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Women's Lifestyle Magazine

Women's LifeStyle - July 2020 - Dr. Kimberly Yvonne Kennedy-Barrington

Jul 03, 2020 06:25PM ● By Elyse Wild

Letter from the Editor

I hope the stories in this edition inspire you as they do me. During production, I found myself reading them over and over again, feeling more uplifted than I have in the past couple months. They perfectly capture our mission of amplifying the voices of women in our community doing brave, bold work to make it a better place for everyone. These stories remind me of why I love my job. 

On our cover is Dr. Kimberly Kennedy-Barrington, who is as inspiring as she is stunning. Kennedy-Barrington is a full-time disability advocate.

In a Q&A on page 12, she states, “It just takes that one incident that will ignite something on the inside of you to say: ‘ I have to got to make this different. If I can’t do it for myself, I need to do it for those coming behind me.” 

Turn to page 25 to wonder at the delicate handmade beauty of Stacie Tamaki’s tinygami. That something so enormously beautiful could exist on such a small scale fills the soul with awe and calm. Tamaki began creating origami with her late grandmother and what was once a former hobby is now a full-fledged career. 

Last month, Nisha McKenzie opened the Center for Women’s Health Collective. McKenzie spoke with us about how the center was born out of the great disparities women experience in healthcare and her own desire to educate people about how sexual health has great implications on our mental and physical health (20). 

On page 10, Kentwood District Court Judge candidate and attorney Amanda Sterkenburg discuss what it was like to quit her job to pursue her dream of practicing law, all while raising two young children as a single mom, the challenges of running a campaign during COVID-19, what her vision is for the future of the courts, and why integrating technology into judicial processes creates equity and access. 

These stories have given me the impetus to dig my heels into my passion, stay focused and forge ahead as our world continues to evolve with COVID-19. I implore you to consider that while the passing of time ushers with it impatience and a perhaps gnawing desire to be more wanton with safety measures, the most vulnerable and divested members of our community continue to bear the brunt of the pandemic. The 49507 zipcode is the city’s poorest, and as of this writing continues to rank highest for coronavirus cases in Grand Rapids. We are, after all, still in this together. On page 5, check out our listing of volunteer opportunities to continue to help those most in need.