Empowers Others through Multiple Ventures
By Marianne McCarthy
Dr. Latisha Webb, a January 2013 graduate of the School of Educational Leadership for Change (ELC), likens her ability to manage multiple projects as similar to an octopus. Last month when she received an American Riviera Woman Entrepreneur of The Year (ARWEY) award, however, it was not for her physical ambidexterity. Instead she received accolades for her entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to multiple innovative endeavors that focus on empowering others.
"The ARWEY awards recognize and celebrate women and the accomplishments they have made in communities throughout the world. We applaud the efforts of women dedicated to creating the best possible environments in the workplace and improving communities using "new business" models,” said Tia Walker, ARWEY Awards executive director.
A true entrepreneur, Dr. Webb has her arms in several different ventures—nonprofit and for-profit businesses, as well as her own personal brand, On B.L.A.S.T.
“On B.L.A.S.T. stands for Being and Living my Authentic Self Today, which is a derivative of my Fielding dissertation, Discovering the Authentic Self: The Concurrent Processes of Being and Becoming.” said Dr. Webb. “It’s about defining and understanding the authentic self and then loving and embracing our very Being now while becoming who we inspire to be in the future. We as individuals should align our core values, thought processes, actions, relationships, and every aspect of our lives so we can become who we're destined to become.”
She and her pastor provide weekly On B.L.A.S.T. conference calls that lead listeners through a six-dimensional self-discovery process of the physical, spiritual, psychological, emotional, social and sexual aspects of the authentic self.
“Sometimes we focus so much on the physical, but then we don’t take care of our psychological. Or we concentrate on the social and neglect the spiritual. From a systems theory perspective, On B.L.A.S.T. provides a way for us to understand that we as human begins many parts and those parts are all interdependent to make us who we are,” explained Dr. Webb.
She developed the curricula Demystifying Sexuality and the Impact of Trauma (DSIT) and Survivors of Trauma Educational Program: Stepping into My Authentic Self (STEP) based on several research projects while at Fielding. Her book, The Authentic Love Experience: Pillow Talk Topics for Couples who Desire a Holistic Relationship, addresses the six dimensions of the authentic self for couples and singles who desire to be in a committed relationship.
Named a Worldwide Network for Gender Empowerment (WNGE) fellow for 2011-2012, Dr. Webb presented at the United Nations on "Empowering Women through Demystifying Sexuality." A victim of sexual abuse herself, her mission is to empower women all over the world who have experienced sexual trauma to discover, be, and live their authentic selves.
Dr. Webb is also a committed human service professional. In her 13 years as a practitioner, she has served a myriad of populations: survivors of sexual trauma, the homeless, people living with HIV/AIDS, people in recovery, returning citizens, and neglected and abused children. She is currently the Director of Operations and one of the founding partners of OpportUNITY, Inc., a nonprofit organization which provides a myriad of educational and employment opportunities to disenfranchised populations, specifically targeting returning citizens, women, veterans, and people in recovery.
OpportUNITY’s programs are designed to foster economic empowerment, advancement, achievement, and self-determined homeownership. For example, the organization offers the welfare-to-work population hands-on experience through its PAATHS (Practical Application And Training in Human Services) program, which trains volunteers in the field of human services by providing opportunities to participants in the other programs who are returning citizens. Their flagship program is a 16-week residential construction-training program which provides homeless men, women, and others to learn a skill set and become gainfully employed.
“We have a great relationship with the South Philadelphia EARN Center who places public assistance recipients at job sites. We train our volunteers from the EARN Center in the fielding of human services, in hopes to spark an interest and desire to apply for an entry level position in the field,” said Webb.
“Dr. Webb represents the new paradigm woman leader and business person, leading with her heart and creating economic empowerment for women which is at the core of the ARWEY Awards,” said Walker.
“In order to be a change agent, first you must go through a change process. Having bought into the vision of Fielding and what it represents for world changers, I am lifelong learner and scholar-practitioner,” said Webb. “The more I learn, the freer I am. As I move in liberation, the freer I am to teach, free, and liberate others.”