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February 21, 2017 0

By Jennifer S. Wilkov, Founder, Speak Up Women Conference

It is with thoughtful sadness and great hope that I am writing to inform you that I need to postpone the Speak Up Women Conference to the fall.

#SpeakUpWomenLIVE Announcement by Founder Jennifer S. Wilkov of Postponement of Speak Up Women Conference

Jennifer S. Wilkov #SpeakUpWomenLIVE Announcement 2.21.17

Early morning on Valentine’s Day this past Tuesday, Andy, my boyfriend, and I had a fire in our apartment. At 3am, I woke up to the black smoke that was billowing into our bedroom from the hallway. Something on Andy’s desk caught fire and his whole desk was up in flames from floor to ceiling when I walked into our office. First, and most important, we are both okay and so are our two cats. The fire department came, put out the fire, and we all got out. Everyone in our building (upstairs neighbor – a couple with a baby – and downstairs neighbor) are all okay too. The insurance lady I spoke with said I saved everyone. If I had woken up an hour later, she and I would have been having a completely different conversation.

The aftermath: We have soot, smoke and toxic fumes in everywhere and everything in our apartment. We are working with the insurance companies, our landlord, and the entire fire remediation process — which is overwhelming — to recover from this disaster. We have been displaced from our home for at least a month. Everything we have has to either be cleaned, repaired or replaced.

That said, the other piece of information I want to share with you is that I was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer at the end of November and started chemotherapy treatments in late January, after a surgical procedure to implant a mediport in my chest. While this was devastating news, I was confident that I could produce the conference effectively amidst the resulting unanticipated difficulties that have arisen from the chemo for me — including now having 4 blood clots in my lungs. I was planning to share this information from the stage at the beginning of the event.

If it was just the cancer, I would have continued to produce the conference as intended, even amidst the chemotherapy treatments I started in January. With the follow-on stress and trauma of the fire and its aftermath, I don’t have the capacity to really produce these final critical weeks of the conference at the quality they need to be done, including the proper attention to you and everyone involved.

Depending on how well you know me, mediocrity just doesn’t cut it with me. This event and its experience for everyone is too important to me to just wing it. I believe in providing high quality, meaningful experiences for everyone.

The best part of this for me is that I’m alive and here to still provide and produce this amazing meaningful event for you and everyone involved.

I do hope that you will support the Speak Up Women Conference efforts and that you can understand why I had to make this very hard decision after I learned these past two days how complicated the fire remediation process and recovery from this traumatic event will be during next several weeks for me and my family.

I appreciate you very much and I look forward to an even greater event with you in the fall!

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Thank you.

Warmly with Gratitude and Grace,

~ Jennifer

Jennifer S. Wilkov

Founder, Speak Up Women Conference

Speak Up World LLC

www.SpeakUpWomen.com

 

 


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February 14, 2017 0

 

 

By Jennifer S. Wilkov, Founder, Speak Up Women Conference

Maybe you have heard it before but it is something that bears repeating: it takes a village to have the life you want.

Whatever you want to do, be or have is within your reach. Whatever you want to overcome, whatever you want to beat, whatever you want to reach for and accomplish, you can do it – and do it better with a team of people you enroll to support you.

Whether your dreams and ideas are large or small, you can get further faster when you open up and tell people what you want. You don’t have to know everything about how to get it. What you do have to do is speak up and ask for help.

Do your best to clearly articulate what it is you want. For example, if you want to adopt a pet, be specific about what type of pet you are looking for. If you want to find a mate, think about the qualities, characteristics and traits the person you are seeking will have. Don’t just accept whoever walks into your life or who your friends or family want to introduce you to. If you want to break into an industry and have a particular job, then zero in on the exact type of company you want to work for and the role you want to have. If you want to start a non-profit to support a cause you believe in, clearly identify what your non-profit is going to do, how it is going to do it, and what you envision. You don’t need to know every step as to how to make it happen. You do need to be able to talk with someone else about what you want to do.

Speaking up is not about being perfect every time you open your mouth. It is about speaking from the heart and authentically articulating what you want – personally, professionally or philanthropically.

Many women and men have fumbled and bumbled their way through conversations that have involved asking for help, money, guidance or direction. The best thing you can do to get better at this is to keep doing it. Keep at it. You will learn a lot and you will also learn to build your confidence.

