Happy weekend, everyone!! It’s Fabulous Female Friday, and I am featuring Liz, who is the sister of my very first, Fabulous Female Friday post, Patti Sullivan! I met Patti when we were seven years old, so I have known Liz since then too! Like the rest of Patti’s family, Liz took me in as an additional family member.

Both Patti and Liz are clients of mine, and they hired me very early on in my career as a stylist. Liz was also sweet enough to offer her awesome skills in website design to help me revamp my blog! It’s because of Liz that my blog looks as good as it does today! Without her, it would still look pretty pathetic, since my skills are not even in the same universe as hers! AND, that’s not even what she does for a living! The work that Liz does is incredible, and I am so glad that I get to feature her in this series.
Ms. Liz Zadnik, Sexual violence preventionist and freelance evaluator 

Liz’s “day job” is as a trainer and researcher in the anti-sexual violence movement.  Her work focuses on innovative ways people can create social change in their everyday lives, as well as ways to address trauma at individual and community levels.  She has been a part of this movement for about seven years, before that she was a reproductive justice and sexual health advocate and anti-violence educator.  She is also a self-described “data nerd” and helps organizations develop program evaluation strategies to better convey the impact they’re having on their communities. 

1.     When do you feel your strongest?

Great question!  I feel my strongest when I’m working with people who love this work as much as I do.  I am humbled on a daily basis by the folks I get to work with – they are a passionate bunch with creative approaches to a super complex issue that impacts so many.

2.     On your most difficult days, what keeps you going?
I have a post-it note on the wall in my office – it offers me three pieces of advice: “Be aware,” “Pay attention” and “Be present.”  They help me when I get overwhelmed by upsetting recent events or distracted by the minutia of paperwork.  I try to remember what brought me to this work – helping survivors of violence and the belief that communities can be safer for everyone.  
Some days are easier that others 🙂  

3.     What do you value the most in yourself, you relationship with your spouse/partner, and your family?
I like to think I’m compassionate and value kindness over being right or powerful.  This means I can be kind to others, but also myself when I fall short of my goals or expectations.  I’m also really grateful for a partner that supports my work and feminist and social justice movements.  He is a passionate person in his own right, not just because of me or the women in his life.  I value our collective commitment to peace and justice. 
4.     So far, what have been your greatest accomplishment(s)?
I have been able to engage in research with a former professor of mine, a woman I really respect and admire.  She values my input and offered me a chance to author papers with her that have been published.  I wanted to be a novelist when I was a little girl, so being published in any way was a dream come true! 

5.     What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t take yourself so seriously!  Change and growth happen whether or not you’re ready or “qualified” so just keep your heart and your ears open.  Listen to the people around you and celebrate with them whenever possible. 
6.     What has been your biggest failure, and how have you overcome it? 
Failure is a tough word.  I think a failing of mine is that I care a lot about what people think of me and can be very judgmental of myself.  I’ve found meditation and working out to be great antidotes.  Just a few minutes of meditation or lifting weights can change my mood and perspective. 

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