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The girl I saw had a bright, beautiful face and big expressive eyes. She was standing outside the school gates, clinging to the fence with her fingers laced through the wires and peering in longingly. I knew that this young girl, who I later learned is named Srelin, was not being brought into the school to be enrolled, and I wondered if she ever would be. It was a moment of reflection as I realized that the world would never see the boundless potential she possessed if she was barred from education. I knew in that moment that providing girls like Srelin the tools for self-empowerment was the way that her community, indeed our world, could change for the better.

I was one of the entrepreneurs lucky enough to enter the cannabis industry at the start of the green rush. From the beginning, I was often one of the only women in the room, whether the meeting was about everyday business practices or government policies. The disparity was even more pronounced at industry conferences where I was one of only a few female executives in a sea of male entrepreneurs. Female leaders are still widely underrepresented in many mainstream industries, and I believe it is time to challenge this archaic precedent within the cannabis space.

Why is work the number one place where adults make most of their friends? Because consistency is one of the three relationship requirements, and there's nowhere we're more consistent in our lives than where we're paid to show up regularly. Work is to adults as school is to kids: the best place to interact frequently with the same people. But what happens to all those work friendships—whose consistency relied upon sharing a breakroom, sitting beside each other, chatting in the hallway, or connecting briefly after meetings—when so many of us are now working remote?

While we continue to be shocked by the horrific abuse in the Epstein case, let's not overlook what the media coverage itself reveals about a pervasive sexism and misogyny that is deeply embedded in our society. From what is said and how it is said to what is conveniently left out, the coverage reflects and perpetuates long-held attitudes about male violence against women. Much of the Epstein coverage refers to the victims as "underage women"; that would, of course, be girls. There is also reference to Epstein and other powerful men "having sex" with underage women; that would be rape. And the Epstein case is not singular.

Like most people, I am often asked, "What do you do for a living?" As a therapist of color, I think about what it is like to walk into my office. The walls are covered with my photography and beautiful illustrations from former patients of anxiety, depression, and recovery. "Thank You" cards are strung up, and the bulletin-board shows messages of allyship. On closer inspection, you might notice a carefully curated bookcase with titles on trauma, body image, and culture. Everything in the office is done consciously and intentionally; my space is not only a reflection of me but an invitation to others: an invitation offering my office as a safe space to do the work necessary for recovery.

Your best friend just got back from her honeymoon and you can't wait to hear all about it, but she still hasn't replied to your text. Now weeks have gone by, and all you've gotten was a quick response. You think to yourself: "Did I drink too much at the wedding?" "Was my present lame?" "Did I say something wrong?" No, chances are nothing you have done or are doing right now is wrong. You've just entered a different phase in your relationship: the spare tire.

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