Let's face it, sometimes the world seems pretty overwhelming. A lot of us are outraged by injustices we see, but feel powerless to do anything about it. If that sounds like you, we want you to meet a woman who's been described as the most influential person you've never heard of.
Heather Booth was just a scared high school student, protesting the death penalty, when her passion for activism began. It was the first of many social issues she fought for. And now, for the first time, a new film is telling her story. If you've never heard of Heather Booth, you are not alone. But once you see this film, you'll never forget her name.
The inspirational film, Heather Booth: Changing the World, gives us a never-before-seen look at Heather's role in some of the most crucial moments in history. From civil rights to women's rights, to abortion and financial reform, Heather is a social justice warrior. Refined has the honor of sitting down with her on a recent visit to Seattle.
Refined: When did you know this was going to be your crusade that you were going to champion for these causes?
Heather: The truth is; I grew up to believe in the golden rule. Not the current Trump rule of he who has the gold makes the rules. In fact, the real rule is we should treat people the way we want to be treated. I was brought up in a loving family who really believed in the values of justice and democracy and treating everyone equally. And, so I grew up believing we should take action on that.
Refined: And it really, I really find it enlightening when a woman or a man sees this, no matter how big or how small they are, you can still make a difference. That's what it's all about, right?
Heather: The film helps inspire people to take action, and to move from this very perilous and challenging time with hope and joining together with others. And what the film goes through, is my own personal history starting in the Civil Rights movement. Women's movement, movement against the war in Vietnam, labor organizing, community organizing, and then putting that together with elections, and realizing there's a whole array of what we can do in order to make this a better world. And even when times have been very rough, and we didn't feel hopeful, the film documents how when people join together, they did make the world better.
Refined: So, you've done so many great things in your career, but of course you've had hurdles and stumbling blocks. What's been your biggest challenge?
Heather: Certainly, external challenges. The force of the right wing, the enormous amount of money that's up against us, the power that we face, but there are also internal challenges. I often think that one of the things that prevent people from taking action is feeling insecure about it, lacking the confidence. I don't know enough, I'm not smart enough, I'm not good enough, I'm not powerful enough. And a key lesson we hope people learn from the movie, and from organizing, is that people are good enough, we are the leaders we've been waiting for. We each need to find our voice, tell our story, join together and we can overcome those challenges and turn from a moment of despair into a moment of real hope and opportunity.
Refined: You remind me of the kind of woman who really doesn’t care that she’s in a movie about you, it’s all about getting a message out, isn’t it?
Heather: I really believe that people together can change the world. I’ve been really blessed to have had a life in the movement where I find this community and find the strength of so many others. And even in adversity, we pull together and we’re stronger together.