Dienna Howard has been volunteering with EWI consistently over the past year, and has dedicated her time to help continue our mission. She worked in our office weekly assisting in newsletter, blog, and directory updates. Her last day was last week. We thank Dienna for her hard work and commitment, and wish her the best as she moves on to empower more women throughout the world!
To get to the point where I got involved with Empowered Women International, I need to take a quick trip to the past first.
I have a background in journalism starting in high school, where I wrote pieces that ranged from bios on exchange students, articles on body image, a piece where I called the administration out on their favoritism towards specific student groups, as well as my personal experience with being considered an “oreo” by other black people (i.e., a black person who is accused of “acting white”). This continued on in college, where I wrote a piece on the immaturity of some college students, a piece urging people to stop saying n-word, and a feature on the student government president. I got sidetracked by switching from journalism to theater, a move I sometimes feel may have hindered me from being taken seriously as an article writer, but a move I don’t regret. (I have written theatrical pieces and was recruited after graduating college to do a collaborative piece called Amistad: Recapturing the Spirit, combining some original work with researched work to expose the audience to the trials and tribulations of what the slaves aboard the Amistad ship had gone through.)
After years doing admin support work and research at my former job, I wanted to build my writing portfolio again. I wanted to know that I was still capable of doing more than sitting quietly at a cubicle minding my business. Last summer, I found out about EWI through VolunteerMatch.org, where they had a writing position advertised. The fact that EWI focused on working with women who were artists strongly appealed to me, so I was determined to get involved with them. I got to interview great women such as bath and body product creator Brigitta Kral, jewelry artist Kata Witorsch, and sculptor Alicia Meza. Hearing about the many things they’ve accomplished since getting involved with EWI was an uplifting experience.
As my six-year tenure at my former job came to a surprising end this February, I was left confused and wanting to figure things out. What was my purpose? What was my passion? I was working to live as opposed to just living, and I wanted to figure out what really made me tick. I wanted to get more involved with EWI, so I contacted Marga Fripp and was welcomed with open arms to get more involved in the office as a volunteer.