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Enuma Okoro            

Nigerian-American Author and Lecturer; Columnist, Financial Times; Global Citizen

Enuma Okoro is a Nigerian-American writer, lecturer, and speaker, who believes that the stories we believe, and tell ourselves become the stories we live. Using the arts, cultural identity, contemplative spirituality and psychology, Okoro explores the power of story and narratives in our individual and collective identities. She examines the stories we live, where they originate, how they are used, and how unquestioned stories and inherited narratives affect our public and private lives. To this end, her work covers a broad but intersecting range of topics: the arts as a lens for understanding human experience, meaning and identity-making, transcultural literacy and how cultural collisions have an impact on human development and social narratives, women’s empowerment, and intentional living with integrity and self-honor.

Born in Manhattan to Nigerian parents, Okoro was raised in five countries on three continents, and has spent her life living and working as a global citizen. Her educational and professional background is in Psychology and Communications, Family Systems Therapy, Creative and Academic Writing, and Theology. She is a certified spiritual director in the Ignatian tradition. Okoro has written and edited four non-fiction books, her poetry is published in anthologies, she is a weekend columnist for the Financial Times, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, ABC’s Good Morning America, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, The Guardian, Harpers’ Bazaar, Vogue, CNN, Essence, Artsy, Cultured, The Cut, Aeon, Catapult, and other media outlets.

As an international speaker, Okoro has spoken at over 100 engagements including universities, corporate institutions, organization and conferences. Her speaking invitations have come from four continents and have included Oxford University, Princeton University, The Atlantic Dialogues, The EurAfrican Forum, The Ford Foundation, The MEDays International Forum, Bloomberg Media Conference, Harvard Business School, The Abu Dhabi Culture Summit, and more. She had the honor of being the first woman of African descent to deliver a talk from the historic 200-year-old platform of The American Church in Paris, France, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was the first man of African descent to speak from the same platform in October 1965. Okoro gave a TEDx talk in London focused on global perceptions of women, identity, and cultural collisions.

Speech Topics

The Wisdom and Benefit of Engaging Cultural Differences

Engaging with people different from ourselves can be fraught, even for well-intentioned people and leaders, and therefore it takes a certain amount of courage and mindfulness to deliberately cultivate a diverse community, and to be transformed positively from that community. On teams, in business and in our communities, the intentional engagement with difference can stimulate new opportunities and understandings about ourselves and the world. By growing our emotional intelligence and openness to others, we expand our opportunities in every way imaginable.

Honor the Life that Calls You: A Primer for Individuals, Leaders and Teams

Enuma Okoro tells us how to live a life aligned with our purpose, how to enhance performance and stamina, and how to empower others on our teams and in our organizations to thrive. Honoring our skills and passions, and encouraging those around us to hone and pursue theirs, allows for more wholistic, higher-performing individuals and teams.

The Power of a Story

The stories we believe and tell become the stories we live. And the stories we live, define who we are. Our lives are filled with competing narratives that come from our public and private communities. Learning to identify the reigning narratives in our lives will expose the story we are living, and enable us to determine if it’s the story we want our lives to tell.

What Is it Time For?

The ancient Greeks had two understandings of time: Chronos time, which is chronological time, the hours and days and year we count, and then Kairos time, an unquantifiable but opportune sliver of time that can occur at any moment, openings in life that hold the potential for soul satisfaction and unquantifiable gift. To recognize and live into Kairos time, we must learn to discern the seasons of our lives, shifting our attitudes about chronological time, and being open to reshape how we approach our days, ultimately inviting mystery, wonder, and faith back into our lives.

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