We believe that the power to influence change among women is magnified by women looking up to and trusting their fellow women. As an organization we believe that our women leaders continuously ensure that we truly understand and are better placed in a position to understand the important needs of those women we work with and serve. For that reason, we want to celebrate all our women leaders: those running our day to day operations, those we work with, and those that are key in guiding and making decisions that continuously make us a better organization through our board.
In this month of August we want to celebrate our Board Vice-Rachael Miller who also happens to be an August baby Happy Birthday Rachael may this year bring more blessings into your life. Before she could cut her birthday cake we took some time and sat down with Rachael and asked her a couple of questions as to why she chose and continues to work with, support and use her expertise, experience and diverse knowledge base in favour of Imagine Her.
1) Who is Rachael?
What a question! I’m a resident of Denver, Colorado, a lover of the outdoors and good food, a reader and a writer, a daughter, friend, sister, partner, and “dog mom”, and a supporter and champion for Imagine Her.
2) What inspired you to join the Imagine Her Board of Directors
I was inspired to become involved with Imagine Her almost from the first moment I learned about the organization. I was living in Uganda from June 2016-August 2017 while stationed there for my role at Educate!. Throughout my time in Uganda, I was privileged to meet many wonderful people, one of whom was James Otai, co-founder of Imagine Her. James introduced me to Nathan and Fiona, and over juice and coffee one weekend they explained to me their vision for Imagine Her and the important work they had already accomplished. Girls’ and women’s issues have always been close to my heart, and I was looking for a way to support local leaders to work directly with communities to create positive change for women. As a foreigner, I see my role as supporting “behind the scenes” the important work that local leaders like Nathan, Fiona, James, and the rest of the IH team carry out. Imagine Her has been a great opportunity for me to leverage my skill set to support a cause I care about deeply.
3) As one of the core members of the organization responsible for decision making what would you define as the best practice/approach an organization should adopt in it’s decision making process?
In my opinion, the most important thing is to listen to the people closest to the work - both the team on the ground as well as the direct beneficiaries. I may have ideas about how things should be done, but if I’m not a good listener, my ideas aren’t going to succeed. Similarly, I have to open the lines of communication to make sure that the team is proactively communicating about any challenges and ways I can help overcome those challenges. Decision-making without honest and open communication, and complete information/buy-in from those closest to the work, will never lead to a successful outcome.
4) Why are you passionate about this work, why do you think this work is needed?
Women and girls face different and greater challenges and barriers to their success than their male counterparts. Imagine Her’s work focuses on addressing these barriers and breaking them down through holistic programing - tackling the root causes of inequality through education and training, leading to improved health outcomes and livelihoods. An empowered female generation is absolutely key to solving the challenges we are facing, both at the local and global levels.
5) Imagine Her as an organization strives in it’s programs and model to promote gender equality. As a woman and a leader what best practices would you advocate for to ensure that women, like their men counterparts, are able to enjoy the rewards that come with gender equality?
Another big question! In short, I believe that for us to truly realize gender equality, men need to be equal partners in this work. Gender equality is good for men as well as women! So, I advocate to bring men more into the conversation, and help them learn how to support and empower women, and to identify the gender barriers that are holding women, as well as men, back.
6) Oh Rachael I almost forgot your birthday is coming up soon, is there any special thing that you intend to do or you are already doing to making this year’s birthday memorable one?
Yes! I am asking people, as a birthday gift to me, to donate to a fundraiser for Imagine Her. The greatest gift would be to see Imagine Her able to expand programming to serve more women and girls!
Other than that, I plan to spend the weekend of my birthday in the beautiful Colorado mountains with good friends, celebrating the gift of another year of life.
7) Are there any specific goals that you have set as you navigate through this year again?
Oh, so many…. I’m hoping to make 2 more trips back to Uganda this year, and also to hopefully travel to some new places I’ve never been before. I hope to keep learning and improving in my work, to grow as a writer and communicator, to be a better friend and family member. I hope to prioritize my time better, and go for more hikes!
8) If there is anything in times of fun that you don’t ever want to miss out what would that be?
My favorite experiences are always shared with my family and friends. As I mentioned, I love to travel and to spend time in nature. When you have any combination of those things - loved ones, new experiences, and nature - you don’t need anything else.
9) If someone walked to you and wanted to offer you lunch for your birthday what would go for?
Can they fly me to San Antonio, Texas, for the greatest tacos in the world? Because that’s my meal of choice any day!
10) Any special words to the world out there about Imagine Her?
I would urge anyone who is curious about Imagine Her to reach out to the team to learn more about the important work they are accomplishing. Imagine Her is a wonderful organization led by incredible people, and big things are ahead for this organization.
Until the next time, we are forever grateful to having you Rachael as one of our leaders and we will always cherish your leadership, support and contribution towards the growth of Imagine Her. We want to wish a Happy Happy Birthday and may you live for a thousand years to create more impact in the World. Happy Birthday Rachael.