I am the CEO and Co-Founder of ROAR for Good, a wearable safety tech company with a mission to reduce assaults and empower women. AMA.
My unique journey led me and my team at ROAR for Good to create a product that enhances community, spreads empowerment, and promotes empathy education. Our wearable, Athena, offers users safety at the touch of a button, and it's just the beginning! We're proud to be part of this watershed moment, where survivor's voices are being heard, and more and more folks are listening. Our organization
proceeds from each sale toward programs proven to enhance empathy and reduce violence. These are the first steps we'll take in tackling a large, complex problem.
I came to the U.S. when I was 8 years old after being taken from a bomb shelter in Kuwait by two US ambassadors during the Persian Gulf War. My little brother happened to be born in the states 7 weeks prior, so we were extracted because he was a citizen. A few years later, we discovered we were considered undocumented and had to take under the table jobs to survive. I put myself through college, started my own company which was later acquired, and after 22 long years finally became a US citizen.
To celebrate, I went on a six-month solo-trek across South America in the summer of 2013. While there, I encountered woman after woman who shared stories of times they had been victims of assault, harassment, or abuse.
A week after I came back to Philadelphia, a woman was out feeding her parking meter when she was grabbed from behind, dragged into an alley, and raped. I called my dear friend and co-founder Anthony Gold the next day and we made a commitment to leverage our skills, resources, and energy to make a difference. It was at that moment ROAR for Good (and eventually Athena) was born.
We're a certified B-corp and social impact company that wants to get to the root cause of violence against women. We take a percentage of each sale and invest it into nonprofit programs that teach youth (when they're most impressionable) about empathy, healthy relationships, and respect - programs proven to decrease harassment, attacks, and abuse against women in adulthood.
In fact, this month we are recognizing Sexual Assault Awareness Month by partnering with Hollaback!, a NYC-based grassroots organization who combats street harassment. They use the spaces where harassment occurs to have each other's backs and build a world “where we can all be who we are, wherever we are.” A portion of all proceeds received this month through device and gear sales will ROAR back to Hollaback to help further their mission and their reach.
I’m passionate about the concept of the birth lottery and how much it plays into the opportunities and challenges we’re faced with in life. Mine led me to wanting to champion the underserved and discover ways to leverage technology for good. You can learn more about the concept in this TEDx talk.
This AMA will end Apr 13, 2018 1PM EDT
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