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HER-Story Moment: Linda Donavan Harper

A Legacy of Living Out Loud

Linda Harper, Sleep Out 2022

Women’s History Month is an annual celebration of the achievements, challenges, and accomplishments of women in our society. First recognized in 1987, it has been celebrated every March around the world and serves as a reminder that gender equality is still far from being achieved. To raise awareness of this reminder, we honor and recognize pioneering figures in history and celebrate their inspiring stories. We also take time to reflect on the progress that has been made and discuss how we can keep pushing forward to achieve true equality.

We’re encouraging women everywhere to Live Out Loud. This week we’re highlighting Linda Harper, one of the dedicated members of the CHGW Board of Directors. Linda Harper is retired but remains an active community volunteer and participates on several non-profit boards. She was Principal of LHarper and Associates, a strategic planning and organizational development firm. She served as the Executive Director and CEO of Cultural Tourism DC from July 2007 to January 2013 and served on local and national tourism-related boards. From 2000-2007 she was the Chair and CEO of Historic Congressional Cemetery. We sat down with her as she told her story and the source of her life of living out loud.

Living out loud doesn’t have to be literal. Living out loud is living with bold courage. It means celebrating your own true self and expressing yourself without fear. It's all about taking risks, following your dreams, and embracing the moment instead of letting life pass you by. To live out loud, take time to explore new opportunities and activities outside of your comfort zone; be open to change and challenge yourself to try something new; make a point of connecting with people around you in meaningful ways; appreciate the beauty in the present moment; set goals and work towards them with enthusiasm; be kind, generous, and supportive of others. Finally, don't forget to have fun along the way!

Listen to Linda Harper’s journey, recollections, and advice here.

"I think you could be as feminine as you want to and still be a damn good CEO. Be proud. Be confident. Move forward. You need to stand up for yourself and those around you." - Linda Harper

We at CHGW celebrate pioneering women like Linda Harper, for using their network, actions, and voice to support young people experiencing homelessness and disconnection in Greater Washington. We applaud her commitment and dedication to making our community a more equitable place for all.

You too can live out loud for a cause too!

1. Identify your cause: Figure out which nonprofit organizations are in line with your beliefs and values so you can determine which causes to actively advocate for. Learn more about CHGW.

2. Spread the word: Use social media, start a blog, or join local events to spread awareness about the organization and mission you support. Get Social.

3. Take action: Participate in fundraising and volunteer activities that help the cause, such as donating money or time, organizing events or campaigns, or helping out with administrative tasks like bookkeeping or marketing. Reach out to ask the organization what would be most helpful. Click here to volunteer with CHGW.

4. Speak up: Advocate for the cause by writing letters to legislators, signing petitions, and attending public meetings where decisions related to the cause are made. Join our advocacy efforts in the DC Metropolitan area.

5. Inspire others: Invite friends and family members to get involved and share inspiring stories of people who have helped make a difference in their communities. Sleep Out is one of the greatest ways to get others involved. Learn more about our annual Sleep Out.


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