The beginning of a dream realised.
When I’mPOSSIBLE started in 2009 we were very aware of the mammoth task ahead of us. Rebalancing the negative rhetoric around women of colour, getting this group to define success on its own terms and most of all, getting young girls to realise their possibilities through presenting the life journeys of others who look like them and are POSSIBLE. This event particularly ties into one of the organisation’s goals of helping to change the lives of women of colour, by showing others like them what their routes to success were through the intimate, quarterly event series; the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation.
On April 25, I’mPOSSIBLE. global CIC will partner with Diane Abbott MPs ‘Black Women Mean Business‘ initiative (BWMB) to host a youth edition of the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation at the heart of UK government in the House of Commons. This edition will invite a selection of girls, ages 14-18 from a range of London schools and youth projects to attend the event and see first-hand how others like them, are POSSIBLE – inspiring a generation.
BWMB was founded by Diane Abbott MP in 1992 as a non-profit, non-aligned initiative. BWMB is concerned with supporting and celebrating black women professionals, black businesswomen and with black entrepreneurship generally. It was recently re-launched in February to continue this work alongside other organisations and social enterprises like I’mPOSSIBLE global CIC, by providing access to information, training and practical advice. Diane Abbott MP commented:
“Over twenty years ago I launched Black Women Mean Business (as the first ever network for black female entrepreneurs). Celebrating and encouraging other women of colour has always been very important to me. So I am pleased to be working with ImPOSSIBLE global CIC who also have a mission to empower women and promote entrepreneurialism. In particular, I am keen to support and foster the aspirations of young people. I believe that our young people are our future. Therefore I am delighted to be hosting this event and look forward to welcoming these young women to the House of Commons.”
The social enterprise is also excited to welcome Live Magazine as digital media partner for the youth edition event. Live Magazine is a trailblazing digital media outlet for young people by young people who are all under the age of 24. At the forefront of youth culture and interest, the magazine was perfectly placed to report on this event. It reaches 300,000 of the most influential 16-24s across the UK and goes into schools, colleges, universities, fashion boutiques and various restaurants and anyone can contribute to its magazine, website and YouTube channel.
Our stellar line up for this event consists of young women who achieved success (and are still building on it) in their teens and early 20s. The perfect role models that young girls may or may not know but can definitely be inspired by, from hearing their stories:
Celeste Houslker, editor of Live Magazine
Celeste Houlker – is the Editor of national, youth-run, youth culture magazine; Live which is published by youth engagement agency; Livity. While on her gap year after college, Celeste fulfilled her dream ambition and trained as a magazine journalist. Soon after, she came to Live magazine to build up her portfolio and worked her way to the top by being an enthusiastic contributor, project manager of the fashion shoots and presenter. Since being at Live, Celeste has worked on top campaigns with Unilever and Playstation, helped launch Live Magazine in South Africa, present at TedX and held international media workshops for young people. Inspired by her role, Celeste is also launching her own enterprise that creates a network of young women who want to work in the creative, media and publishing industries. On her Wednesday evenings, Celeste runs a Girl Guiding unit for 10-14 year old girls in her home town. Her choice for leading the unit was inspired by her time as a Brownie and a Guide, Celeste hopes to use the Guide programme to make an empowering impact on the girls’ lives like it did with her. She aims to inspire the readers and contributors of Live Magazine to be ambitious and go for their dreams.
Barbara Kasumu, CEO, Elevation Networks
Barbara Kasumu – is the co-founder of Elevation Networks, an award-winning charity focusing on running leadership programmes getting Gen-Y into work with top firms or in setting up their own businesses. Barbara consults and speaks on participation, employment and leadership of young people and women. She has worked extensively with government departments, NGOs and various youth initiatives across Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. In 2010 Barbara was appointed to the Diversity Inclusion Board for the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) and named as Red Magazine’s ‘Woman to Watch’ in 2011. Most recently, Barbara was invited to join the women in business panel for The Telegraph as a columnist and is part of Nokia’s ‘Remarkable Women’ network. Barbara has a BA in Politics and a Masters in International Public Policy from University College, London.
Sheila Nortley is an award-winning film producer and writer who began her film career with ‘Eddie’s Bar’ back in 2003 She produced the neo-noir short film ‘The Hydra’ which scooped Best Film at the BFM awards at the British Film Institute in 2009. Since then she has worked for AmeenDream Entertainment and several other production companies.
