ERW 4: We Lead & Inspire

On Thursday, June 13, the CLEO Institute hosted its fourth and final workshop in the second Overtown edition of its 2019 Empowering Resilient Women program.

Held at the YWCA, the workshop was titled “We Lead & Inspire” and focused on leadership skills and empowerment.  

After a brief Climate 101 recap by Olivia Collins, CLEO’s Director of Programs, the workshop started with a presentation by Virginia Jimenez, transformational love coach and founder of Virginia Inspires. Over the course of several exercises and discussion sessions, she explained how to use effective communication to influence change, the importance of practicing active listening, and how to ignite action in our communities. Upon hearing her talk, the women shared examples of how they have created positive change in their lives and neighborhoods, including traveling to Tallahassee to speak with elected officials and creating an outreach program for at-risk members of Overtown during hurricane season.

Following this presentation, the women heard from Nanette Meyers from the Culmer Community Resource Center, who discussed the free resources and programs being offered in the Overtown community, including computer literacy training, job interview and career development, tax preparation, and light bill assistance. The women benefited greatly from learning about the wide array of services available to them, and many took flyers to share with their neighbors and loved ones.

After this, the attendees participated in a raffle to win hurricane supply items, including several battery-powered fans, multi-purpose crank radios, and solar-powered device chargers.

An awards ceremony closed the event, as several women received certificates for attending 3 or more of the workshops.

Every attendee received a solar puff, small cube-shaped lights that are activated with solar energy, as well as CLEO t-shirts. Overall, the women expressed much enthusiasm and curiosity over the solar puffs, and they excitedly shared upcoming activities they could participate in to become more civically engaged, such as attending commissioner meetings and upcoming county budget hearings. In closing the event, some women shared testimonials about how this program series improved their climate literacy, inspired them to get involved in their community, and motivated them to share this information with other people. One attendee was even inspired to run for local office!

The CLEO Institute thanks all the women who attended the program, as well as all the speakers and partners that made this series successful. The next cohort of the ERW program will take place in Allapattah during August and September.

Natalia Ortiz