Finding Your Voice: Speaking Truth + Giving A Voice to Communities*
Sometimes we choose our stories. Other times, our stories choose us—we experience those defining moments that reroute our lives, imbue us with a greater sense of purpose. And then there are times when we feel compelled to share our stories. It could be a moment where we realize that our story is our voice; we choose ourselves and in doing so, in bearing our vulnerabilities, we find that it strikes a chord with others—it creates community. Or perhaps in discovering our voice it inspires a calling or presents an opportunity to take on a new challenge. For some of us, our voice empowers us to share the stories of those who may not have yet found their own. These amazing women are using their voices to forge their own paths, and inspiring others to do the same.
*During this talk, Meaningful Conversations curator Rachel Kalt actually called 'BS' on its title, but we've kept it for historical purposes :)
“Our voices don’t have to be broadcasted to be valuable... It’s more about exploring and expressing your perspective”
Paloma: “I’m a thought leader”... Some of this phraseology makes me uncomfortable.
“Finding suggests there’s something outside you that you need to go looking for”
“I don’t like that permanence anymore because my voice has evolved a lot”
Debi: “It’s great to be transparent, but you have to be ready to be transparent.”
Lindsay: “There are going to be droughts, peaks and valleys, but that’s where the good stuff comes in”
Rachel: “Let’s call bullshit on the phrase “Finding your voice””
Amber Takahashi is 23 year old Software Engineer, and founder of Brown Girl Tech World. Inspired by her own journey into tech, she founded Brown Girl Tech World back in April 2020 with the main purpose of making unconventional pathways into tech the new normal. She believes that obtaining a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science or Information Technology is not the only route into tech, and that everyone should be exposed to tech education regardless of their background.
Marketing maven turned SaaS founder, Lindsay Tjepkema is CEO and Co-Founder of Casted, the first Amplified Marketing Platform and only podcast solution for B2B marketers. She's a first-time CEO, lifelong information junkie, and passionate about authentic conversation, women in leadership, strong and inclusive workplace cultures, and marketing that prioritizes audiences over algorithms. And she's doing it all while parenting three young boys, including twins.
Paloma is a storyteller, strategist, and connector of seemingly unlike things based in the Bay Area. She's here to listen, explore, and talk about the things we can and can’t find words for.
Growing up Rachel’s parents used to tell her that her ears wrapped around telephone poles. Yes, she was a nosy kid. She was also an intent listener. And she wanted—and still wants—to be a therapist. She spent a lot of time on her own as a child and found comfort in stories—reading, writing, and listening to them—as a means to better understand others’ experiences. Her love of stories underscores her professional journey. She began in editorial, but her desire to engage more directly with people and their passions led her to the world of human-centered design agencies. After burning out from the agency world, she’s now trying her hand at product marketing, currently at Typeform. Meaningful Conversations is her work baby, and one that she is very honored to share with the world. She lives in NYC with her partner and dog and you can find her online @rachelmkalt.
Debi Hasky is a Latina artist and designer based in Barcelona. Her work openly speaks out about mental health and body stuff through examining and sharing her personal experiences. Debi draws in a part analogue, part digital style, making her work feel hand-made, personal and intimate. She has collaborated with brands such as Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, Domestika, Instagram, Refinery29 and Vogue.