Sheila’s current portfolio includes several international award-winning productions including ‘Zion’ and feature film ‘David is Dying’ (winner of Seven International Film Awards, including Grand Jury Prize ‘Best Director’ 15th American Black Film Festival & ‘Best Female Actor’ Los Angeles New Wave International Film Festival).
In 2012, Sheila established a successful drama school run from the heart of Camden, for aspiring British actors and actresses. She also facilitates the UK division of the ‘Legacy Media Institute Film Programme’ for Hollywood Director, Tim Reid (the ‘Dad’ on 90s kids TV programme, ‘Sister Sister’) and received a nomination for the BYA Awards in Arts, for her work in film. Sheila was awarded Best Film and Best Screenplay for her short film Zion which she wrote and produced [Spartan Lens' Film Festival, Norfolk, Virginia – 2012]. Sheila is currently working as Associate Producer in gripping new feature film ‘Sable Fable’, directed by Stephen Lloyd Jackson and producing Series two of award-winning web drama Brothers with No Game. She is also currently drafting her first feature length script.
Sheryl Nwosu, Barrister
Sheryl Nwosu – is a barrister practising from one of the largest specialist criminal sets in the country. Called to the Bar in 2000 and in 2001 gained a tenancy in her first set of Chambers she then built up a busy practice at the Bar both defending and prosecuting in the full catalogue of criminal cases including murder. Her decision to become an advocate or Barrister was motivated, in part, by some of the social injustices she observed and perceived whilst growing up on what was described as a ‘socially and economically deprived’ housing estate in North West London. Having been told, that even if she did pass the “notoriously difficult” Bar entrance exams, the Bar was a “difficult profession for a woman” – it was this advice which then helped her to then decide that this was the profession for her! Having been a lawyer for 12 years, she cites one of her greatest achievements as being told by young people she encounters through her work and mentoring activities, that she is an inspiration to them. Sheryl no longer prosecutes, but solely defends in criminal cases; she remains passionate about being an advocate through work and other endeavours for those who may find themselves at times without a voice.
Sarah Tetteh, journalist
Sarah Tetteh – Award-nominated, showbiz journalist currently working at the Huffington Post is an established entertainment contributor and editor, plus a new mum. After eight years at the Daily Mirror as a 3am girl, she made her name breaking world exclusive stories on top celebrities. Sarah would complete successful assignments abroad including the Grammys, Cannes Film Festival as well as top UK events including the Brits and BAFTAS. Now a new mum, she is a top blogger for the Huffington Post, writing about lifestyle, fashion, mother and baby issues and travel pieces. She is also a freelance showbiz, TV and fashion reporter writing articles at a more reasonable hour for newspapers, mags, TV and online.
The host for this edition is:
Lisa Bent, Self-Central.com (host)
Lisa Bent – a qualified counsellor, presenter and founder of Self-Central in 2011 after realising the skills and techniques she had gained throughout her training transcended beyond the counselling room. Self-Central means to “embrace and accept who you are in order to be all that you are”. The aim is to ‘nudge’ people into their own self-exploration enabling them to make better choices, strengthen, empower and transform, from the inside out. As a presenter, Lisa has anchored and co-hosted topical and lifestyle shows on Sky, interviewed an array of celebrities such as Danny Boyle, Jennifer Hudson and Mark Wahlberg (to name a few) and also hosted and facilitated Q&A sessions with directors at the British Museum and British Film Institute. In 2011, Lisa became one of the winners of the Future 100 Awards sponsored by Ernst and Young. She is currently writing her first book and continues to write her award-nominated blog; ‘Deeper than Twitter’ where she intertwines her knowledge of psychology and culture to provide an alternative perspective to the raised issue. Lisa holds a First class BA Hons degree in Counselling from Greenwich University and is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP).
Simone Bresi-Ando, founder of I’mPOSSIBLE commented:
“2013 is already shaping up to be a momentous year for I’mPOSSIBLE! The fact our events are being hosted in places like the Royal Festival Hall and now the House of Commons is indicative of the essential work we are doing to empower women and young girls everywhere.” She added: “We are presenting role models that don’t always get the recognition they deserve but are leaving a trailblazing legacy for a new generation to stand on their shoulders and build higher. Having a youth edition of the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation is a longstanding dream which I’m now seeing fulfilled. The next step is to make this a regular occurrence which reaches as many young girls as possible.”
We’re looking forward to what we hope will be a life defining one for our young audience. Showing young girls and women their POSSIBILITIES is our joy.