Women at Long Branch Senior Center celebrated Women’s History Month this March in a series of storytelling sessions with Teaching Artist Candace Wolf.  In her program “Giving Voice to Memory”, seniors explored their personal identities as women, the impact of women through time, and the potential for women in the future.  Candace recorded their conversations and created a long-form poem that the women performed for other seniors at the center during a culminating event.

When asked what she learned from the experience, one participant responded “I learned that we are all the same.  You look around and you don’t know this…we are from different countries but we share the same experiences, many of us coming to this country from somewhere else and having to raise our children.”

Read on for an excerpt from their group poem.


Being a woman means to believe that you can do anything you set your mind to.

Being a woman means that you help populate the world.

Being a woman means striking out on your own and saying, “I think I can do that!”

Being a woman means you bear the children and you nurture them.


Being a woman means having STRENGTH for activity and for life.

Being a woman means to be esteemed and loved.

Being a woman means having a strong work ethic.

Being a woman means making sure dinner on Sunday is worth dying for! Then you can relax before you have to go back to work on Monday.

Being a woman means we’ve come a long way! There was a time when women had no say, whatsoever.  We just had to keep quiet. But since Women’s Suffrage, women are able to voice our own opinions.


Being a woman means to experience a lot of hardship. A woman knows what it takes—coming from nowhere—to get where she want to go in life, and how hard it is.

Being a woman means to care for the children and teach them to read. We do the housework and scrub the floor. A woman’s pots and pans are always clean and shining.

Being a woman means you can go back to college and try your hand at different careers.


Being a woman means that your labor should never be degraded. Being a woman means all your work should have dignity. My grandmother carried milk cans on top of her head and walked the streets selling milk. She did all sorts of things to make a living. I did domestic work. I did it with pride. I raised children. We women are actually pretty powerful.

Being a woman means there is no shame in any job, as long as you’re making an honest living, and as long as you love what you do. Being a woman means getting up early in the morning and going to work every single day, Monday to Saturday,  until you retire. Being a woman means you never get tired!

Being a woman means you can go beyond your mothers’ and grandmothers’ generation. Being a woman means you can train for different professions.


Being a woman means having a lot of courage to come to a new country with just one suitcase and starting life over. Being a woman means putting food on the table and clothes on the backs of yours children. Being a woman means the sky is the limit. I work hard and now I can say to the world that: “I’M A WOMAN! HEAR ME ROAR!”


Photos by Stephanie Williams Images