Hot Night In Haiti :Fonkoze Fundraiser Helping Women Out of Poverty

On November 19th,the Fonkoze committee held their first west coast gala at the Skirball Cultural Center, in Los Angeles California.  The A-List Star-studded event attracted individuals who came to support Haiti’s Leading Microfinance Institution.Fonkoze’s primary mission is to empower Haitians, primarily women, to lift their families out of poverty.


Maitresses de Ceremonie Sanaa Lathan & Garcelle Beauvais

The event included an auction which allowed guest to purchase paintings as well as vacation packages and other well sought after items and experiences. Guests were also treated to a fabulous evening of entertainment by the Debbie Allen Dance Troupe, singers Paul Beaubrun, Malou Beauvoir and performers DJ Tendaji, Massolas Compa Band. Honored  that night were three individuals whose contributions and love toward Haiti could not have gone unnoticed Actress Melanie Griffith,  Dr. Henri Ford, VP and Chief of Surgery, Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ, Los Angeles.
The money raised that evening went toward providing Fonkoze’s Staircase Out of Poverty program which offers both financial and development services to women looking to empower themselves. By the end of the evening many guests  had a chance to see the benefit of the program by watching  Saincia story, a  mother  of 4, whose determination and also Fonkoze’s Staircase program had helped her  out of property.

As mentioned by philosopher Charles Malik “The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world.” and if the women of Haiti are given the opportunity to change their household they will be able to not only be the potomitan of their family but to Haiti’s economy as well.

To find out how you can contribute to Fonkoze’s mission click here.

Potomitan:  phrase  used  to describe women’s hard work and role in society.

On The Rise: Brittiney Jones

IMG_6921Brittiney Jones is not a stranger to life obstacles. In fact when life gave her lemons, she made the best lemonade out of it and ended up founding her own non-profit organization. While in High School, Brittiney was emancipated at an early age and began paying bills, essentially becoming an adult. It was while working with a case worker she realized  that there were not a lot of resources for people similar to her.  Upon completing her bachelors from Western Michigan University, she moved to Chicago and  founded Chicago Youth Opportunities Initiative, an organization serving youth who are wards of the state in Chicago. While maintaining a full-time role she  managed to  recruit 7 Board Members, 4 Associate Board members and over 20 mentors to the nonprofit.  Let’s find out more about Brittiney.

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I attended Michigan State University my first year out of High School for 3 years and finished at Western Michigan University due to some financial hardships. Looking back I’m so glad I had the experience to attend a large school and a smaller university. There’s so many perks to each and I’ve learned so much along the way. Currently I’m working in Chicago for a technology company within Human Resources. I enjoy traveling, learning new things and the outdoors.

  1. Where were you 6 months after college?

Six months after college I began working in sales for a technology company. I created a pretty easy transition for myself. During my last semester I attended our universities career fair where I passed around my business card, resume and interviewed on the spot with a variety of different companies. Shortly after I had some offer’s coming my way and secured a job. I knew early on that I had to began to plan for the next step in my life.

  1. How did you get into the HR field?

While working at my prior company I was contacted by a recruiter through LinkedIn with the opportunity to join a start-up tech company. At the time the company was working out of an incubator with a little over 32 employees and looking to scale. I accepted the job offer because I wanted to have the opportunity to be apart of a company from the ground up, see things happen in real-time and be able to create an impact within the organization. During my time working I began to take on special projects and proved to my CEO that I was deserving then managed to transition from sales to a promotion to a role focused on talent acquisition and development. I wanted to be challenged and further my skill set, I sought out an opportunity with greater responsibilities and landed a managerial talent acquisition role with a myfirst start-up organization.

  1. You are a serial entrepreneur, how do you stay on top of things while managing your personal life?

I use a philosophy called Eat the Frog First. It’s about doing what you don’t want to do first and getting that out the way. I’m a huge fan of list. I love the idea of writing things down and crossing them off as they get completed. I also love calendar invitations. My life both personal and professionally are driven by Google calendar invites. Friends will send me calendar invites for dinner, festivals, the beach and I’ll block off my personal time based on priorities like CYOI, emails, reading etc. I’ve also been looking into a new app called Sloth to focus. It’s a timer and I use it like a game.

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