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If it wasn't for We, there wouldn’t be Us

Cindy, Julie and Jen are fans of our Ambassador Gillian Anderson and supporters of our work with women survivors of war.

In this blog they share how they became friends and supported each other since 2017.

Inspired by Gillian's work with Women for Women International, they all decided to sponsor a sister.

From left to right: Nicole, Julie, Jen, Cindy and Candice
From left to right: Nicole, Julie, Jen, Cindy and Candice

What sparked our friendship?

Cindy

Sometimes it’s the same colour eyes or the widow’s peak that you can trace back six generations. Maybe it’s identical long shadows cast during a blazing summer sunset, as both sisters giggle looking down at how their hips both cock to one side, same exact angle - the DNA of their bloodline silently screaming their unmistaken connection: sisters by blood. But sometimes... sisterhood happens another way. Sometimes a thread of one small thing in common creates a connection so molecular that strangers can become sisters.

Some people grow up with sisters. Other people find their sisters later in life. That is how the six of us met. Our common bond was we were Gillian Anderson fans. Her TV shows, movies and at that point; her most recent play “A Streetcar Named Desire” were all favourites. While we loved the actress side of her, what we found the most inspiring is how outspoken she is about the charities that she supports, her unapologetic “this is me” attitude and feminist views of what it means to be a woman in today’s crazy world.

So when Jennifer Nadel and Gillian Anderson announced they would be coming to New York on their “We” book tour in March 2017, we all decided to go. Some of us had interacted with each other on Twitter so we knew “of” each other but we didn’t “know” each other. For some of us it meant flying to New York, for others it was “hop the early morning bus into the city.” 

In hindsight, we spent less than 15 hours together that day and barely scratched the surface in getting to know each other. What we didn’t know was that was the beginning of our circle. Before we all left NYC we started a group chat, that two and a half years later is still something we all participate in daily. We are all so different, in different stages of our lives; there is no way we would have met had it not been for that day.

From left to right: Cindy, Hadley, Jen, Candice, Nicole and Julie
From left to right: Cindy, Hadley, Jen, Candice, Nicole, and Julie

Sometimes a thread of one small thing in common creates a connection so molecular that strangers can become sisters.

Working together to support Women for Women International

Julie

Art is my way of dealing with the stress life throws at me so I sketch and paint regularly. I shared a sketch of Gillian’s iconic lips including the distinctive mole we all love. We were just a few weeks from our group meeting in Florida and Jen wanted something fun to wear on a t-shirt for the Comicon.

With that in mind, I made a digital art version which was made into a t-shirt and art print that Jen asked Gillian to sign at her appearance in Orlando. Gillian saw the art and seemed to enjoy the piece which led to me collaborating with her to raise money for a charity she was working with: Women for Women International.

Once the collaboration started, there was so much to do! Finding the correct shade of red for the lips (thanks for your expertise Cindy!) and finding the perfect blend of t-shirt for Gillian to wear in Argentina (thanks Jen!) and all the drafts that my group of sisters had to endure and critique and telling me I was good enough to be trusted with this project when the self-doubt crept in (thank you Candice, Hadley and Nicole!).

I had just over four weeks to make everything perfect for Gillian’s Lip Shirt debut at the convention in Argentina. Together, we got everything done. On Lip Shirt Launch Day, I was busy working my side job as a wedding florist and I was stressed trying to figure out how I could give this fundraiser the promotion it deserved and still get my arrangements completed.

My sisters stepped in, kept me informed, and promoted the fundraiser on social media at a fever pace - they were amazing! Gillian looked comfortable and fabulous wearing her Lip Shirt and people came together to support a great cause by purchasing the lip art products sold on the online store. The collaboration was a success and I could not have done it without my sisters.

Jen and Nicole wearing the ‘Gillian’s Lip Shirts’
Jen and Nicole wearing the ‘Gillian’s Lip Shirts’

Having a supportive group of women to celebrate with and to offer comfort translates to a safe space in this crazy, ever-changing world.

Sponsoring a Sister with my Sisters

Jen

In our circle, we share our struggles and achievements daily. Having a supportive group of women to celebrate with and to offer comfort translates to a safe space in this crazy, ever-changing world.

Gillian, as an Ambassador for Women for Women International, introduced us to an organisation where we could expand our circle to include women from places and cultures all over the world. So as a group, we decided to sponsor a sister.

To sponsor a sister as a group you must choose one person to be the point of contact for the sponsorship. This person then sets up the account and shares login information with the circle so that anyone can log on, write a letter to your sister or view what others have contributed. Information from Women for Women International, including letters from your sister, is also shared among the group.

A programme participant from Rwanda. Photo: Hazel Thompson

Sponsor a sister

Sponsor a sister between now and the end of August and we will gift you a free copy of Gillian Anderson's book We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere.

Our Ambassador Gillian Anderson in action

Take a look at our Ambassador Gillian Anderson sharing the work she's been doing with us on her Instagram.

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Join the movement

Sign up to our mailing list, and lend your voice to create a chain of inspiration. Together we will use the power of our collective voice to support women in war-torn countries, the most vulnerable women in the world.

The Power of Friendship

'It’s not only the money but the way we gather together that has changed my life.’ On International Friendship Day, women survivors of war share what friendship means to them.

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