‘Art. The 9 month home. The painters of grace and love. The poems in his book. Back bone. The mason jar of hope. Magic. The collision of strong and soft. The singing caged bird. The phoenix. A source. Resilient and dauntless. The compassionate badass. Unique. Immortal. Phenomenal.’
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Here is a series of choices I didn’t make: I was only 7 when I lost my virginity to a guy who didn’t ask for my permission; 11 when I realized that carving my best friend’s initials on my wrist till I bleed won’t make her come back; 13 when I moved to a new country and was bullied for wearing a ‘long skirt’ to class; 17 when I put on make up and designer clothes to avoid being mocked by my ex and family for being ‘fat’; 19 when I realized I had been cheated on for almost an year.
Here is a choice I did make, though: EMPOWER OR OVERPOWER?
I chose to let my experiences empower me rather than overpower. I feel blessed because these early on encounters showed me that no matter what I do or who I become, I am never ‘perfect’ enough as long as I’m a woman. So what did I do? Embrace my imperfection. That has honestly been the most liberating experience of my life. Channelizing my pain gave me a voice – I became a writer and a speaker.
Every woman deserves to know how much she is capable of. My vision is to see women speak up in large crowds, negotiate higher salaries, fight against injustice, love themselves and build each other up.
“I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who, from an early age, knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good.” – Oprah Winfrey.
Today, at the age of 20, I constantly seek to empower women through blogging, networking and public speaking. I have been a participant in two Women in Leadership Conferences held at James Madison University(2015 & 2017) and an organizing host of International Student Leadership Conference (2016) in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Last fall, I traveled to Austin, Texas to attend the ‘BLOGHER FOOD’16: Experts amongst us’ which was a large scare conference organized by SheKnows Media, which is a collective network of 79 million women from all over the world. I am also able to influence the importance of embracing, self love and self acceptance by being the Public Relations Chair of James Madison University’s Fashion Club– a community of fashionable and confident women and men.
HOWEVER, one of the most fulfilling developments in my path toward women empowerment manifestation is the Phenomenal Women’s Conference on Saturday, April 15th at JMU, for which I have been given the honor of being the Master of Ceremonies. I am pouring all my passion in anticipation and preparation for this huge event with a capacity of over 100-200 attendees whose curiosity drives them from not only the University itself, but also the entire town of Harrisonburg in Virginia.
As a feminist who supports gender equality, I plan to raise many questions and get my audience’s thinking caps on. Obviously, I do want to open their eyes to the issues in society with hard data and let some of the few most phenomenal facilitating women do the rest in terms of walking our audience as to how they can collectively solve these issues. Our Keynote speaker for this year is Kirsten Moore, who successfully runs a few business in Downtown Harrisonburg, including a huge networking hub for entrepreneurs. The rest of the speakers are being introduced on the event social media: PWC Facebook & PWC Instagram.
I will most certainly be writing about the whole conference experience this Sunday, but if you have the chance to make it, you are most certainly welcome to do so! All you have to do is register for free by clicking on this link: PWC 2017 REGISTRATION. It is absolutely free and a great opportunity for what it’s worth! The event is on Saturday, April 15th from 11 am – 4 pm and Breakfast/Lunch is provided by our sponsors.
The good news is that we aren’t the only ones working toward birthing a huge reform. There are millions of people all over the globe who have given their hearts and souls to this cause. Today more than ever, I am grateful to each and everyone of them.
Follow my journey on Social Media:
- Instagram: @arushisachanofficial
- Twitter: @thearushisachan
- Website: https://arushisachan.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Photographer: Kyle Van Fleet