Dedicated to Dr. Angelou

Tiffany Roesler

Phenomenal woman....I feel as if my grandmother passed away....Dr. Maya Angelou has been a role model for me throughout the years as well as deepened my connection to being a proud phenomenal woman. I feel compelled to share a segment from my speech at Mongo DB for Women in Tech: Dr. Maya Angelou is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature. She is a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director. I admire the sureness in the poise at which she speaks and the beauty of the fairness behind her words. I value her wisdom. But did you know she was a mute for 5 1⁄2 years? At the age of 7, Angelou was raped by her mother's boyfriend. The only person she told about this was her older brother. A few days later her mother’s boyfriend turned up dead. She recalls that she thought her words had killed a man and therefore she stopped speaking for 5 and a 1/2 years. Imagine that Maya Angelou not speaking for 5 and a 1⁄2 years.... Dr. Angelou said, “Mutism is addictive – it’s like a drug because you don’t have to do anything.“ We are the leaders not only of ourselves but our ideas and we need our voices. Our mission is for women in tech to share their voice more. Maya Angelou says, “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.“ She reminds us that, “Life loves the liver of it.“ Let’s be bold and live out loud.