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Yesterday I climbed the Manitou Incline. 2000’ elevation gain in less than a mile—kicked my, ahem, rear.  It was wonderful to summit that bad boy, but the best part was being with my friend, Deb Christian. She’s the board chair of an international network that comes alongside women leaders across the globe.

Over energy bars at the top of the mountain, she turned to me and said, “You know, the best way to counter global extremism is to invest in women.”


She went on to talk about the spiritual nurture, economic empowerment, and leadership training going on among women globally, even in several of the seven countries targeted for the ban. Then the clincher…that their little boys will grow up understanding the value of women and working for peace.

There are several options on the table for countering extremism, like closing our borders and increasing the ISIS fight on their turf, but what about others options too, like this one?

What if, rather than pulling our cloaks tighter around ourselves and hoping our soldiers will do the work for us, we were to lean in to the situation?

What if we were to take Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn up on their proposition that “unleashing women’s potential is the key to economic progress and is also the best strategy for fighting poverty”?

What if we were to give credence to these words by President Obama… “Simple exchanges can break down walls between us, for when people come together and speak to one another and share a common experience, then their common humanity is revealed. We are reminded that we’re joined together by our pursuit of a life that’s productive and purposeful, and when that happens mistrust begins to fade and our smaller differences no longer overshadow the things that we share. And that’s where progress begins.”

What if we were to respond proactively by investing in women, who will then raise daughters and sons who value and protect human life? (Click here for ideas – )

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