Thursday, October 15, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Human Rights Leader Naila Chowdhury Brings Her Groundbreaking Global Summit to San Diego This Weekend

Global human rights leader Naila Chowdhury
I've been fortunate to meet many dynamic and inspirational people in my life, but no one has inspired me quite as profoundly as Naila Chowdhury. A leading global management professional and world humanitarian from Bangladesh, Naila is co-founder and chair of the The Alliance 4 Empowerment (A4E), a non-profit organization that helps people help themselves in communities all over the world, from Norway to India to Thailand to Ukraine to Malaysia to Pakistan.

Naila's achievements in the human rights arena are nonpareil. Serving in a UN agency as well as several multinationals, she's worked closely with Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus for more than 15 years. She's also worked with Bill and Melinda Gates, and many others. 

Naila's non-profit was created to empower underserved people with the opportunity to live with dignity, self-esteem, respect and love. And that's just what she and many other renowned philanthropists will be doing this Saturday, October 17, when the Alliance hosts the Global Empowerment Summit from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine in La Jolla, California.

It's called an "Empowerment Summit," but that simply means a special gathering to address ways in which we can all help people in our city and globally fulfill their human potential - and fulfill our own potential, too.

Naila, who I met just recently, said that, "When you attend our summit, we'll give people like you who have love and compassion in their hearts greater insight into how how to get involved and make a real difference in the world. For example, we know that people in San Diego have a lot of compassion, but even people who live here don't know the whole story with immigrants and human trafficking."

Naila has a brilliant way of simplifying complex issues and making all the broken parts of our humanity sound fixable. And, really, they are if we want to fix them. Her positive persona and genuine person-to-person warmth and charisma are undeniable. Resistance is futile. 

It's no wonder that she is able to move mountains and convince countless world leaders to support her efforts. More than just about anyone I've met, she's all about love and compassion for the individuals of this earth. This is her driver. It's that simple. She exalts the term "people person" to new heights. And really, what else matters in this life besides compassion for our fellow man?

And woman. This summit's focus is on women, who as we all know are still tragically abused, exploited, disrespected and discriminated against even in our own country. Even right here in mostly sunny San Diego. 

Among the esteemed speakers and panelists scheduled to appear at the summit:

Dr. Twyla Garrett, Senior Advisor to Homeland Security and CEO of Investment Management Enterprises, Dr. Becky Petitt, Vice-Chancellor of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at UC San Diego, Dayamrita Chaitanya, Executive Director of Mata Amritanandamayi Centers of North America, Dr. Roger Bingham, Founder of The Science Network, Sherry Tross, Ombudsperson for the Organization of American States, Dr. Armen Orujyan, Founder & CEO of Athgo International, Dr. Huma Ahmed-Ghosh, Chair & Professor of Women’s Studies at San Diego State University, Zara Marselian, Founder & CEO of La Maestra Foundation and La Maestra Community Health Center, Dr. Marcia L. Dyson, Chair of Women’s Global Initiative, and Bhavani R. Rao, Professor at Amrita University.

Naila explains that these renowned leaders will "provide a roadmap showing how to support these causes. These people are all hands-on. We have a mixture of every kind of person you can imagine."

While Naila is making an enormous difference in the world, what she does can't accurately be called charity. Her greatest talent is recognizing people's innate gifts and finding ways to use those gifts to support themselves and their families and communities. You see, this is the kind of work that people on all sides the political spectrum can support with enthusiasm. 

When I ask her how she deals with the politics in the countries in which she does her work, she just smiles and says she doesn't get bogged down with politics or other things that divide us. Instead, she moves quickly past labels and stereotypes and cuts straight to the chase and the heart. 

She's a uniter and a fighter, but in a gentle way. And politicians, especially women and male leaders' first ladies, are at the tender mercies of her charms.

Her core focus now is women’s health and economic empowerment through modern information and communications technologies. The goal of her Alliance, Naila says, is to create inspired, innovative & inclusive communities that are sustainable economically, socially and environmentally, and to develop platforms for full participation of women and youth globally.

Naila notes that the Alliance's primary focus is building financially inclusive communities by helping hard-working individuals develop their existing skills into profitable, self-sustaining small businesses, in a nurturing, loving and supportive environment.

To attain this goal, A4E partners with existing community organizations. Instead of working in silos, A4E collaborates with other effective nonprofits to identify as well as work with qualified social entrepreneurs, starting right here in San Diego. With its partner organizations, A4E leverages global connections and provides the expertise to enable them to maximize their impact, increase employment and use resources sustainably.

If you support what Naila does, if you care about the people of this world and want to be a part of the world community, please show up at this summit on Saturday. If you do, you're likely to hear lots of good tunes along with all the great speakers. 

Naila is inspired by music. That's another thing she and I have in common.

"What we are doing Saturday will really move the audience," she promises. "You'll hear real stories about real people. But while this whole thing is academic, and of course educational, I am not a professor. I am what I am. During my sessions, you will hear music, like 'I Can See Clearly Now' by Johnny Nash and 'One Love' by Bob Marley. Music moves me, it moves all people."

I can't wait. See you there?

Global Empowerment Summit
WHEN:  Saturday, October 17th, 2015,  8 am – 5 pm

WHERE: Sanford Consortium
                  2880 Torrey Pines Scenic Drive
                  La Jolla, CA 92037 


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