The Sisterhood of the ELA Conf

We were ourselves in all our glory — powerful, raw, beautiful, emotional, and brilliant. We weren’t afraid to be vulnerable, to share our stories, our salaries, our heartbreaks. And this is what made the ELA Conf (@elaconf) the best conference I’ve ever attended.

Joni Trythall (@JoniTrythall), my mentor, coworker, and friend came up with the idea for this conference, and LeeAnn (@_leekinney), Katy (@katydecorah), and Dominique (@deeclarkesays) helped organize the ELA Conf and bring Joni’s idea to life. I can’t thank these beautiful women enough for their extremely hard work, their vision, and passion.

The small event they envisioned blew everyone’s expectations away, and all of us that attended left with a feeling that we could change the world. That we could do whatever it is that we wanted to do — ask for that raise that we deserve, make that career transition into tech, mentor someone else even when you’re still learning, and know when to protect your energy to avoid burn out.

From the beautiful, raw, and powerful Friday evening open mic session, where women opened their hearts and shared their vulnerabilities, to the powerful keynote by Saron Yitbarek, who taught us to “punch our feelings in the face”, the ELA Conf spoke to everyone who was struggling with anything in that moment.

To the sisterhood of the ELA Conf members, thank you for being authentic, vulnerable, and honest. As we go back to our lives, let’s remember the final words of our beautiful MC and closing keynote speaker, Chanelle Henry, “Now go and be awesome. It’s not too late.”