Fighting Poverty with Passion
Where has the month gone? The spring showers seem to have washed time away and the last 30 days have passed in a blur. It has been a busy month at Eden House with many fundraisers and many milestones. In the last month, we have ventured into the world of online
crowdfunding in an attempt to raise more funds to purchase our house (which we did!). We have partnered with Kendra Scott New Orleans for a FUNdraiser-shopping bonanza, we have had many influential people move through our doors with an interest in supporting survivors on their road to recovery. In the last month we have also started to say goodbye to many of our longstanding interns and volunteers while interviewing new interns for the summer (many from across the country Skype-ing in to work with us). We have also had many a presentation on human and sex trafficking, and have begun to work with EnergyWise to make our office and the residents’ home more green. In the midst of all these events, we have been gearing up for GiveNOLA day, thinking about creating a mentorship-education program, thinking about where we want to go in terms of our social enterprise, and begun to seriously think about reconstructing our website.
And that was just my life at Eden House. Outside of work, I have also been thinking about future plans for when my VISTA term ends, weighing all of my options carefully. I have been enjoying festival season here in New Orleans, discovering new music, eating great food, and spending more time with friends, preparing for the goodbye’s as many friends begin to leave the city. Amidst all of this, I have also been working consistently with my co-founders on our non-profit (especially as it’s time for quarterly reports), taking what I have learned at Eden House and in workshops to make it a strong and more sustainable project. I also attended a 3-day conference where I was able to connect with a woman working in my field and hear CEOs, founders, and influencers talk about marketing, music, and creating a startup.
While the Collision Conference was primarily geared toward the tech industry, I was still able to take away some great information. There were many great discussions about creating platforms, about staying true to your mission, and there were also many surprise discussion about diversity in the startup world.
“You’d be surprised that the world is made of more than just rich white [cis] males if you just looked at the CEOs and founders of startups,” one speaker said, and this has continually stuck with me. As a woman of color entrepreneur, I want to change this narrative. While the nonprofit world is a little different than the tech startup world, I think this call for diversity still applies. What we need in the world is more minority and women owned businesses and we need more individuals investing in women, people of color, and, I think especially, women of color.
In thinking about this, I am glad to be part of an organization filled with powerhouse women making a difference in the world, and to have had the opportunity to connect with so many more strong women in the New Orleans community through my work with Eden House and AmeriCorps VISTA. So this blog is dedicated to empowered women that show up at the table with so much confidence and love that they change lives: to Kara Van de Carr, co-founder and Board President at Eden House; to Susanne Dietzel, Executive Director; to Maxine and Jenn who do the dirty work with the residents every day with such grace; to Clemmie who is a true survivor and advocate; to my co-founders at PowerWeavers; to all the women on Eden House’s Board of Directors; to my fellow lady-VISTA’s and to the women in their organizations. And to all the other inspiring women who have been great influencers in my life past, present, and future.