Moment of Lift F Word Feature Women
Society & Culture, Practice & Voice

Lifting Up Women & Lifting Up Humanity: An F Word Book Review

“… the first time I was asked if I was a feminist, I didn’t know what to say because I didn’t think of myself as a feminist. I’m not sure I knew then what a feminist was. That was when our daughter Jenn was a little less than a year old. Twenty-two years later, I am an ardent feminist. To me it’s very simple. Being a feminist means believing that every woman should be able to use her voice and pursue her potential and that women and men should all work together to take down the barriers and end the biases that still hold women back.

This isn’t something I could have said with total conviction even ten years ago. It came to me only after many years of listening to women – often women in extreme hardship whose stories taught me what leads to inequity and how human beings flourish.”

Excerpt from The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates

Dinner Party A List

You know that hypothetical dinner party guest question that’s always interesting to ponder and excruciating to narrow? The one that asks which 5 or 6 people would you most like to invite to a dinner party? Well, after reading The Moment of Lift, Melinda Gates has made my Dinner Party A List. I’d love a chance to be a part of a conversation with her in a small group setting.

In her writing she is real and revealing about her work and her personal life. Although we run in different circles, I think we’d connect and have a lot to talk about.

Melinda Gates. The Moment of Lift book cover.

Melinda Gates is a philanthropist, businesswoman and global advocate for women and girls. She is the co-chair of the world’s largest philanthropy, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation’s foundational belief is that all lives have equal value. They say they are impatient optimists working to reduce inequity.

Lifting Up Women & Lifting Up Humanity

The Moment of Lift is Melinda’s first book. She says as she’s traveled the world for twenty years she’s wondered, “How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.”

She shares a story from when her kids were little, ready for the plane to take off.  Before the wheels left the ground, she’d say to them “wheels, wheels, wheels,” and the moment the plane got off the ground – “Wings!!” When her kids were older, they’d all say it together.

Forces Pushing Up & Pulling Down

Occasionally, they’d say “wheels, wheels, wheels” more times than expected. She’d wonder why it was taking so long to get off the ground. Why do some things take so long and why do other things happen so fast? What takes us past the tipping point when the forces pushing us up overpower the forces pulling us down?

Melinda strives to answer those questions on a macro and micro level, through research data and individual stories. It’s absolutely perspective-changing. She’s learned a lot of lessons through her experiences. And she beautifully and effectively passes those lessons along to her readers. I encourage you to read this book to broaden your knowledge and understanding of the importance of women’s issues, globally and in the United States. This book will break your heart, open your mind, and open your heart.

Danna Vitt
Student of life, and a much better student than in my younger years. My current motto is taken from a country song, “I’m learning so much more than back when I knew it all.”  I serve as an accountability voice on the Men of All Souls’ Redefining Masculinity committee, Soulful Circles Core Team and am an All Souls Book Store volunteer. Please come see me on 4th Sundays in the book store and tell me what you’re reading!

The Book Store at All Souls offers engaging titles and books at a discounted rate. You can find books for All Souls Reads with Rev. Gerald Davis during the church year too! The Book Store supports Adult Programs. For orders, email

At All Souls, we are devoting a year-long series in 2019: The F Word: Perspectives on Feminism in the Year of the Woman. The intention is to talk about issues women and girls face, to hear women’s voices and ideas, to get to know each other through individual and collective experiences and storytelling, to hear from men and their roles in supporting women, and to create a space for women to support each other. The series is intended to be inclusive, honest, and intersectional. If you’d like to share your story, email

Read more from Yadenee HailuSallie GodwinQuanah Scoggins, and Mia Wright.


  1. Hats off to Danna, one of my favorite people on this earth!
    And, thanks to Bonita for making all this happen! Two wonderful feminists who I stand along side with!

    1. Thanks Mary! <3

  2. Quarantine Reads: Recommended reads from Our Bookstore Volunteers - BeyondBelief

    […] ~ Read more book reviews and selections from our Bookstore volunteers. Check out Danna Vitt’s pick, The Moment of Lift. […]

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