International Women's Leadership Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii
I am blessed to live on the island of Lana`i, Hawaii. The following excerpt is from an editorial in this morning’s StarAdvertiser, a major newspaper in the state of Hawaii. I need to mention up front that Hawaii has a woman governor (the author of the editorial), who has made a lot of controversial decisions, especially economic ones. Although I am not a fan of hers politically, I am grateful that she initiated the International Women's Leadership Conference seven years ago.
Although the backgrounds and experiences of the speakers are highly diverse, there is a unifying theme at the heart of their stories. That theme is the power women have to bring about positive change in the lives of our speakers, in the lives of young women and men in their communities, and in the lives of many others in the world. These women are changing the paradigm of what leadership looks like.
Delegates to the past six conferences have learned that leaders come from all backgrounds, and that anyone from anywhere in the world can make a difference. It only takes one person to lead the way. And, in many cases, the most effective one is a woman.
The 2010 conference, to be held next Tuesday at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, will include speakers whose actions have changed the lives of thousands of people. They include:
» Dr. Connie Mariano, the White House physician and the first Filipino-American rear admiral in the U.S. Navy.
» Jin Robertson from Korea, a former housemaid who became a U.S. major and earned a doctorate degree at Harvard.
» Pacita Juan, a Philippines social developer and entrepreneur who campaigns for organic ways of taking care of the environment.
» Sister Rosemary, who directs the St. Monica's Tailoring School, which educates and houses the Lord's Resistance Army rebel abduction victims in Uganda.
» Madame Li Xiaolin, vice-chairwoman of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, who is launching poverty-relief projects.
» Rhonda Begos, a victim of childhood abuse who went on to become a successful entertainer and musical healer.
» MacDella Cooper, a Liberian civil war refugee as a child who now attracts international investors to her nonprofit foundation that helps Liberian children.
» Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi, minister of Women's Affairs in Cambodia, who is responsible for developing gender-responsive policies.
…it is important that diversity in business, government and the military encompass gender as well as ethnicity. The goal isn't parity for parity's sake, but rather to diversify our leadership locally and globally while bringing new perspectives to challenges.
Once again, we are reminded that we must hear the voices of women to make a change in this world! And Voices 2010 is an opportunity for my sisters across the globe to make their voices heard!
I am grateful to be part of this project as a Listener. I am humbled, awed, and inspired by what I have already read from many of the Applicants as they have introduced themselves and began telling their stories. I have no doubt that some day, at a future International Women's Leadership Conference in Hawaii, that a voice from WorldPulse will be a speaker!