Feel empowered. And if you start to do it, if you start to feel your voice heard, you will never go back.

Mary Robinson
Feel empowered. And if you start to do it, if you start to feel your voice heard, you will never go back.

Fresh off the heels of St Patrick's Day, a day when the world dips itself in shades of green and celebrates the rich tapestry of Irish culture, we turn to the wisdom of the first female President of Ireland (and an alumna of our wonderful partner university-- @Trinity College Dublin), Mary Robinson. This week's quote is from our very own #LaidlawTrailblazer alumna, @Rachel Clinton.

Mary Robinson's words serve as a beacon for those looking to make their mark in the world:

Mary Robinson: "Feel empowered. And if you start to do it, if you start to feel your voice heard, you will never go back."

As we reflect on her message, it’s a timely reminder of the strength found in using one’s voice to effect change.

Leadership Journey and Achievements

Born on May 21, 1944, in Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland, Robinson's journey is marked by numerous accomplishments and pioneering roles, making her a symbol of progressive change in Ireland and beyond. Her academic journey took her from Trinity College Dublin, where she earned her BA, to Harvard University for her LLM, showcasing her early commitment to legal and human rights education. Notably, Robinson became a professor of law at Trinity College at the young age of 25, establishing herself as an influential figure in legal education.

Throughout her career in the Seanad Éireann (the Irish Senate) and as a practising barrister, Robinson championed significant legal reforms, including the decriminalisation of homosexuality, legalisation of contraception and divorce, enabling women to sit on juries, and securing the right to legal aid in civil cases. These efforts culminated in her historic election as the first female President of Ireland in 1990, a role she used to further her advocacy for human rights nationally and internationally.

From National to Global Leadership
Robinson's leadership journey is underscored by her commitment to legal reform and human rights. As President of Ireland, she redefined the presidency as a platform for social change, advocating for marginalised communities and pressing for liberal reforms. Beyond her presidency, Robinson's commitment to human rights and climate justice has seen her lead and contribute to various global initiatives. Her work as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and her founding of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice have made her a global ambassador for human dignity, social justice, and environmental stewardship.

As we begin our week, Mary’s words serve as a reminder of our potential to drive change and the journey of empowerment that begins the moment we decide to let our voices be heard. Her words encourage us to break the silence, challenge the status quo, and boldly pursue our convictions with courage and determination.

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Go to the profile of Amanda Flanagan
about 1 month ago

Fantastic! @Rachel Clinton !

Go to the profile of Rachel Clinton
about 1 month ago

She absolutely is! :-) And I doubt she would mind me saying... only the tip of the Irish iceberg @trailblazers 

Thank you @Princess Agina 

Go to the profile of Rachel O'Kelly
about 1 month ago

What an incredible woman!