER, introduction. Kemi Nekvapil
Research shows there is a gross deficit of diversity and representation on every Australian media platform and in the corridors of power.
This is something Melbourne based Nekvapil has the ability to influence.
The book is by no means just for women of colour, it’s for all of us.
We all need to be reminded to reclaim what was always ours to begin.