Cause marketing is the new norm. Rasheda Williams shares why connecting your brand to a cause is critical for future success.
Rasheda Kamaria Williams is an award-winning mentor, speaker and author of “Be EmPOWERed: How to Live Above & Beyond Life’s Drama” – a guidebook and journal written for and inspired by girls. She is the founder and chief empowering officer for Empowered Flower Girl and a staunch youth advocate.
From growing up in a single-parent household to being the first in the family to graduate high school and college with honors, Rasheda has defied the odds.
She holds a B.A. in journalism from Wayne State University’s Journalism Institute for Media Diversity. In 2008, Rasheda completed Landmark Education’s Graduate Program. She also has extensive training in youth development, community relations and interpersonal communication.
For more than a decade, Rasheda has been committed to making a difference in the lives of women and children in communities throughout southeast Michigan. Since 2001, she has volunteered with Detroit-based Alternatives for Girls (AFG) in various capacities, and as a mentor.
Through AFG and Intense Mentoring, a program providing adult role models to girls and young women continuing their education, Rasheda has mentored a total of 7 girls ages 5 to 19.
Her passion and advocacy for community and social change have earned her numerous accolades, including Kumon North America’s “Impact Award” and Super Woman Productions & Publishing’s “Make It Happen Award.” She also was named among Everyday Power’s “29 Inspirational Female Entrepreneurs Who Are Positively Impacting The World.”
A survivor of bullying, Rasheda was featured in the May 2011 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine in the article “Being bullied changed my life.” Her journey from excluded to empowered motivated her to launch Empowered Flower Girl in 2010.
I am a trained dancer and former dance instructor who appeared on a local dance show in Detroit in the mid 2000s.
Think Like A Journalist Quote
“Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand.” –Seth Godin
Success Quote or Tip
In order to get the things that you’ve never had, you need to do the things that you’ve never done.
Background in print journalism–wrote for one of Detroit’s largest daily newspapers. I realized that corporate journalism wasn’t for me. I didn’t like it. But I loved writing. I discovered community news. I realized in my early 20s that I loved writing community news. My favorite experience wasn’t even a paid gig. I wrote for FREE a column for a publication that was distributed in and around the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. It was called Ex-Ordinary people. It featured ordinary people doing extraordinary things. I interviewed a navy vet turned hip hop clown and a human resource professional turned bellydancer. These people had awesome stories to share. Shows how everyone is a creator.
Corporate journalism wasn’t for me. I discovered community journalism. You tell the stories that mainstream media ignores.
When It Didn’t Work
What is one mistake you made and how would you do things differently using the knowledge you have today? When you felt like giving up, what kept you going?
To be totally transparent, one of the biggest regrets I have in my career is not negotiating my salary in my first full-time job after college. While some people graduate with under a year’s experience – because of my experience, I could have asked for more money. I learned that many women don’t negotiate. I attended a women’s empowerment conference and the women talked about how they didn’t except their first offer. That inspired me. So now when I mentor young women, I definitely encourage them to be confident in their abilities and know their worth.
Top Tips Empowering Events That Inspire Action: Cause Marketing Is The New Norm
- Never underestimate the power of your story or the stories of your people and by people I mean clients, employees or program participants. People connect with stories. Vitally important.
- Get involved. Whether it’s volunteering, making charitable donations for advocating for a cause, entrepreneurs and organizations must get involved in someway about the communities they serve. It’s expected.
- Be authentic. While I think philanthropy and volunteering are important, if you’re not feeling the cause or organization you’re doing the work for, it’s going to come across. Don’t just turn your office pink during October just because. There are thousands of causes, social challenges and issues to tackle. Support what inspires you.
- Go out of your way to thank people. Thank you cards, giveaways whatever it may be, people want to be acknowledged – even if they don’t say it. Thank you can go a long way.
- Have fun. Volunteering doesn’t have to be daunting or work. In fact, it should be the opposite. Enjoy it and make it enjoyable for others.
What is one piece of technology, video or multimedia equipment, or app that you just can’t live without?
Honestly–it’s not low tech. I MUST have a journal. In Be Empowered, I share how journaling changed my life and how writing in my journal as a middle school student saved my sanity. That is still true today. I write down ideas, dreams, goals and anything that inspires me.
One book, documentary, blog, podcast, or Internet Channel to watch?
I recommend this podcast. My goodness it’s one of the best I’ve heard. Outside of this, I recommend The Secret. Some people may or may not believe in the Law of Attraction but for me, it gave me a boost in goal setting and visualizing my future.
Mentioned In This Episode
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