Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Empower Her, Inc's Gift To Deserving Moms!

Happy Holidays! We have truly been so blessed this year to make a difference in the lives of girls and women in our community! What a great year it has been! We co-hosted a Passport Party that was able to gift 10 girls with passports in our city, helped bring the amazing film, Girl Rising, to Atlanta for a special private screening with over 280 attendees, co-hosted the 1st Girl Mentoring Program Expo and Fair that connected over 50 parents/girls with mentoring resources in the community as well as launched a new Mom University program that focuses on empowering moms! So many great things during our first year! We are looking forward to 2014 and doing bigger and better things thanks to you!
We are thrilled to announce that we have received amazing donations within the last few weeks from some fantastic supporters! This is the best Christmas gift that we could have ever received to be able to bless others! We have decided to use some of the funds to continue to empower moms through our Mom University program!  In the spirit of giving on this Christmas eve we are pleased to launch our 1st Empower Her Grant that will help send deserving moms to the next UNPLUGGED Signature Escape on February 21-24th, 2014 in Highlands, NC. 

Click here for more information on this amazing escape just for women! http://www.unpluggedwithdrtanya.com/

I have attended two UNPLUGGED events that were life changing as a mom and woman! They are truly extraordinary and really focus on helping women unplug, reflect and recharge.   I think that this is so important for women especially moms! The founder Dr. Tanya Douglas-Holland is a perfect example of why this is so important. Please check out her story here!
So during this busy holiday season when we could all use a break we want to gift deserving moms with an opportunity to step away from it all and focus on herself! For more information and to apply click image below or here! Deadline is January 18th, 2014 so apply early! Also please spread the word to a deserving mom in your life!


Finally a BIG THANK YOU to our amazing supporters! Through your donations and support we are able to continue to uplift women and girls through your generosity. Please consider making a year-end tax deductible donation to our organization and help us continue our mission this holiday season and in 2014!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all! Thank you for helping make our dreams a reality!

Visit our website www.empowerherinc.com or click on Donate button below to show your support and help us continue making a difference! 
Empower Her, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based out of Atlanta, GA
Contact Information:
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1912, Duluth, GA 30097
Office: 678-667-4035

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Why Mom University? Why Sexy Baby?

I woke up today exactly a week from my first scheduled Mom University Class. I woke up with panic and disappointment as I looked at my eventbrite registration page and realized only 2 people have registered for my class 1st class... fear and disappointment set in. What am I doing?? Should I cancel?? What was I thinking, thinking these topics are relevant to other moms..to our community.. to our society? The sadness and insecurities that I have battled all my life came flooding in. Self doubt tapping me on my shoulder, laughing in my face.  So I prayed, asking God if I heard Him correctly to bring this vision to life... is this the right time? He instantly reminded me of my 'Why'.

Why Mom University?

My desire to form Mom University under my non-profit  comes from challenges that I have faced and are facing as a mom raising girls. I grew up with a mom that was constantly stressed, angry and made me feel that I was her worst enemy. My mother struggled as a mom and it affected me on many levels, self esteem being one of them. I grew up not understanding how a mom that was supposed to love and nurture could be so distant, unloving and unhappy. I felt this way for many years until I became a mom of two girls. Funny how life turns the tables on you!  I found myself doing the same things to my teen daughter that were done to me. Constantly angry and unloving. As soon as I hit the door after a long day of work I attacked anyone in my path!  It hit me like a ton of bricks. How could this happen? How could I do the same hurtful things? The crazy thing is I was doing all of this while helping to run an community based organization for girl (G.E.M.S. & Jewels Empowerment Group for Girls)!

I immediately had to take a step back from it all and look at my life. I was over stressed, running in a billion directions, taking care of everyone else, working full time, being a wife and trying to make a difference. My health was deteriorating and I was just not happy.. totally burned out. I have "done and am continue to do the work" as one of my favorite empowerment leaders Iyanla Vanzabt says. To create more balance in my life, take time out for myself, exercise and work on communicating better with my daughters and becoming a better woman and mom.

So that brings me to today, covers over my head worrying whether or not to move forward or cancel my upcoming classes. I think of the little girl who suffered for many years, I think about my mom and the many things she was facing in her own life and now seeing the difficulties of raising my own daughters my many worries, ever changing hormones, boys, sexuality, self esteem and other issues I realize I have to keep going, no matter what it looks like. We must take time as moms and women to invest in ourselves since we pour out constantly!  I want my Mom University classes to be real, transparent, educational and fun! I love a great event/party and the chance to get out and away from my duties.  Mix that with empowerment..pure heaven!

