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 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 .

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 - 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:
 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:
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: