If you’ve read my book, you know the story of me getting kidnapped five months pregnant in Nigeria. When we were in that long dark cell of offices where the mob was amassing we first tried locking ourselves in an office/jail cell of a Nollywood producer. It was hard for the six of us (seven counting Eli in utero) to fit amid piles and piles of DVDs.

The producer’s wife was amazing. She was a trained lawyer who handled all his business deals. She was literally lounging on a pile of DVDs…like she’d made an La-z-boy out of them somehow. Just chillin’ out. No big deal.

At some point things got more intense in the mob that was screaming at us and she jumped up like a cat and SPRUNG into action in a way I’ve never seen anyone do. She got right in the ring leaders face and was screaming back at him. She helped get us out of that cell…And into the vigilante court where we were “tried.”

If you’ve read the book, you know we bribed our way out and all was fine and it was a great introduction for Eli of what it’s like being a journalist’s son.

But I always think of that woman. This month, I AM THAT WOMAN. I have put off so much when it comes to planning every last detail of our first ever Chairman Mom retreat and now, with the countdown on, I’ve sprung into full-on action. We have new speakers coming, amazing workshops organized, and so many details to delight you all.

(As a result, if I owe you an email, I promise, it’s coming. I owe everyone an email right now.)

But here’s the thing: If you have thought about, window-shopped, dreamt about the retreat, you gotta buy a ticket now. There are five left. Because we are taking over a town, there’s no overflow or next hotel you can crash at once we’re full. When we’re full—we are full.

Yes you will be bunking with other people. Yes it will be rustic. Yes it will be a town of 100 badass women. Yes it will be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.

If you ARE attending, and want a space on the site to talk about what you are most excited about and introduce yourself in advance, @milo asked a question today that gives you that opportunity: Are you attending Chairman Mom Flee? (Let’s get to know each other!)

Here is our other question of the day: My male business partner is underperforming… what should I do?

(Amazing coach Marcy Swenson is leading a workshop in the career track of our events and it’s between “how to pick a good co-founder/business partner and why things go wrong” or “how you know if you’re ready to start a company or just dreaming”…thoughts? Email mom@chairmanmom.com. I can’t decide as I talked them through with Marcy yesterday, and they both sound great.)

…And in case you missed it, this is the thread our Slack Channel can’t stop talking about…I had no idea it would become so charged when I posted this question, but what I love is how much emotion is on both sides of the debate, and yet how the conversation has stayed respectful and empathetic. I know we all hope to hear from the anonymous asker soon!

I’m off to Seattle and then Denver for a few speaking gigs and events…I hope to see some of you! And will talk to you more from the road!

Sarah Lacy

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The Good News

Amanpour’s in the Building
September kicks off Christiane Amanpour’s new show Amanpour & Company, taking over the long-held time slot of Charlie Rose, who was accused of decades of sexual misconduct by numerous women last year. With Amanpour’s permanent show comes the promise of a more real-time, livelier, and bolder program. We’re here for it. Read On…

Give It Up for Miss Michigan
The jury’s still out on if Miss America is more “empowered” given all of the recent changes to the program, but one person who did make a splash was Miss Michigan Emily Sioma. During her introduction, Sioma started with, “From a state with 84% of the US fresh water but none for its residents to drink…” She was calling attention to the fact that residents in Flint, Michigan still don’t have clear water well over 1,400 days after the crisis began. Read On…
DID YOU KNOW: New research is showing just how many ineffective procedures and debunked “best practices” pediatricians are still recommending for children, even when they’ve been found thoroughly unhelpful and even harmful. For example, antidepressants are prescribed to children much more often than they’re needed.

The Bad News

Decades of Debt
Student debt has typically been described as a “young people’s issue,” but as many of our Mama Bears probably know far too well, loans from acquiring an education can stay with you for decades. Read On…

Who’s Educating Our Children?
Currently 77% of all teachers are female and 80% of all teachers are White, and the lack of diversity is leading to negative outcomes for many students, including boys, people of color, and low-income children. How does a teacher’s identity affect students? For one thing, teachers carry their own biases and may treat certain groups of students as self-fulfilling prophecies. On the flip side, teachers from diverse backgrounds are more likely to teach culturally relevant material and be seen as a role model to students. The effects accumulated over a K-12 education are lifelong. Read On…

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