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A personal story about social entrepreneurship, identity and disability empowerment

Minkara

Sara Minkara

travels from USA

Founder and president of Empowerment Through Integration (ETI) & speaker on disability, identity & women’s empowerment

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About Sara

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Speaker Sara Minkara is a blind Lebanese/American woman who lost her sight at a young age being just seven years old. Sara is the founder and president of Empowerment Through Integration (ETI), which aims to empower and include young people with visual impairment in the Middle East-North Africa region.

Advocate. Entrepreneur. Public speaker. Sara Minkara is a Blind, Muslim, and first-generation  Lebanese- American woman who has founded two international corporations. She currently serves as Founder and CEO of Sara Minkara, LLC where she works to promote Authentic Leadership to drive strategic solutions through value-based inclusion. She is the pioneer and creator of the Discovery in the Dark program series, featuring the trademarked In The Dark Methodology that removes the lens of sight in order to provide greater vision.

Sara understands the value that is inherent with her intersectionality of multiple identities, which naturally places her in a unique position that mirrors numerous diverse groups. She strives to elevate marginalized voices and viewpoints in order to promote a robust and authentic respect for individual value throughout an organization. Throughout Sara’s career, she has tirelessly advocated for our society to advance inclusion on a value-based approach rather than the status quo of the charity-based perspective to address human rights.

Sara has served as a mediator, thought leader, and senior advisor while consulting with nonprofit organizations, corporation, and governmental agencies. Her work as an inclusion and authentic leadership expert has also been recognized by several institutions through awards and fellowships,
including: Harvard Kennedy School Emerging Global Leader Award (2020); Vital Voices, 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower (2020); Ashoka Global Impact Transfer Fellow (2018); Forbes 30 Under 30 for Social Entrepreneurs (2017); Echoing Green Fellowship (2015 – 2017); Carr Center
for Human Rights Policy Fellowship; Harvard University (2014 – 2015); and MIT IDEAS Global Challenge Award (2010). Moreover, she had the distinct honor of serving as Co-Chair of the Biden-Harris International Disability Policy Subcommittee (2020) and as a committee member of the UN Interagency Standing Committee on Disability (2017 – 2019).

Additionally, Sara founded Empowerment Through Integration (ETI), a nonprofit committed to developing a more inclusive society through empowering youth with disabilities and transforming social and cultural stigmas against disability globally. Although ETI was established with support
from the Clinton Foundation concurrently to completing her undergraduate studies at Wellesley College and graduate studies at Harvard University, she successfully served as CEO for 10 years.

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    Speaker Sara Minkara Keynote Topics

     

    Authentic Inclusion and Representation Globally

    Inclusion is a topic that touches all people and communities, not just people with disabilities. Sara’s speeches and workshops touch on topics such as bias, identity, personal experience and connection between all people that overcomes barriers of race, gender, culture, ability, age and more.
    Takeaways: Inspiration, Building Inclusive Communities, Engaging Diverse Stakeholders.

     

    Disability Inclusion

    Sara is a passionate advocate of bringing authentic inclusion and disability lens to all spaces (not just disability-focused spaces!) and advancing a value-based perspective to the discussion. This means not discussing the inclusion of people as something we ‘should’ do or ‘need’ to do – but rather, something that we, as society ‘want’ to do, because when we do not include other voices in all aspects of society, we lose out on their value.
    Takeaways: Inspiration, Best Practices Around Diversity and Inclusion, Addressing Inclusion Challenges, Building Inclusive Communities

     

    Empowerment

    Sara speaks about over 10 years of on the ground experience designing and implementing life skills
    and empowerment programs for disadvantaged groups including youth with disabilities in Lebanon
    through summer camps bringing together youth with and without disabilities, refugee children and
    engaging women, families and communities in the process. She is also an advocate for women
    inclusion and women empowerment.
    Takeaways: Youth Empowerment Program Insight, Women Empowerment, International Development Best Practices, Lifeskills Program Design

     

    Social Entrepreneurship

    A serial social entrepreneur herself, Sara brings her perspective and experience after running her international NGO in the USA and the MENA region and her new venture that offers authentic inclusion solutions. Challenges, strategy, fundraising, sustainability of organizations, mission and social impact, these are all aspects she will cover.
    Takeaways: Social Entrepreneurship, Social Impact, Fundraising, Sustainability, International Development Best Practices

Sara Minkara - video

Why We Should Be Blind to the Labels of Society by speaker Sara Minkara at TEDxTysons

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Keynote topics with Sara Minkara