Meet our panelists: Jayna, Melissa, and Kimberly

Get to know our International Women's Day panelists! Don't forget to join us on Saturday, March 7 to celebrate the amazing women of our community.

Event details:

Q: What do you do? (please include your career, activism, and relevant hobbies)

A: The three of us write, record, and perform original music. We are all multi-instrumentalists and vocalists. Kimberly and Melissa work for a music publishing company called Hal Leonard and Jayna is a graphic designer at a screen print/embroidery company called Triple Crown Products.

Q: Why are you looking forward to participating in the IWD panel?

A: We're three strong women who enjoy talking to other strong women about strong women. We also believe it is important to use our vocation to celebrate and pay homage to the contributions and progress of women in our society.

Q: Why is it important to celebrate International Women’s Day?

A: We believe the recognition of the talents of women is important because they offer a significant contribution to society and have had to work very hard to acquire fundamental rights throughout history.

Q: How do you promote gender equality in your daily life?

A: We practice empathy and unbiasedness no matter the gender of people.

Q: Who is a woman who inspires you and why?

Jayna: My mom is probably the most inspirational woman I know. She is the epitome of strength - having faced the death of my dad this past August, she has had to re-discover herself as an individual after 40 years of marriage. She has been through incredible trauma and still chooses to think of everyone else before herself, and the way she is able to grieve and admit that she doesn't always have it all together is a new level of strength that I haven't yet reached. Yet in all of this, she still has joy and a zeal for life and moving forward - she doesn't let her emotions rule her.

Kimberly: My mother is a huge inspiration to me. She is so incredibly selfless, level headed, and understanding. She taught me that I am good enough for this world all on my own, and to be accepting of all types of people.

Melissa: I don't know if I can pick one specific woman, but my mom and sisters are truly an inspiration to me. They have all overcome adversity and different situations that could disable them, but have show strength and have walked in grace and humility through their trials. It sounds silly, but I want to be them when I grow up.

As a band, obvious inspiration for our name was Laura Ingalls Wilder, who was actually born in Wisconsin and is a distant relative of Melissa! She wrote the children's book series Little House on the Prairie based on her settler/pioneer family.

Q: What is your favorite book? (preferably by a female author or with a strong female character)

Melissa: Pride & Prejudice is one of my most favorite books, as well as Anne of Green Gables!

Jayna: I'm currently reading Becoming Mrs. Lewis about Joy Davidman, a writer and poet who married C.S. Lewis later in their lives - but not before she overcame an abusive first marriage and financial/emotional/physical hardship, and finally discovered her strength in who she was as a writer and a woman in a male-dominant society. In addition, I really enjoyed Sara Bareilles's autobiography - I very much relate to Sara's adolescent struggle and breakthrough with self-image, and as a musician, I found her journey through the music business in her early years very constructive.

Kimberly: I've been reading autobiographies of female comics, Amy Pohler and Abbi Jacobson most recently. Their take on the world and coming up in a world mostly dominated by men have been very interesting and inspiring.

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