Blog

temp-post-image

When Hellen Tanyinga was growing up in Uganda, she was raped at just 11 years of age. While it would have been understandable for such a young girl to be crushed by a traumatic event of this sort, Hellen was strong. And with the support of her mother, she carried on, refusing to become a victim.

After graduating from university, Hellen decided to put her negative experience to work in a positive way. Returning to her home in Bukyerimba, in 2008 she established the Rape Hurts Foundation. Founded to educate her fellow Ugandans about sexual violence and campaign against rape, the org also supports and employs women seeking sanctuary, and cares for children conceived through violence.

With creativ...

Read more

temp-post-image

With heavy hearts, we bid farewell this week to our dear friend and founding board member Alison J. Marshall, who passed away on February 13th. Poet, philanthropist, marketer, technologist, traveler, ad executive, author––Alison was so much more than any one label could encompass. But to her friends and family, she was simply a constant source of happiness and light.

Beginning her professional career in the field of marketing and public relations, Alison had a budding interest in technology that eventually prompted her move into IT. In addition to board seats at AD-Club Orange County, the Business Professional Advertising Association and the Orange County Board for United Way Spec...

Read more

temp-post-imagePlastic waste is a huge and growing problem, and despite the best efforts of recyclers, there is some plastic waste that simply cannot be processed. Happily, the question of what to do with this stubborn waste is being addressed by a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Nzambi Matee of Kenya, founder of Nairobi-based Gjenge Makers, is one of these innovators. Using this dense plastic waste, Matee's company manufactures bricks that are actually five to seven times stronger than those made from concrete. “There is that waste they cannot process anymore....that is what we get,” Matee explains.

Collecting much of the waste from factories for free, her factory now produces 1,500 bricks ever...

Read more

temp-post-image

Food access is something that is so fundamental, people don't generally see it until it disappears. For those in economically sound communities, it's usually taken for granted. But our inner cities historically fall short on this measure, and "food deserts"–places where it can be difficult or impossible to find any fresh food–have become an unfortunate staple of many of our urban centers.

Olympia Auset is one person who wasn't ready to settle for that. Determined to help her community do better, the Howard University graduate and native of South Central Los Angeles launched the pop-up grocery concept SÜPRMARKT back in 2016.

"I would be on the bus two hours every time I needed ...

Read more

temp-post-image

As we hang on for the results of the national election, in California there has already been one major milestone achieved: for the first time in over 150 years, the entire L.A. County Board of Supervisors is now female. In a county that was led by five men for decades–referred to as the "five little kings"–this is truly a momentous step forward.

It's especially important because as the country's largest, L.A. County controls the largest budget of any local governmental body: $35 billion. These five women now oversee the largest jail system in the U.S., as well as the country's largest public health system. And they've got some serious backstories, so they appear to be more than up...

Read more

temp-post-image

While it seems like the bad news has been endless lately, it's always important to point out the bright spots when you find them. One area that has been particularly shaken up in the past several months is small business––and yet, there are some wily entrepreneurs who are coming out of the pandemic stronger and healthier.

Lisa Logan, Debra D. Williams and Sydney Perry are three of those entrepreneurs. A manicurist, a fitness specialist and a baker respectively, all three are black women and small business owners who've found a way to thrive during the slowdown. The recent Essence feature takes a look at the three of them, and the challenges they've weathered since Covid-19 began. ...

Read more

temp-post-image

Growing up in Shillong, India, Hasina Kharbhih learned about human trafficking early on. Bordering on Myanmar, Nepal, and Bangladesh, the area is deeply unstable, and plagued with the desperate poverty that breeds the widespread practice. At one point, Kharbhih’s father housed refugees in their own farmhouse.

“The stories remain etched in my brain,” Kharbhih says. “He did that as a human being and not a social worker....I understood what you can do for human beings.”

Her father's example proved to be an enduring one. Today, Kharbhih’s Impulse NGO Network has created an entirely new model to fight the problem, working with 1,000 nongovernmental organizations ...

Read more

temp-post-image

Although things have been changing in recent years, today women still hold less than 7 percent of government leadership roles across the world. Women who do hold such roles get a fair amount of attention however--and since the Covid-19 pandemic began, a number of them have proven to be especially effective in the midst of crisis.

"The news coming out of many countries is striking," said Amie Batson, executive director of WomenLift Health, a nonprofit focused on elevating women in the health sciences. The org recently hosted a webinar on female leadership in the pandemic. "Many of the countries that are doing the best are led by women."

One of those women is Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New...

Read more

temp-post-image

The founder and CEO of Making Authentic Friendships (MAF), a web-based app that helps kids and adults with special needs to make friends, Juliana Fetherman has always had a uniquely strong motivating force: her younger brother Michael, who was diagnosed with autism and ADHD. Michael struggles with forming friendships, a common problem among those with his diagnosis.

Like many new entrepreneurs, Fetherman faced a steep learning curve when she started out. But she stuck with it, and MAF is currently serving the special needs community in 30 states, 12 countries and 5 continents – and all this from a 23-year-old with no prior business experience.

In the recent Forbes feature, the young entr...

Read more

temp-post-image

As nearly anyone can tell you, Valentine's Day can be a tricky holiday, especially when you're single. It's a difficult day to be alone, and one can just imagine how hard it would be to be in a homeless shelter on a day when others are celebrating.

With this in mind, this year the Sikh community in London is taking steps to ensure that women staying in shelters on Valentine’s Day aren't forgotten. Volunteers are assembling personal care packages, complete with baked treats and items like toothbrushes and shampoo, to be brought to local women’s shelters for the holiday this Friday.

The program, launched in 2012 by the One Billion Rising movement, now happens in a host of cities, inc...

Read more