A Hug to Humanity Fire-chat with Saskia Niño de Rivera, founder of Reinserta in Mexico
Saskia Niño de Rivera was the first of the Vital Voices Gala evening’s honorees to walk back on stage at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center Opera on April 24th, 2019.
The Mexican activist went straight to Hillary Clinton, and without hesitation, hugged the former Secretary of State and co-founder of Vital Voices, a global foundation launched in 1997 to support women who advance economic opportunity, increase political and public engagement, end gender-based violence and promote human rights across 180 countries and territories.
A few moments before, the audience saw a video of children playing in Lucha Libre disguises (the famous masked Mexican wrestlers). One them, drawing, is heard wishing: “I want to go to the zoo; when I am big, I want to be a fireman; and when I am really big–yeah–if I am really big, I will be The Hulk.”
A childhood fantasy, indeed, except this child cannot even go to a zoo. This child is one the 700 children born and raised in a Mexican jail.
Omowale, The Child Has Come Home Firechat with with Tope Fajingbesi Balogun, author and founder of United for Kids and ofShe-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).
There’s an emotional association when you become in tune with your passion. A feeling of elation and many times emancipated when choosing to follow your dreams come full circle. Kemi Osukoya, the founder of US-based magazine and online media Africa Bazaar, and a former business staff writer at the Wall Street Journal illustrates her evolution as a journalist, stigmas of being an African-American woman, all the while finding solace through a complicated relationship and the turbulence of motherhood.
In African culture, you are to pursue the profession your elders want and for Osukoya, a Nigerian-American, being a journalist was a secret narrative she locked away. Through personal evolution, she overcame adversities meandering her way through a media-driven industry which questioned her merit, abilities, and cultural differences.
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.”