Omowale, The Child Has Come Home
Firechat with with Tope Fajingbesi Balogun, author and founder of United for Kids and of She-Eo
Member of the American Delegation to the 2019 Women in Africa Summit
The day Social Entrepreneur and Nigerian-born Tope Fajingbesi met with Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, she still thought she would end up working in the White House developing a project she calls Omowale (literally: the child has come home). The former accountant turned author, activist and serial entrepreneur is participating in the 2019 American delegation to the Women in Africa summit in Marrakech (June 27-28), along with former co-host of The View and lawyer Star Jones, Vital Voices President Alyse Nelson, media leader Ann Walker Marchant, Cartier Women’s Initiative Award North America judge and angel investor Birame Sock, Founder of Shea Radiance Funlayo Alabi, filmmaker Felicia Taylor, New York based ethical designer Ingrid Bruha and EBW founder Ingrid Vanderveldt among others (full list of delegates: check out http://www.wia-initiative.com/ and app).
A Stylish Elevator for an Ethical Bag
As published in First Class Life magazine | Mexico
There is an old elevator in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, so old that there are no buttons to push, but instead, a cable to maneuver expertly once the primitive steel doors are closed. This is as vintage as it can be: breathing life into memories and ghostly stories alike while eluding a romantic New York, a far cry from the Hudson Yards that recently opened just a few blocks away to the West.
Once inside the third-floor loft, painted in dark and woody colors, a feeling of entering a special world takes the visitor even further. The furniture is a balanced mix between antique tables and lamps found in flea markets and modern sofas and tables. On the right, a small corner office is filled with leather pieces, bouts of fur, African jewelry and a dozen of handbags: clutch, shoulder, tote, crossbody and pouch styles. They are all part of the collection that Ingrid Bruha, a French woman who moved back to the United States with her American husband Sheldon and their three children in 2013, has created for her eponymous and fast-growing brand.
About courage and women | The Story of Rita Wilson’s mother
Rita Wilson’s acceptance speech at the Anne Morgan Women of Courage Award
American Friends of Blérancourt – New York, November 9, 2018
“We are lucky to live in a world where we’re surrounded by women of courage,” the actress, producer, singer and songwriter Rita Wilson said the evening she was bestowed with the Anne Morgan Women of Courage Award by the American Friends of Blérancourt. “At the time when we celebrate the centennial of the end of World War I, we wanted to honor and recognize women of exceptional talent and commitment to empowerment of women throughout the world,” explained the President of the American Friends of Blérancourt Countess Dorothea de la Houssaye.
Telling the story of her own mother, the producer of Mamma Mia and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, emphasized the need to tell the stories of women around the world whose actions, just like the ones by Anne Morgan, defined what we can all individually accomplish.
“That’s something Anne Morgan understood well,” explained Wilson. “She spent her extraordinary life on the front lines: as a union organizer in 1910, as a volunteer ambulance driver during World War I, as a philanthropist who stayed and helped France rebuild long after others had left.
But Anne Morgan also believed in the power of telling stories. As one of the first women documentarians, she knew that if you want to solve a problem you have to shine a spotlight on it, and sometimes point a camera at it. And you can’t just tell us about the world you hope to see – you have to show us, in the way that only a work of passion and creativity can.
And then there are the women – millions upon millions of women – whose stories we may never know: mothers who face overwhelming danger to build a better future for their children; girls who risk their lives just to go to school; working women everywhere who break through glass ceilings large and small. The quiet, humble courage that sustains them each day is an inspiration to all of us.”
Here is the story of Rita Wilson’s mother.
A Requiem for a Car
Fire chat with Mexican artist Betsabeé Romero, special guest of Art Paris 2019
A group of bicycles is carrying on their “shoulders a dead body made-of-steel,” moving a car through the large avenues and narrow streets of Paris to its final resting place right in front of Le Grand Palais, next to the Champs Elysées. “A Requiem for a Car,” a Jaguar to be exact, is a symbol of speed, power and wealth. This invitation to slow down a humanity obsessed with haste, consumerism, and individualism is Mexican artist Betsabeé Romero art installation to celebrate the 2019 edition of Art Paris. Romero, whose art has been exhibited throughout the world and is now part of the permanent collections in North and South American as well as European museums, plays here with some of her favorite themes: automobiles and globalization.
A spanish version of this interview with Bétsabée Romero was published online by First Class Life
Ethical Fashion: UpCycle!
Fire chat with Gabriella Smith, the founder of the UpCycle Project
Passionate about fashion and an entrepreneur at heart, Gabriella Smith wanted to be disruptive. Her clothes had to be more than just a brand, more than just beautiful. “I wanted a story of purpose, respect, transparency and reasonability.” So, after a first corporate experience at Estée Lauder, she launched The UpCycle Project, “an education platform to raise awareness of the waste the fashion industry creates by developing hands-on workshops, student mentorship programs, debates, as well as innovative events and products to develop circular solutions for fashion and other industries.”