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Celebrating the Women of Groundwork

International Women’s Day (IWD) isn’t just about marking progress; it’s about igniting change. This year, the spotlight is on “Inspire Inclusion,” a theme that resonates deeply within our Groundwork community.

image of diverse cartoon women all making a heart shape with their hands, with text over the image saying "International Women's Day, Happy International Women's Day, #InspireInclusion #IWD2021"

International Women’s Day arrives with a powerful message: Inclusion matters. It’s about tearing down walls, defying stereotypes, and creating spaces where every woman feels seen and heard. It’s about recognizing and celebrating the unique journeys of women from all walks of life, especially those whose voices have been marginalized.

This year’s theme is also a reminder of the values that lie at the core of Groundwork. Here, we go beyond sharing desks; we exchange ideas and dreams. We believe in holding space where every voice is not just welcomed but celebrated. We believe in the power bringing people together and building genuine connections, knowing that it’s the relationships we build that matter most. By fostering an inclusive and open culture, we can unlock the full potential of our whole community.

What Inspires the Women of Groundwork?

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we want to take a moment to spotlight the amazing women who bring our Groundwork community to life. As you’ll see, it’s clear we all share a collective passion for creativity and fostering connections. Take a moment to hear what inspires these women at Groundwork—it might just inspire you, too.

Blue to Purple Gradient background, on image is 13 photos of the women who are quoted in this blog

Honestly so many people, places, and things inspire me. Nature. Anyone with a kind heart and a strong message regardless of social status. TedX Talks and contemporary art. Above all, medicine peoples of Indigenous cultures and ancient ceremonialists worldwide. We need their wisdom to plant seeds of hope for the future.   

Erica Clavin, Owner of Green Grotto Beauty & Energy

The people I serve are my biggest inspiration. I love empowering others and when I see someone make that shift from under confident to empowered, it makes my heart skip a beat.

Donna Criscuolo, Executive Director of Leadership South Coast

Finding life paths that are meaningful.  Creating, no matter its beauty.  The ocean.  Enrichment learning.  Maps.  Studying the brain.  Writing that pours out of us when we least expect it to.  Should I go on? Because I could, for days!

Midori Evans, Owner of Midori Creative

My Community inspires me. I feel so lucky to be in this role, to represent my peers, and to share my knowledge and resources with everyone, without any barriers to access. It takes a village and I carry that sentiment with me everywhere.

Samia Walker, Executive Director of EforAll SouthCoast

My kids. Everything I do is to make them proud and lead them by example.

Roshalene Grace

Ever since I moved back to New England, I’ve been inspired by the changing of the seasons. I never appreciated it growing up, but the four seasons we experience here are nothing short of miraculous. I’m even inspired by those grey winter mornings when you never really see the sun rise, it’s like the universe is giving us permission to slow down.

Sarah Athanas, Groundwork Co-Founder

That’s really too hard to answer. So much inspires me. Right now, those cold water swimmers are inspiring me. 

Marlissa Briggett, Publisher of SouthCoast Almanac

My family, other successful people (particularly women).  Travel, being in nature.

Paige Roth, Owner of Pine Haven Investment Counsel

People. And finding new ways to meet and connect with people; to get to know people from life experiences or places or perspectives that are new (to me) and different. That inspires me! Through a Groundwork connection – the New Bedford Food Tour – I met a community of people that go rowing on a regular basis in Clark’s Cove and Buzzards Bay; and for some, this is connected to Azorean whaling and rowing/sailing practices. Some of my best mornings this past summer were spent watching the sunrise from that rowboat in Clark’s Cove!

Francesca Martin, Consultant

I take a little bit of inspiration from a lot of places, and I fully subscribe to the thought that you are the combination of the 5 people you spend the most time with. I’ve done some serious soul searching over the last year, and purposely surrounded myself with people with can-do attitudes, while letting go of the ones that are always unhappy about something (we all know someone like that!) I’ve learned to take inspiration from small things, such as a quote on a podcast or a smile from a stranger. 

Pam Crombie, Controller at New England Marine Monitoring

My Family

Pam Shwartz, Owner of New Bedford Food Tours

Being able to economically impact the city of New Bedford by providing jobs to people in the community, influence the younger community and empower others to tap into their purpose. My Mom has been my greatest inspiration. I watched her challenge herself as a single mom and continue to grow within her work environment while she mentored and touched many along the way.

Britney Ganeto, Owner of New B Cleaning
Women of Groundwork coworking community

My inspiration stems from the idea of interconnectedness, which highlights the crucial role each individual plays in shaping our shared reality. As a textile artist, I utilize sheep’s wool to create handmade felt, where each strand of hair symbolizes the deep connections in our world. I aim to convey personal narratives and universal human stories, celebrating the profound interdependence between all living things. Through wool’s tactile and versatile nature, my art provides a refuge from life’s challenges while raising awareness of the complexities of our shared human experience.

 Paulina F. Guzman, Fiber Artist & Journalist

I’ve been connecting with a lot more artists and creatives lately which has been inspiring me to show up more for my own craft. It’s easy to let creativity fall to the back-burner, but connecting with people who prioritize their passion is really motivating.

Nicole Cosme, Groundwork General Manager

A lot of my inspiration comes from what I consume and who I surround myself with. Reading, dance, and theater fuel my creativity. The amazing women that I surround myself with every day play a significant role in shaping who I am.

Raelyn Couto, Groundwork Community Coordinator

Some of my current inspirations are “The Creative Act” by Rick Rubin; Music by Orion Sun, Caribou, and Toro y Moi. Studying Human Design according to Jenna Zoe. Plants that grow out of concrete cracks. Revisiting projects in my dye studio that I really hate and trying to figure out ways to reuse the materials

Korie Ellis, Groundwork Community Coordinator & Owner of Falling Off Trees
Raelyn Couto