You will learn who is on your team and who is not. You will also find out who can help you with what parts of your quest. Keep in mind everyone you ask is not going to say yes, and everyone you ask is not going to give you every piece of what you need either. They will, however, give you what they can, whether that is moral support, an introduction to someone they know, or another part of the puzzle.

But you will never who is on your team, who can help you, or how to get to the glory of the accomplishment of your quest, until you start speaking up and ask.

So Speak Up!


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January 31, 2017 0

By Jennifer S. Wilkov, Founder, Speak Up Women Conference

I often hear from women who tell me that they need to speak up to someone about a particular situation or feelings they have but they are not sure how to do it.

Years ago, someone in their lives probably said to them, “Use your words!” It was most likely a parent or adult who was coaxing them as an infant to use words to indicate what they wanted instead of crying or pointing and making noises.

Today, there isn’t someone who is telling them to use their words. In fact, they just might be having the opposite experience where someone may be telling them not to use them.

This happens in personal, professional and philanthropic or for-a-cause situations. You may find yourself uncomfortable and in a position where you are not sure what to say or how to speak up.

Here are some suggestions for some of these types of situations to help you get started:

PERSONAL

When it comes to having a difficult conversation with a loved one or friend, it is often best to ask the person for a dedicated time to talk with them first. Then you can set some rules of engagement for the conversation you would like to have. I often use the “heart to heart conversation” model with those I love and care about. It includes an upfront verbal agreement that each person will be given the opportunity to speak uninterrupted until they are complete. Then the other person receiving the communication will simply say “thank you.” Then you switch roles until you are both done saying everything you want to say. At the end of these conversations, it is also nice to hug one another and thank each other for the productive, respectful conversation. It is much better than arguing or fighting or talking over one another so no one can hear what the other person is saying. You will also come out of it feeling good about one another and feel heard.

PROFESSIONAL

If your situation involves one individual, outline the talking points you want to make and what outcome you want from the conversation. Make an appointment with the person so you have their undivided attention. Be realistic about the time you have with this person and be effective and efficient with the communication you use. Be sure to establish upfront what you want to talk about, why you want to talk about it, and what result you hope will come out of the conversation. The clearer you are upfront, the better conversation you will have. Introduce your topic and do your very best to stick to your talking points and the reason you want to have the conversation. If the discussion diverts to another topic, do your best to bring it back to your agenda and intention.

If you are in a meeting with others, indicate that you want to say something to the person leading the meeting. Do not raise your hand. Be clear about the point you want to make and be concise in your communication about it.

One other point: Do not apologize for speaking or for what you have to say. Be confident and say what you want to with competence and respect. Be a good listener to those who respond and be open to collaborative solutions as well as if someone says no to something you are requesting. Be engaged and make your point with clarity and conviction.

PHILANTHROPIC

When you feel compelled to speak to others about a cause you care about, it is important to be clear about what the cause is. If you have a particular interest, ask others how you can get involved and what organizations or associations they know of that make efforts for it. If you want to start a new group, first define what the group is for, what it focuses on, and how you want other people to participate. This could be anything from a lemonade stand to support someone you know with cancer or another ailment or an effort to collect food for the homeless.

POLITICAL PROCESS

Regardless of what side of the aisle you are on, you can participate and speak up in the political dialogue that continues to rage in the U.S. right now. The best way to speak up is to find out who your Congress representatives are and put their numbers into your phones on speed dial. You can use the website www.CallMyCongress.com to find out who your senators and House representative(s) are along with their phone numbers, Twitter handles, party affiliation and voting record. Congressional offices record the phone calls that come in each day and the topics you call about. This is the fastest and best way to speak up to your representatives in Congress about your personal feelings and advocate for what you want them to do. They are in office to represent their constituents like you so you are supposed to call them to let them know what is important to you and what you want them to do.

Disclaimer: Speak Up Women is a non-partisan community that encourages those with opinions and feelings on all sides of all conversations to respectfully communicate with one another in a meaningful dialogue.

If you are not sure where to begin, take the first step in faith and do your best. The more you speak up, the more comfortable you will be with doing it and the more you will learn to do it in ways that feel good for you.

You never know how and when your opinion and feelings may inform others until you speak up. The impact you have may not just be for you; it may affect many others you may not even know about.

So Speak Up!

