How many Jamaican female engineers do you know? Mechanics? Business-owners or scientists? That is precisely the goal of Teadra Morris’ Twitter page ModernWomanJA with her trending following of #AhOomanTingToo.
A Spanish teacher by day who is also completing a certification in Education Leadership, Morris’ page was born out of a social and economic justice workshop with WE-Change, which she also serves as the Communications Coordinator. Groups were tasked with creating a one-month project, to which she’s maintained since the end of the workshop. Since then, Morris has gone on to use her campaign to highlight women in male-dominated careers and motivate future young women leaders to pursue their dreams, regardless of gender norms or tradition.
The Modern Woman Can Campaign has showcased women in different fields each month and has celebrated Jamaican women on globally-recognized days like International Women’s Day. The page features photos and video interviews showcasing a number of women as they discuss the strides and challenges they’ve faced in their careers. Individuals like Marcine Witter, educator and founder of the nonprofit Young Professionals of Parotte, and Makeda Morrison, owner of fashion line Copper And Thread, have been featured.
Exposure has been a key element of Morris’ campaign. Increased awareness and coverage of role models is significant during these changing times. According to Morris, “The mindset of our people is changing…We’re no longer relying on a male counterpart to be successful. We’re trying to attain that success for ourselves and leave a legacy for our children and other girls.” In order to do so, future generations must be able to look towards others who have paved the way.
#AhOomanTingToo has garnered the attention of local celebrities and numerous individuals online. Morris admits that she didn’t expect the initial project to take of the way it did; she just hoped to highlight hard-working women in her community and on the island as a whole. Women included in campaigns have even reported increased recognition in public as a result of @ModernWomanJA.
In addition, @ModernWomanJA has advocated for and supported other campaigns and organizations for gender equality, equal pay being one of the most significant. In Morris’ words, “We [women] can do everything a man can do…we want equality. Equality should be in everything, in the playing field, in the subjects that are done.” By spreading the awareness of women in various fields, she hopes to change women’s mindset and motivate them not to settle.
Though the project is officially complete, Teadra hopes to continue to use the page to highlight women in male-dominated spaces and careers and partner with WE-Change Jamaica’s Trade Over Tradition Workshop that focuses on getting more women qualified for skilled labor careers.
Through her advocacy, Morris is not only championed Jamaican women, but she is also the epitome of what her page embarks. She is a journalist and documentarian, shepherding knowledge to her peers in one of the most simple, available ways possible. Her efforts are proof that truly anything can be #AhOomanTingToo.