Shout Out Saturday is a series meant to highlight real and singular women, in a variety of lines of work, both ‘known’ and unknown, from across the country.
Lila Heymann is originally from Lafayette and attended college in Baltimore. She holds Masters degrees in History, Library Science and Social work. Before turning to a career as a licensed clinical social worker, Lila worked in the Education departments at the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Smithsonian and the Jewish Museum in NYC. For nearly a decade, she worked as a social worker in the NYC homeless services system. She now works as an Independent Psychiatric Evaluator employed by the State of Virginia and resides in Charlottesville, VA with her family. Lila also operates HLH Properties and Glitter Box as well as her family's charitable giving organization, The Heymann Foundation. She feels immensely grateful for her ability to live both in New Orleans (city of her heart) and Charlottesville. Her favorite activities include hanging out with her son, Henry, and partner, Harold, beachcombing and traveling.
Glitter Box: What is the realest, most honest piece of advice you have for a woman working her way up in your field (or any field)?
Lila: I think that while each of us deals with our own set of strengths and challenges, one piece of honest advice I have for every person is figure out who you are, not who people around you want/need you to be. I mean who YOU really are. Be ok with that person, learn to love YOU. Authenticity is often difficult. Strive for it. And understand sooner rather than later that we can never, ever make everyone happy all the time. And there are some people we will never make happy. And their happiness is not our raison d'etre.
Glitter Box: What do you think is the most important thing we need to do to achieve a more equitable and just society?
Lila: The gender income gap MUST be abolished. Women and men should make the same amount of money for equal work. Also women's reproductive rights MUST be solidified. PRO CHOICE is the only choice. Anything else hobbles us as women. A minimum wage of at least $15 per hour is a MUST. Additionally, working mothers need more help. They need accessible, free, safe daycare and greater benefits. Finally, I also believe strongly that Americans will all benefit when we can reconcile our conflicted and impossibly fanatical love of guns and stop the violence. All of society will be elevated when we can view homelessness as the awful blight and shameful shortcoming of the so-called American dream that it is. In a country as great and wealthy as this no one should be calling the pavement their only home. At Glitter Box N. O., we are committed to helping women and other disenfranchised people experience joy, fulfilment, and empowerment by showcasing women and non-binary artists and makers, hosting workshops, and supporting social justice groups in an effort to cultivate celebration and action within New Orleans and beyond.
Glitter Box: What does success look like to you? In your field, what are you working towards or striving for?
Lila: To me success looks like striving to be a good parent, doing what I authentically love professionally and being constantly engaged in projects which are designed to help human life on this planet.