 


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January 10, 2017 0

By Jennifer S. Wilkov, Founder, Speak Up Women Conference

Speak Up About Your Dreams
Speak Up About Your Dreams

As we approach the 49th anniversary of the loss of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this year and his birthday in which we honor and remember him, we are reminded of the great dreams he had for our nation and our communities.

He stated in no uncertain terms that he had a dream and he used his words so eloquently to convey his vision of what he wanted for all peoples, for all human beings.

At this time of year, what with New Year’s resolutions and a time for renewed hopes and dreams, I ask you: what are your dreams?

In today’s world, you will need to use your words, just as Dr. King did so many years ago, and tell others what you want and what you envision.

You see, it is not enough to just have dreams. If you keep them to yourself, you will only have yourself to rely on to make them come true.

If you have the courage, boldness and grace to share your dreams with others, others will support you in the highest and best ways they can to help you realize them.

When you speak up about your dreams, you have a better chance of making them come true and manifest. It is how it works, you see. We make more things happen as a community, as a group of people who share a common vision of that dream.

If you had to complete the statement Dr. King used so many years ago, how would you say this:

I HAVE A DREAM THAT….. 

This is something we love to talk about in our society. Dreams.

At the end of the movie, Pretty Woman, a man on the street walks by and says, “This is Hollywood! Some dreams come true. Some don’t. — What’s your dream?”

So as we celebrate all that Dr. King stood for and illustrated for all of us, regardless of color, age or gender, I ask you the same question: What’s your dream?

Speak up and share it with everyone you know. You never know how and where help will come until you speak up.



March 3, 2016

PHOTO.so_money_logo Jennifer S Wilkov - Speaker - Author - Consultant

“So Money” Interview with Farnoosh Torabi

Listen to founder Jennifer S. Wilkov talk about her own life-changing experiences with the justice system, why she created the Speak Up Women Conference, and why it is important to speak up.

 

From Farnoosh:

Jennifer Wilkov is our So Money guest today. She is a woman who survived being victimized by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and incarcerated in one of New York’s and the Nation’s most violent prisons, Rikers Island. Why? Because this was a result of inappropriately being told to plead guilty to a crime she did not commit, she says.

Shortly thereafter, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) exonerated her, claiming she was innocent and Jennifer went on to continue to succeed as an author, a media personality, an entrepreneur and a speaker. Today, she is the founder and producer of Speak Up Women because she wants women to speak up. That’s one thing that she felt she couldn’t do at the time of her imprisonment. Today, she is a number one radio show host, a number one international best-selling award winning author. Can you believe it? Somebody who goes through such a tragedy is able to now come out on the other side of that not only helping herself but helping so many other women.

I won’t say anything more, you’ll have to tune in to hear more. This episode is going to change your life.

If you’d like to learn more about Jennifer S. Wilkov, visit her website jenniferswilkov.com or follow her on Twitter @JenniferWilkov.

One of my favorite quotes from the interview: “Change is a path, it’s a road to making a difference for yourself & others. It’s how you live the life you want.” – Click To Tweet

 


 

Listen. Speak Up. and Join the conversation at the Speak Up Women Conference this Saturday, March 5th, at the United Nations!



March 3, 2016

Guest Post from Tai Beauchamp, Panelist, How to Speak Up & What’s Holding You Back Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference

 

TV Personality, entrepreneur, and influencer shares why she chooses to seek life harmony

I’m often asked, “How do you do it all?” My response is usually a simple “I don’t do it all.” After a quizzical stare, she might rephrase the question adding more detail in an effort to help clarify exactly what she means, “Well, how do you balance all that you have going on? I mean you work in TV and media. You have your own company. You travel the world for business and for pleasure. Right?”

“Yes, all of that is true,” I answer in a rather matter of fact tone.

 

The inquirer, let’s call her Sam, a 27-year old, will usually continue, “And I think I remember reading that you take care of your grandmother. And from your Instagram, you attend the hottest events at least three to four times a week. And you have fabulous friends and stuff. So in my book, that’s doing it all and balancing a lot!”

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I usually smirk right about now because Sam is right, it is doing a lot! —A whole hell of a lot and if I’m honest, at times, it’s doing just a little too much. But in 2016, as progressive, driven women, we all have a lot going on in life and if necessary could probably add more. It’s just what it is. But it’s the question of “balance” or perceived balance that always captures my attention and interest.

 

And so it’s now that I drop a truth bomb that catches Sam off guard. “I don’t balance.”

 

“Huh?” she responds. “I can’t tell by the looks of it!”

