The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women truly operates as an entrepreneurial venture. And like a good entrepreneur, I like to mix it up each year, bringing in new experts and new sessions to further advance women globally. It’s these moments that take business training into the realm of life-changing. It’s what we strive for each year.
This year, the Class of 2017 enjoyed a first of its kind presentation from author Kate Klise. The goal: to get a room full of women unaccustomed in their own cultures to speaking about themselves to write their own business story. I had my reservations: prying painful memories out of women who have survived genocide and war may bring up unwanted emotions. But Kate believes that stories empower their teller, and by the end of the day all class members, coaches and myself were on board with her vision.
Kate presented thoughtfully and thoroughly on the archetypal pathways that all classic tales tell: a heroine must experience an “oh no!” before she experiences an “aha!” on her life’s journey. In other words, each of us has to overcome something challenging before we can truly succeed. To watch each of the 24 graduates of the Class of 2017 bravely take her story to the front of the room and share her hardest moments along with her biggest triumphs was inspiring and meaningful to every one in that room. Many stuck out, but I especially recall the words of Masooma Ibrahimi (photographed above) weaving the tale of a lonely girl who comforts herself with her notebook and then goes on to empower women through film making.
Read Kate’s article about her experience with PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS(r)
and learn about the other student stories shared that day in July at AT&T University in Dallas. Each student took home a booklet containing their newly-written story, a diagram of story structure to use moving forward, and a newly-empowered sense of self and direction for her business. Inspiring words from inspiring women, Kate included!
In case you missed it: a very special video message for the Class of 2017 from