Why Sexy Baby Film?

In thinking about classes I wanted to provide I immediately thought about parenting in a digital and social media age. I remember on one occasion finding out that my then 8th grade daughter, 13 at the time, was talking to a 16 year old sophomore in high school via cell phone.  Mama bear politely called this young man and politely advised him that it would be in his best interest to leave my daughter alone and stick to someone his own age. All done in love of course!  On another occasion I found out that she was able to chat online with a man through a child friendly website she had created in the 6th grade. She got scared when he talked about meeting somewhere and ended up telling me about it. We quickly shut that down as well.  The fact that in the comfort of my own home men and older boys were able to reach my daughter all without me knowing was just so scary! That feeling of not being able to protect or control your child was hard to deal with. Coupled with our over sexualized culture and the fact that we are bombarded with sex and the new norm to be sexy just can make a parent feel helpless.

Screenshot from Miley Cyrus' music video Wrecking Ball
Why is she naked!!!

I stumbled upon the Sexy Baby Film on cable one evening and was horrified to see extreme cases of how sex and our porn culture is effecting girls and women through many platforms like social media and technology. I had a sick feeling in my stomach after watching it and realizing I was slowly seeing little things in my youngest daughter who is 9 and her desire to be able to text, getting online or hearing her sing lyrics to the many songs that are out there in mainstream media.

Rhianna Music Video "Pour It Up" (Explicit Lyrics)

So I decided to get the rights to the film to show during my Mom University workshops but also to share with teens, parents, educators, college students, high schools and middle schools as a way to start the conversation and create social change. I hosted a small screening in my home with my oldest daughter and 10 teen girls and a couple moms and everyone was blown away to see how our society shapes the way we think and act. After everyone left my daughter opened up to me about pressures she feels and sees at her high school to be sexy and other challenges. It was just so amazing to see the light bulb go off for her and the few moms and teens that came.

Founder and Her Daughter

Check out the film trailer below. (Will be showing the high school version appropriate for girls 14 and up)

So I will continue on in hopes that my efforts will help moms dealing with real everyday issues and help raise awareness and create social change on the many issues we face today. I am confident that there is a need and the real effects of all of these challenges are only going to get worse. So I will continue forward to put resources in place to make a difference. One of my big dreams and wishes is to get funding, grants, for my new initiative to offer these things for free. I know that it will come I just have to start somewhere.
Big thanks to the Work Spot for being the home for our 1st series of classes! My hope is to have our own empowerment center to be the home for our wonderful programs! If you are interested in attending our parenting in a cyber and sexy age class join us on 10/20/13!  To attend the event or get more info click here!

To view and register for our upcoming Mom University classes please click here or visit our website www.empowerherinc.com .

To support our mission consider making a tax deductible donation HERE. Empower Her, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization.

I would like to send a big thank you to my husband, daughters, mom (she is now my biggest fan and supporter), dad, family, friends and mentors for always supporting me in my 'want to give up moments'! You ALL ROCK!!
Kara Norman
Empower Her, Inc.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

One Girl Can Change The World! ~ International Day Of The Girl 2013

Glossi.com - Girl Rising: Everyday Heroes

As International Day of Girl 2013 wraps up, I am in awe that on this special day, we were honored and celebrated as an everyday hero by Intel.  Let me back track for a quick moment and give a little history as to how this all came about! 

In March, I stumbled across a great film, Girl Rising, that focused on the power of education and it highlighted 9 amazing girls around the world that were overcoming extreme obstacles just to obtain a basic education, something that we take for granted in this country. At the time in order to see the film you had to find a screening in your area. On their website they gave steps to host your own screening. So I decided that I wanted to host a screening in downtown Atlanta the day after the film was released!  In order to secure the film you had to have a certain number of tickets reserved for the screening to 'tip'.  So we got busy trying to get these tickets sold! My youngest daughter, who is a big fan of the Kid President, came up with an idea to do a YouTube video to garner support!

Founder's Daughter's YouTube Girl Rising Campaign Video
Her video went viral and tickets started to be sold. I decided to post her video on the film's facebook page. They Loved It!

