In February – March 2016, an extraordinary event brought women students and educators to Paris.
The Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition, held at Columbia Global Centers at Reid Hall (Columbia University’s Paris facility), was the inaugural event for the Wells International Foundation (WIF). It combined art, study abroad, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education in educational programming built upon the abstract expressionist art and portraiture of painter Beauford Delaney (1901-1979).
Students from the University of Arizona traveled from Tucson to Paris to create an Augmented Reality app that allows users to access videos about numerous works in the exhibition. Four of the six students were women.
American K-12 educators traveled to Paris to experience the Global Educator Program for professional development organized by WIF and the social entrepreneurship J Rêve International. Founded by Jacqueline Cofield, J Rêve brought 7 teachers to the City of Light – six from the U.S. and one from South Korea. Six of these educators were women.
In addition to students enrolled in Columbia’s study abroad program, students from Virginia Commonwealth University, the Vassar-Wesleyan program, and Stanford University experienced the exhibition as well. Again, the majority of them were women.
As a result of attending a guided visit to the exhibition and meeting WIF founder and CEO, Monique Wells, Stanford University’s Sojourner Ahébée applied for a fellowship to pursue a 9-week internship with WIF in Paris. She was awarded the fellowship and will begin her project in mid-July 2016.
WIF now wants to have museums in the U.S. and Europe host the exhibition. It plans to organize educational and cultural programs similar to those that were associated with the Paris exhibition – including travel abroad to the European venues.
WIF is currently conducting a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise money to create a video documentary of the exhibition. This video will accompany the marketing proposal that WIF will send to museums on both sides of the Atlantic to encourage them to host the show.
The crowdfunding campaign runs through May 24, 2016. Help WIF place the Beauford Delaney exhibition at European museums and provide study abroad opportunities for university students and K-12 educators by clicking on the link below to make your pledge today!
Ellen Kountz, Finance Guru: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero
Black Women in Europe Blog™ 10th Anniversary notes:
I picked Ellen to be a Black Women in Europe Blog™ 10th Anniversary Shero because she’s gutsy, a trailblazer and extremely cool. I first blogged about Ellen in August 2012. Born in California and raised in New York State she’s teaching finance on the University level in France in French. Non? Oui! She ran a great video series on the Obama campaigns and has developed a reputation as a sought after speaker on African American culture and politics. I witnessed Ellen complete her absentee ballot one election year. She’s shown me what an expat life can look like when one is fluent in the local language, excellent at what they do, passionate about their family and willing to savor everything along the way. Ellen shares her knowledge of finance with us as a 10th Anniversary gift for which I am grateful.
Thank you Ellen for sharing to empower us.
Sisters of the diaspora in the new financial landscape. Text by Ellen Kountz.
Financial empowerment and economic equality were two subjects that Martin Luther King, Jr. was just getting around to addressing when he was tragically shot down in the prime of his career. There had been rumblings that he would “go there”, which is to say address poverty as an economic rather than purely a social issue, and by doing so, in the eyes of many of his day he was ‘getting out of his lane’. Since then, unfortunately, we have not had broad social debates about economic justice, beyond the narrow and short-sighted stigmatization of the ‘welfare queen’.
Welfare queen, perhaps, but which one are we speaking of? The under-resourced unwed mother, or the corporate CEO with his endless tax loopholes? I’m more preoccupied with the latter. Over the course of the past half century, our Western economies have become less and less industrialized’, and more and more ‘financiarized’. What does this latter term mean? Basically, it is the fallout of increased regulation, scrutiny, and competition. As financial markets, and stock exchanges particularly, drove a spotlight to companies financial performance, rather than their underlying industrial performance, “finance-speak” became more popular in the media. For example, the stock exchange is a competitive place where companies are vying for investors’ attention and funds, and as this competition intensifies, companies will be forced to make managerial and industrial decisions that are for the sole purpose of satisfying financial needs. When large firms have mass layoffs, their goal is to keep their stock price competitive and maintain dividends for their investors. Slowly but surely, finance is no longer being used to fuel businesses. Instead, business is driving the financial model.
Now that profit maximization is the imposed norm in most of the world, and getting only very little pushback from alternative models, such as the collaborative economy, or decreased-consumption objectives, we are faced with another fallout of this sinister system. This fallout is the need to multiply our own individual income models. Once upon a time, a nuclear family could realistically live on the parents’ annual income This model has been phased out, by a complex list of savings, investment, income, and retirement needs that require expertise and attention.
I encourage sisters of the diaspora to do two things: embrace finance and make it your own, it’s a starting point to feeling empowered and entitled. Also, in the name of sustainability objectives, more responsible corporate governance and a re-set of North / South balance of power, consider that the next decades will give rise to what are currently seen as marginal, alternative concepts. Indeed, we can go from exclusion to inclusion in no time in this fast-changing world of finance.
Ellen Kountz is a finance lecturer in business schools throughout France, including Grenobe Ecole de Management and Paris School of Business. Ellen was born at Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto, California. In 1973 she moved with her parents and two older brothers to the North Shore of Long Island. Upon graduation from Great Neck North High School in 1988 she attended the undergraduate business program at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania,in Philadelphia. At the end of her junior year, the Dean warned her that she needed at least one liberal arts class to graduate. She went to Paris on a study abroad program to perfect her French while fulfilling the requirement and has lived there ever since.