 

“I don’t seek balance. Life balance is a lie as far as I’m concerned,” I say.

 

Now grimacing in disbelief at either my honesty or what she now wonders may be her own naiveté I’m not sure, Sam retorts, “Oh, really?”

 

“Yes, really.”

 

Most don’t want to hear this nevertheless believe it, but logically, even scientifically, it’s impossible to balance anything that isn’t divided into equal parts, never mind more than two, maybe four, and possibly six things.

 

I’ve been out of college for almost 16 years, and at around age 28 when my grandmother suddenly became ill, I became a caregiver, visiting her at her rehabilitation center daily. This was on top of managing two major consulting roles (one as a philanthropy consultant and the other as editor of a major women’s magazine). I had also just started my company so I was trying to drum up business, I had relationships that I cherished and wanted to maintain, and was also newly single so I was trying to date and just live. This isn’t uncommon for most 21st Century women, so in no way do I or should you see my life or myself as an anomaly. But my philosophy and approach is very different and counters what most life coach type experts and psychologists even encourage.

 

I don’t want “life balance”; I want “life harmony”. I want to be able to juggle things fairly well. I want all things to work together as best as possible but balancing say 25 things? Not so much. When I think of harmony, I think flowing, calm movement. I think fluidity. I hear beautiful sounds, some notes higher than others but all melodic. I like that. It’s not easy to do by any stretch but it takes the pressure off believing that all areas of my life (in no particular order) professional, personal, spiritual and emotional, love, and social can or should receive the same amount of attention and effort at any given time. I’ve had to train the people in my life, especially my family and team members, to understand my philosophy. I also have to remind myself at times that it’s okay not to be able to do it all, especially at once. It feels right and because it does, I sing and hum more often even with 7 or 11 balls in the air.

 

So today, on March 5, 2016 and beyond, I speak up about choosing not to balance but harmonize. And I speak up to help other women to let go of the pressure to “balance it all” especially at the same time.

 

I look forward to meeting you at the Speak Up Women Conference on March 5th at the United Nations and hearing about your experience! 

 

Tai Beauchamp is a TV Host and Personality, Entrepreneur and founder of TheTaiLife.com. She empowers women through style. You can read more inspiring content at TheTaiLife.com. Follow her on @theTaiLife and @taiBeau on all social media platforms.


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February 22, 2016

Guest Post from Karen Taylor Bass, Panelist, How to Speak Up & What’s Holding You Back Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference

 

The very thing we are forced to hide, is the very thing that makes us powerful. Words. Voice. Speaking. Confidence. Shine. Have you ever thought about the power you yield when you speak up? Speaking up is very scary, but super liberating when you discover your voice.

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I was born in Jamaica, the beautiful island. At a tender age, I remember my mother telling me that children should be seen and not heard. That phrase stayed with me, lingered and festered into a sore. All I can remember is that every time we had company, I wanted to perform for them like all kids. You know – talk, engage, sing, dance, act a fool – simply be heard and seen. But, I couldn’t.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I developed into a meek, insecure, quiet and shy little girl through young adulthood. I grew up uncertain of my voice, gift and power. That was not my mother’s intention, but her mom had probably done the same to her. This was simply generational loving. Oh boy, lucky me.

When I arrived at high school, there was something of an intervention from God via my English teacher. Ms. Borusso challenged me in AP (Advance Placement) English to tap into my power, my voice and speak up. My teacher said, “I want you to learn and embrace your power. I want you to join the drama club, observe and watch other people tap into their power. Then I want you to unleash your emotions on paper by journaling, and lastly, start looking into the mirror speak kindly to yourself.” Needless to say, I didn’t take all of Ms. Borusso’s advice, but I did start journaling. Baby steps.

When I arrived on my college campus, I was still shy, but making a bold move to cut my long hair into a bob gave me an injection of confidence. My haircut was the first decision I made sans my mother’s approval. It’s funny how a small tweak within can become a personal statement. I started to realize that speaking up and advocating for self did not just mean words. Speaking up is looking within and having the guts to take action, pivot and create a movement. I joined the newspaper and TV club, radio station, and the black student organization. Oh yeah, I co-starred in a school production.

