My name is Angela Frimpong. I am a rising junior at Grinnell College, a small liberal arts college in Iowa. At Grinnell, I am studying Biology and Development Studies. Although I was born in the Bronx, and I attend school in Iowa, I grew up in Ghana. Specifically, I spent my formative years in Makola market, where my mother was a trader.
In Makola, I was surrounded by many hardworking women who were vendors like my mother. While selling their wares, these women usually discussed issues that affected them, like how unfair the new property taxes imposed on them were. At the end of the discussion, they often concluded that they would set up a meeting with their government representative to find out why the taxes were so exorbitant.
But, I never saw these meetings happen.
Because these women often had little education (primary/high school level), they did not know how laws and policies worked and would not dare show their ignorance. Thus, they could not defend themselves from what seemed to be unfair treatment.
Through my parents’ toil, I was able to start college. By the time I arrived at Grinnell, I knew I wanted to pursue a professional career in empowering vulnerable people to speak up so that their voices would be heard. In pursuit of this goal, I often seek avenues that will help me develop my skill set and my own voice as a leader. At one of such avenues, I met Jennifer Mandelblatt whose poise and confidence inspired me to attend the 2018 Platform Convention. At this convention I hope to learn how to articulate issues affecting women to lawmakers in an effective way. Ultimately, I want to use this skill to empower voices, like that of my mother’s, and give people like her the platform to defend themselves against unfair policies.