When people ask Ellen why she stayed in Paris, she reminds them that she was hired as a capital markets intern in the trading room at JP Morgan bank’s Paris office, located at place Vendôme. As a finance major, was there a better first job in the world? Over the years, she went on to positions of increasing responsibility in other financial services institutions in Paris. She most recently worked at the Bourse de Paris, rebranded NYSE Euronext. Currently, she is a candidate for certification as an independent corporate director at the Institut Français des Administrateurs, on the campus of Sciences Po.
Ellen lives in the Left Bank with her husband and daughter.
AUP is proud to announce its upcoming conference “A Language to Dwell In”: James Baldwin, Paris, and International Visions from 26-28 May 2016.
The conference will represent a broad international and interdisciplinary explorations of Baldwin’s life and writing, with a special emphasis on the Paris he inhabited, both what it was and what it is today as a result of the marks he left behind, and on his experiences in Europe, Africa, and Turkey. Stressing the importance of James Baldwin, the conference hopes to be an international point of intersection for all those interested in Baldwin’s writing from literary and cultural critics, to political activists, poets, musicians, publishers and historians. We seek the widest range of academic and public intellectual discussion around Baldwin’s work which has influenced so many and so much.
The American University of Paris announces a call for papers for the International James Baldwin Conference to be held 26-28 May 2016 at the American University of Paris. Other Paris venues crucial to Baldwin’s experience of the city will be used as additional settings, thus taking conference participants into “Baldwin’s Paris.”
The Conference encourages broad international and interdisciplinary exploration of Baldwin’s life and writing, with emphasis on the Paris he inhabited (intermittently from 1948 onwards), both for what it was and for what it is today as a result of the marks he left behind. An emphasis on his versatility in terms of style, genre and socio-political concerns is also of primary concern. Stressing the importance of Baldwin’s life, work and literary relations, the conference will be an intersection for all those interested in Baldwin’s work: from literary and cultural critics, to scholars of gender and queer theory, to political activists, poets, filmmakers, historians and musicians as well. We seek a wide range of academic and public discussions which can engage with Baldwin’s work.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
Baldwin and Expatriate Paris: Friends and Enemies
Baldwin as a Global Explorer: The Fire Yet Again?
Global Influence: Baldwin’s Work in Non-U.S. Settings
Arlette Bomahou is a 39 years French native lady living in Dublin, Ireland for the past 9 years, She is a full time student in digital and social media marketing in Blackrock Further Education Institute. She works part time looking after social media marketing for Tony Quinn Health centre.
Arlette is a member of the Irish Drug Free Powerlifting Association since August 2013, and member of the Dundrum South Athletic club since November 2013
Experience in training:
10 years of weight training and 1 year of strength & conditioning
Qualification in Sports:
Level 3 Gym instructor and Level 4 Personal trainer certificate recognized by REP in May/June 2014
In her own words:
Who I am.
I am 39 years old, born in North of France in Caen in 1975. My mother is from Togo and my father from Benin they both moved to France in the 70’s to study French.
When I was a teenager I was very good at sport but didn’t take it seriously. I was practicing athletics and basket-ball. My dream was to be an air hostess and live in the states. Michael Jordan and Carl Lewis were my ultimate heroes. I was big into Madonna too, I wish I could be as extroverted as she was as an artist. I always felt I would live abroad or travel a lot. I was always fascinated about foreign languages and cultures.
My passion for sport and foreign languages took me to Amsterdam where I lived for nearly 6 years. I worked for Nike and loved it then I decided to move to Ireland to discover a new country and culture. After 9 years living in Ireland I am still enjoying it and hope to raise a family here.
Reason why I decided to get into power lifting:
I have been doing weight training for the past 10 years in order to get into better shape and live a healthier life style. It has helped me to lose up to 10 kg but more importantly to improve my body shape and level of fitness. If it was not for my personal trainer Adrian Quinn with whom I have been working since 2010, I would never have tried to compete in Power lifting.
He saw potential in me I was not aware of. In 2011 he suggested that I should compete, but I didn’t have enough confidence back then. In August this year I turned 38 years old and I decided I needed to achieve something for myself before I turned 40. So I jumped in at the deep end by participating in my first competition in Cork in August 2013 in the Mardyke stadium. Since then I fell in love with this sport.
My achievements to date:
–World champion title in Dusseldorf in Single World championship on Sunday 8th June 2014, broke World record in division equipped deadlift with 162.5kg, Silver medal in unequipped deadlift with 167.5kg
–World Champion title in Glasgow in full power World Championship on Saturday 2d November 2013 (Squats: 102.5 kg, Bench press: 62.5kg and deadlift 160kg)
– European champion title in full power Championship in Belfast on Saturday 10th May 2014 (Squats: 100 kg, Bench press: 57.5 kg and deadlift 165kg)
– European champion title in single lift Championship in Gorey co. Wexford on Saturday 13th September 2014. Broke World record in equipped division with Deadlift @ 175 kg
From 12 – 28 June 2015, Arlette will be a volunteer at the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, involving more than 6,000 athletes from the National Olympic Committees of Europe across 17 days of competition, in what will be the largest sporting event in Azerbaijan’s history.