It was the culmination of several moments and years at college that I decided that being heard and speaking up was a life and death matter. I truly wanted to be heard (globally) and impact others to get their message out. Becoming a media publicist, author and speaker has allowed me to create, write, communicate and leverage the careers of many A-listers, executives, entrepreneurs and small business owners. The biggest lesson I’ve learned to date is life always gives you clues. Take the time to listen, sit still, journal, reflect and discover what’s holding you back from speaking up.

  

Tips to Speaking up and finding your authentic voice:

  • Time matters. Take daily moments to identify your magic and voice.
  • Keep your ears to the ground. It’s always better to listen and learn from others. People will always show and tell you who they are.
  • Everyone has an opinion. Listen to what others have to say about you, but never allow others to define you.
  • Do something radical. Shake up your image to build inner confidence.
  • Open your mouth. You are an expert, start talking up self and build confidence.
  • Baby steps. Set realistic goals and commit to them for 30 days, 45, 60, 90 and so forth.

 

Karen Taylor Bass is a highly sought after PR Expert, speaker, media coach, and best-selling author. Follow her on Twitter @thebrandnewmom and www.karentaylorbass.com.

I look forward to meeting you at the Speak Up Women Conference on March 5th at the United Nations and hearing about your experience!


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February 8, 2016

Meet Cherie Corso, a Panelist on the Speak Up in Business Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference happening at the United Nations on March 5th, 2016!

Cherie Corso is not only a proud wife, mother, author, Reiki master, and environmentalist, and lifestyle blogger, but she is a well-known parenting expert and TV personality you may have seen on Fox and FriendsDoctor Oz, or Good Morning America. 

As a co-author of the children’s book, Crazy Ponytails, with her daughter Julia, she encourages children to persevere through challenges to see their special talents and as a mentor lecturer at Fordham University she calls upon years of industry knowledge to invest in the next generation of women leaders and entrepreneurs.

Cherie recently fused all of her knowledge from top designers and creators in the fashion world and chemical knowledge to successfully relaunch her organic skincare line, G2 Organics, where all of the products are not only 100% organic, but are made with only the highest grade ingredients and raw botanicals. This line is the answer for anyone looking for the best non-toxic products for the whole family.

Cherie Corso - Panelist, Speak Up in Business Panel
Cherie Corso – Panelist, Speak Up in Business Panel

G2 Organics has been named “Best Organic Nail Polish Remover” by Marie Claire Magazine, received the “That’s so Green Divas” award by The Green Divas, and been recognized as top editor picks by Glamour Magazine, Ebony, Marie Claire, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

In everything she does, she relies on her creative real-time experience to make sure that her deep-rooted beliefs on balance, family, health, and beauty at the forefront. You can learn more about Cherie and G2 Organics by visiting g2organics.com or “Word on the Street” at cheriecorso.com.

 

Join Cherie as she shares her insights
during this important panel about
Speak Up in Business
at this amazing inaugural event!

For more about speaking up, watch
this video of our founder, Jennifer S. Wilkov, talk about
why it is so important to speak up and
the impact you can make when you do.

Go to www.SpeakUpWomen.com to learn more and
to register to attend the Speak Up Women Conference
at the United Nations on March 5th, 2016


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February 5, 2016

Meet Joan Pelzer, the Moderator of the Speaking Up In Business Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference happening at the United Nations on March 5th, 2016!

Joan Pelzer - Moderator, Speaking Up in Business Panel
Joan Pelzer – Moderator, Speaking Up in Business Panel

Joan Pelzer is the President and CEO of Joan Pelzer Media LLC, where she creates online relationships that you can take offline. She is a social media expert and online engagement strategist with clients ranging from entrepreneurs and small businesses to events to a UN-based NGO. She creates value-driven interactions that accelerate the connections between her clients and their target markets. Joan is a dynamic connector!

Joan has spoken at various events on the power of social media to drive searchability and increase exposure and influence.

Joan is also President of the NYC Chapter of Femfessionals, a national networking and professional development organization for women – co-hosting monthly educational and networking events for female entrepreneurs, building membership, managing social media strategy, and engaging community. Joan is also the National Social Media Strategist for Over40Females.

 

Join Joan as she moderates this important panel about
Speaking Up in Business
at this amazing inaugural event!

For more about speaking up, watch
this video of our founder, Jennifer S. Wilkov, talk about
why it is so important to speak up and
the impact you can make when you do.

Go to www.SpeakUpWomen.com to learn more and
to register to attend the Speak Up Women Conference
at the United Nations on March 5th, 2016