Message received via Facebook by the Girl Rising 10 x 10 team!
My daughter and I were so thrilled, and worked even harder to make sure we could bring the screening to our community! Thankfully our screening tipped and we were able to work with another captain and bring the film to Atlanta! We even had Sara Blakely the founder of Spanx in attendance! I was fortunate enough to connect with a wonderful woman that worked with a local Intel Office and she was able to get sponsorship through her local office to host a pre-screening party (thanks Karen)! It was amazing! See more pictures by clicking >> HERE .
The event was absolutely amazing and was everything that I wanted Empower Her, Inc. to provide. Fun empowerment events but with a purpose! A typical night out to see a movie, but not just any movie, a movie that creates social change!  The Girl Rising team also featured our screening and my daughter's efforts/videos in their blog!  See the post here: http://10x10act.org/2013/03/kennedy-rising-star/
 Fast forward to today! I was contacted last week by the Girl Rising team to let me know that Intel Corporation who is one of the sponsors of the film, was looking to highlight everyday women/girls who are making a difference on International Day of the Girl 2013. They immediately thought about my daughter asked permission to be submitted! I was blown away when we were contacted and selected to be featured!  Today the beautiful article was released on Intel's websites and networks that have over 22 million+ fans!  It was also shared by the Girl Rising Film as well.  So very honored!!! God is sooooo amazing, always working behind the scenes! Never lose faith!!!
Click Here To View Intel Article:
In reflecting on todays events, I realized that my daughter's one idea, lead to all of this.  One girl can make a difference! Through her actions, my dreams/vision to empower women and girls was shared with the world!  What a great way to wrap up this beautiful International Day of The Girl!  I am inspired by both my daughters and that is why I work so hard to make a difference. I encourage you all to continue to make a difference not just today, but everyday in the lives of those around you.  The beautiful thing about this film and this movement is that it shows the power of education and how ideas and action create change!
We are very excited about the things to come for our agency! Thrilled to launch a new series of programs starting next week,  Mom University, that seeks to educate and empower Moms, especially moms raising girls!  To learn more about our new program visit: www.tinyurl.com/ehmomuniversity
I close by wishing you all a Happy International Day of The Girl! Let's continue empowering one another and creating a better world everyday!
To support our mission please consider making a tax deductible donation by clicking HERE !  Empower Her, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization based out of Atlanta, GA.
Visit our website for more information: www.empowerherinc.com

