They say when you know your purpose, you just know. Getting there and expressing what you know, now that's a different story.
Activist, author, speaker and Founder of I AM THAT GIRL and ProtectHER, Alexis Jones, always knew that she was meant to be a warrior for women. However, she didn't exactly have a plan or big vision for what that looked like.
Growing up with three brothers, her dad used to always ask them "who will you choose to be." Not 'what do you want to be' - this was meant to trigger thoughts of what you stand for, and how you want to present yourself to the world.
It was often her guiding light.
Once she got to University, she felt a little out of place. She didn't come from a wealthy background - like a lot of her friends and acquaintances. She didn't have killer connections to make things happen. And she was was having difficulty figuring out how to authentically express herself.
So instead of retreating inward and giving up, she created a safe space where other females could come together and have real, truthful and deeper conversations on what was affecting them, how they were feeling, what they were struggling with and find support in one another.
The intimate gathering struck a chord with all those who attended, that it became a continuous events and from there, grew into a full-blown non-profit - known as I AM THAT GIRL- by the time Alexis graduated.
For about a decade, she devoted all her time and energy into inspiring females and raising up their conscious voice. She toured the States, wrote a book that served as the organizations manifesto, expanded her organizations reach and taught females that they could be anything they wanted.
It wasn't until recently, when she was approached to do a talk with ESPN, that she realized she'd be preaching to only half the sky.
The key to female empowerment and moving the needle forward is to include boys in the conversation. Change can't happen if part of the problem is left out of the discussion.
And as Alexis says, "men are not just the problem, they are also the cure."
And just like that, ProtectHer was born to revolutionize education around sexual assault prevention - one locker room at a time.
Bringing in Alexis to share her ProtectHer program with our football team about the importance of respecting girls was one of the best decisions we've ever made for our players. Educating young men to be more respectful towards women isn't an option and Alexis is leading that charge.
University of Missouri Head Coach
Positive change is coming.
SOME QUESTIONS I ASKED:
- Did you always want to be an activist - do you think that's a trait someone is born with (to give back and help others)?
- How did I Am That Girl come to be?
- Did you ever think it would grow into the movement it is today?
- What did you have to do to spread the message and grow the organizations?
- How did Protect Her come to be?
- How do you push past your own fear and self-doubt?
- What's been the best tactic that you've used to get the message across to elite level athletes?
- What is your vision for your organizations?
- How do you get so much done and maintain balance? (or do you?)
- And so much more...
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN:
- How Alexis figured out this was her path early on
- How to build a movement
- Why it's key to take a chance even before you are ready (hint: there is no perfect time)
- How to stay true to your vision
- Ways to balance your work life and personal life (should they be separate?)
- How I Am That Girl and ProtectHer are different
- Ways the media can improve when it comes to women's rights and educating both women and men
- And lots more...
- Power Of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
- Half The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
- ProtectHer Facebook Page
CONNECT WITH Alexis jones/ProtectHer/ I am that girl
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Edited by: James Nicholson