JGA was privileged to host an experienced keynote speaker, Shakira Martin, who gave a personal account of her triumphs over prejudice and exclusion as she has built her personal and professional life. Shakira was the first black President of the National Union of Students. On election, she found an organisation in financial crisis and was forced to make difficult staffing decisions, including scrapping an equal opportunities role she had previously fought hard to create.
Shakira encouraged us to first recognise challenges, acknowledge what is and isn’t within our control and then to reach out for support from family, friends, colleges and professionals! With the global pandemic and national lockdown, people have forgotten that challenges to mental wellbeing, inclusion and equal opportunity existed long before our current situation and will continue to exist long after. Hence her message unapologetically appealed to us all to pay more attention to our own and others’ emotional and mental health.
SHAKIRA’s Rule of Three
- Take a moment to rest and reflect and improve your personal performance.
- If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.
- Always look for the opportunity to try to do things differently.