What you will learn:
COVID-19 has created a mandatory "life-pause" for all of us-- a time for personal reflection, a time for slowing down from life's intensity, and a time for evaluation of our personal and professional priorities. COVID-19 has also created forced isolation and lack of in-person human connection, many of us relegated to video screens and phone calls for interaction. For some of us, this experience isn't entirely new. Those of us living with invisible and visible differences know all too well the feelings of isolation and loneliness pre-pandemic -- hiding and covering our differences from the world, creating our own solutions to overcome barriers, and craving spaces for support and shared experiences.
Ruth Rathblott is an award-winning CEO who is committed to creating inclusion for all. Ruth will speak about her personal and professional journey through the lens of someone with a visible disability and share what it is like to lead through a world crisis and live life without limits or labels. Ruth will touch on the subject of invisible disabilities, covering hidden differences & otherness. Her story will speak to how we cope with feelings of isolation, our need to feel connected to others, and the ability to rise above life's challenges to gain the freedom from letting go of shame. She will stress the power of living authentically and the recognition that our differences are our greatest gift.
Highlighted themes include:
- Isolation: its universality and how many of us feel isolated now (and often before the pandemic)
- Connection: now more than ever, the importance of relationships and shared experiences, and the power of affinity groups
- Authenticity and Acceptance: the need to be seen and share our full selves, and the importance of diversity of opinion
Ruth will share strategies to move us forward, which includes owning your differences and creating space for others' differences.
About the instructor:
Ruth Rathblott is an award-winning CEO who is committed to creating inclusion for all. She speaks about her personal and professional journey through the lens of someone with a visible disability and shares what it is like to lead and live life without limits or labels.
Ruth was born with a limb difference and currently speaks on issues of inclusion and diversity, the gifts of being unique, the freedom of accepting your differences, and rising above life’s challenges.
Ruth works with organizations that want to broaden their conversations on diversity so they can create inclusive work environments, develop more cohesive teams, and leverage out-of-the-box thinking.
Ruth touches on invisible disabilities, covering hidden differences, and otherness. Her story speaks to how we cope with feelings of isolation, our need to feel connected to others, the ability to rise above life’s challenges, and the freedom gained from letting go of shame. She demonstrates the power of living authentically and enables the recognition that our differences are our greatest gift.
Ruth has been a leader in nonprofit organizations for more than 25 years; 15 of which she spent at Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, where she played a central role in its expansion. It was here that she fostered a deep appreciation for inclusion within education and opportunity, which successfully propelled the students to greater achievement. For the past eight+ years as CEO of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), a NYC-based college access and success program for underserved youth, she’s directed the HEAF vision of providing a continuum of educational, developmental, leadership, and personal resilience opportunities. She currently serves as a Board Member of The Lucky Fin Project.
Ruth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Goucher College and a Master of Social Work degree from Boston University. She was honored as the youngest alum ever awarded the Goucher College Excellence in Public Service Award. In 2014, she was given the Smart CEO Brava Award and profiled as a CEO in the NY Times Corner Office, which featured her passion and motivation for “things I want to be a part of.” Ruth has also been identified and received the Trailblazer Award from the Community Resource Exchange in 2019, and the Unsung Hero Award from the Female Founders Alliance in 2020. In addition to Corporate Speaking Keynotes, Ruth received Certification from American Management Association in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (2020) and has been a guest on several Webinars and Podcasts — including Sree Sreevisan, Mayshad, Tevis Trower, et al — in 2020-21.
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Suggested Length60 min
# of Employees25
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