Fri 07 February 2020

Lori aims to encourage women to speak out

Belfast, Lisburn & Castlereagh Chapter Participant continues to pursue social justice and equality through The Next Chapter

Participant Lori Gatsi-Barnett shares her journey on The Next Chapter project

"I was born in Harare, Zimbabwe.  Whilst Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980, there were still a lot of inequalities, many of which remain unresolved to this day. 
 
My parents wanted a life which embraced the freedom to excel, with a global focus, so Pennsylvania became the place of my self discovery and awareness of the world around me. As I was challenged, my views changed. Diversity in all its various forms began to shape my understanding and appreciation of the uniqueness of collective and individual success.
 
Several years later, after completing academic studies at Penn State University, and travelling to  Asia, Europe, Africa, and the USA, partly to see the world and also on humanitarian work via World Vision and the United Nations, following work in the medical and business sector and life itself, motherhood and family,  I arrived in Belfast.  Yes, it has been an adventure.  
 
It takes a lot to value life, its ups and downs, alongside experience and a clear sense of self.  Herein lies my interest in pursuing social jusice and equality .
 
The Next Chapter programme opened avenues to talk as women about our concerns, socially, politically, on a one to one basis and to connect. Everything I have been through from prejuduce, cultural stereotyping, injustice, being overlooked or silenced on account of fear; I have had to find and learn ways to cope and challenge the opportunities life presents.  
 
I am humbled and honoured to have met many great people who continue to influence my views, challenge my biases and ultimately give me a opportunity to be seen, heard, and valued as an individual and global citizen."

Thanks to Lori for taking the time to write this article.  
 
Be the Change You Want to See Community Project