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Wish

As my Mother's Day weekend comes to a close I feel lead to share a few thoughts about my latest steps on my journey to build my dreams for Empower Her Inc.  Today is a special day that is set aside to honor us moms.  For me this Mother's Day was a little different.  I decided to take some time this weekend and have a mini-vacation from my motherly duties.  I packed my bags and checked into a local hotel with my wonderful sister in law and had a fun 24 hours laughing, painting, partying and sharing with a beautiful group of moms who just wanted to take a step back and have some me time.  I have never done this before on a Mother's Day and after a very difficult last 7 months, I felt like I just needed a break from it all.  I know this is not the typical Mother's Day message that is shared on this day..but I feel that I need to be honest..that as a mom, wife and woman..sometimes it is just really hard and we need to take time out for ourselves to refocus, recharge and let loose.  I came across this image on facebook and realized that this for me..would truly be the best mother's day gift ever!
After a wonderful night out, we checked out of the hotel this morning and I made my way home. I actually could not wait to see my wonderful hubby, two daughters and my doggy, Teddy. I came home this morning to flowers, cards, gifts and the loving arms of my family.  I was just so grateful for that moment to step away and come back with a cup that was running over.
Since leaving my job in August to pursue my dreams with Empower Her, Inc. the journey has been rough.  I fantasized about the moment I would quit my job and go for my dreams (see blog post), but nothing prepared me for the obstacles and hardship I would face after I took my leap of faith.  I felt so much joy when I left my job to take a more flexible opportunity and have more time for my family and for my passion empowering women and girls.  Within a few months of leaving my job, things started to crumble on many levels.  I was faced with a close family member's sickness and death, financial struggles and many other obstacles that left me reeling and questioning if I heard God right to step out and make a difference.  I thought that now that I was free from the 9-5 things would be easier but that was far from the truth.  During my trials, I grew closer to my husband and my girls. Being home with them more, I became a more relaxed mom and wife, which was one of my goals.  I greeted my youngest daughter every day at the bus stop eager to hear about her day and I was there for my oldest daughter during her transition to high school. The challenges I faced as a mom/wife and 'executive director' of Empower Her, Inc. during the last few months however forced me to my knees and in the arms of God.  I have had to rely on Him more than ever.
I love this picture above, as it represents this stage in my journey.  A month ago, I had to return to a full-time job to help stabilize my family.  This decision left me feeling like a failure, hypocrite, depressed and upset that my 'leap' left me.. in my mind back where I started.  I have been too ashamed to share the latest parts of my journey until this weekend when I decided to take a step back and focus on myself..not as a mom, but as a woman trying to navigate in this world that is filled with disappoints, triumphs and setbacks. 
My dreams to empower women and girls grew from a place in my heart that watched my mother sacrifice her happiness to make a better life for her children and family.  She came home everyday stressed, bitter and tired, never having time to focus on her needs as a woman and her dreams.  I suffered as a result of her dreams being deferred.  When I became a mom of two girls, I was terrified of making the same mistake which is why I work so hard to focus on my dreams and to make sure that I am taking time for myself.  With the latest changes to 'my plans' (funny how God takes us through different paths to strengthen our relationship with Him) I have found my stress levels very high and this cloud of sadness and disappointment hanging over my head.  I finally got to the point during these last few weeks, where I had to surrender everything to Him, my dreams, hopes and disappointments.  When I reached that point and fully surrendered I have felt a peace that surpasses all understanding, and I now know that life is not going to always be easy, especially as a mom and woman.  We must take time out for ourselves to exhale and draw on a higher power.. to be our best. I also realize that we have to be honest with ourselves and the people in our lives, that sometimes we don't have it together and that we need help.  I am so grateful for my husband, daughters, parents, family and friends who have been with me along the way, praying and helping me.
My wish as this Mother's Day comes to a close is that I will continue, despite the obstacles or challenges in my way, to empower women and girls to continue to be their best selves.  My wish is that women, especially mom's take care of themselves so that they can be their best to raise amazing daughters and sons that will be the leaders of tomorrow. I am hopeful that God will continue to use Empower Her, Inc. to make a difference in the lives of women and girls.  I thank my family, friends and supporters for being with me along the way through the good and the bad.  For all of you mothers out there, let's keep moving forward!  Happy Mother's Day!
A cute message for Mom's as we wrap up this Mother's Day!
For More Information About Empower Her, Inc. click here!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Empower Her Inc & Passport Party Project! (Atlanta)


We are so excited to announce that Empower Her, Inc. is partnering with the "Passport Party Project"  a philanthropic initiative that aims to provide girls ages 11-15 from diverse backgrounds the tools they need to obtain their first passport!   This initiative was started by Tracey Friley an award-winning travel blogger, and Founder/Executive Director of  OBG Adventures, and OneBrownGirl.com®.  I connected with Tracey years ago and she has always had a passion for travel and spreading that love to girls and women especially.  To see her vision grown into this national project helps me to know that your gifts and talents can grow into big things that will make a HUGE impact in the world. We just have to go out there and do it! .
 “I hope that by getting girls their first passports, they view themselves and their place in the world in a whole new way. I hope they continue to learn and teach tolerance of other cultures both at home and abroad. I hope they see the change that is needed in the world and then consider
how they might help."~Tracey Friley
Tracey is inviting ten girls in ten different American cities to participate in these travel-themed celebrations, or “Passport Parties".  Expedia,  the world's largest online travel agency, is the offical Travel Sponsor for this project as well as a Grand Prize! After the 10 city tour, six grand prize winners will be selected out of the 100 girls that received their passport.  These lucky girls (along with their respective parents/guardians) will receive an all-expense paid 5 day and 4 nights trip to beautiful Belize, Central America in July 2013.  What a great way to their first passport stamp!  Thank you Expedia..whoohoo!
We are honored to be the 7th stop on her tour and that 10 girls from our non-profit agency will be able to participate in this life changing event being held at the Omni Hotel in the CNN Center on February 23rd, 2013!  As a thirty-eight year old woman who just received her passport and started traveling outside of the US within the last few years this project  is so important!  When I received my passport I flipped through the empty pages and immediately began to dream about the many places that I could travel to.  It opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me. How awesome would it be for a girl to start this journey early in life and realize her place in the world and plant the seeds of global awareness! Thank you Tracey for spreading your passion for travel to girls in our area and around the world!
Photo Source: The Passport Party Project Website
For More Information About This Awesome Initiative Visit
For More Information About Our Agency visit our
Empower Her Inc web page!