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Wow, time does fly when you are passionate about your work and doing everything you can to change the lives of women for the better. We started SHESPEAKS2ME.com on September 24, 2014. The goal was to tell the stories of women. As a television reporter, I realized that we seldom sought out women as experts in stories, and we certainly didn't see them doing something positive and being showcased nightly. And, women of color, forget about it.
So, I started a televison version of what I wanted to see, women; all women and the impact they were making on the world-front and center. Television was not enough though, so I started it online with SHESPEAKS2ME.com In four years we have written more than 40 stories on women from around the world. We have raised issues like 'Slut Shaming' and 'Black Love'. We shot a docu-story on body shaming of plus size women and talked about what body image means to Latina women.
We covered that massive, massive women's march on Washington DC in 2017 and we created our own thunder with our annual women's summit. Both 2017 and 2018 were sell-outs. Our 2019 summit is titled SHE dreams BIG! And, yes we have big plans to help women here in the Albany,NY area launch their BIG DREAMS. So just watch out!
Congratulations to my friend and hero, Dr. Denis Mukwege, on being named a co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. He heads Panzi Hospital in Bakuvu, Congo. I was a grad student earning a Master's in International Women studies, concentrating on women in war torn countries. I has studied his work on repairing women's bodies from the evils of war in a protracted civil war that used rape against women as a weapon of war. It was 2007 and I was considering a documentary on those women and others as my thesis. He not only healed women's bodies but helped them get a second chance in life. I was more than inspired by him.
I heard he was coming to the U-S and flew to the Holocaust Museum in D-C hoping to interview him. He graciously agreed. Before meeting him I had heard about the war and saw a news series in 2001 on what was happening there. Naively, I wrote a book to give the proceeds to a woman I saw in the series HEART OF DARKNESS. I tried to find her to no avail.
Fast forward and now I was getting a degree to know how to help women in those situations. He was my inspiration to change course in my career as a television journalist and now start concentrating on stories about issues impacting women's lives as well as to start doing stories on inspiring women. Meeting him meant I now had a way to give me money from the book to aid Congo women.
His winning this award means other people will now know what these women have suffered through. My women's summit, this website, and the stories I tell on television are all rooted in this man's labor of love to help these women. Please consider purchasing my book knowing the proceeds will help change your life and that of the women in Congo. YOU can also listen to a portion of my thesis documentary below 'TOUCH A WOMAN, TOUCH A ROCK'
How time in prison changed this woman's life for the better!