I recently had an amazing conversation with the fabulous Mimi Nartey, educator, athlete, author, social entrepreneur, founder of Race, Class and Parenting (RCAP) and co-founder of The Nartey Sports Foundation. Not to mention that twenty years ago Mimi represented Ghana in the FIFA Women’s world Cup for soccer. We had a wide ranging dialog about the role of sports in empowering young women, why being “ugly” is a gift and why female leadership requires a new and unbiased narrative. My only regret is that we didn’t have a few more hours to talk – the hour we did have went by so quickly. At the bottom of this post you will find Mimi’s full bio and links to additional resources – all highly recommended. Here are some of my takeaway “Lessons” from our conversation.
· What is empowerment? When ability meets capacity
· Sports is an underutilized source of female empowerment
· As women we have many different lives
· We are our adjectives not our nouns
· Losers have goals, winners have systems
· Who do you turn to? You are the super-power.
· Liberate yourself from the need for external approval/validation
· We should all be raised “ugly” (Q: Why would you be worried about being pretty when you are as smart as you are?)
· Compete with only yourself
· Becoming very good at something is the way to know yourself
· Develop a new narrative of being a female leader
· Social expectations for female intelligence are mediated by bias
· We need to learn to focus to get good at the things we are passionate about.
· Focus gives you resilience
· When you need to get back to yourself, the path back is to do what you are good at.
Here is the link to our conversation:
Learn more about Mimi Nartey:
Professor Mimi Nartey is an educator, interdisciplinary scholar, author, speaker, philanthropist, and social entrepreneur. She has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Biology and a graduate degree in Climate and Society from Columbia University in the City of New York. She completed her doctoral studies in Public Health with a Comparative Education minor.
Mimi has held a lecturing appointment at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and adjunct faculty positions at Occidental College and LMU. She is a women’s empowerment scholar, and her primary research focus is women's health in sub-Saharan Africa. Her research experience includes developing anti-malarial drugs; using climate forecasts to predict disease epidemics; developing interventions for maternal and child health in sub-Saharan Africa; and using soccer to promote health. She presented research at the annual American Public Health Association Conference and Yale University. She has been invited to keynote at the annual Global Unite for Sight Conference at Yale University, and she has been invited by the government of Ghana to share research to the Ministry of Health.
Mimi is passionate about integrating science and philosophy to teach and promote social justice. She has been involved in pioneering new approaches to address social problems such as gender and racial inequality. She is the Founder and CEO of RCAP (Race, Class, and Parenting), which is a marketplace of ideas for women who are thought-leaders and influencers to engage in dialogue on social dynamics and parenting in communities of affluence. She has an e-book available on Amazon.com on this subject.
Mimi was formerly a professional soccer player. She was a silver-medalist in the 2002 African Women’s Cup of Nations, and she represented Ghana in the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In 2016, she was invited to give a TEDx Talk entitled, "African Women's Soccer and Empowerment: Memoirs of a Black Queen." In December 2019, she was named to the list of “Dynamic Women” by Modern Luxury Angeleno Magazine.
Mimi is married to Kofi N. Nartey, MBA (luxury real estate broker and television personality). In 2018, she and her husband co-founded The Nartey Sports Foundation to support sports-related interventions for underserved youth. The couple was named a 2018 and 2019 “Los Angeles Power Couple" in Modern Luxury Angeleno Magazine and LA Confidential Magazine. They live with their two precocious children, Liya and Lincoln, in Playa Vista, CA.
In 2020, Mimi launched a YouTube Channel ("MOMPETITOR by Mimi Nartey") where subscribers can follow her life as a wife, mother, activist, coach, and philanthropist.
Connect with Mimi: Website:www.MimiNartey.com