From Zero to 30,000: Together Live Inspires Women Rising to Live With Purpose

Alicia Keys interviewed by during the Together Live Tour 20916. This year features speakers in 10 cities.

Alicia Keys interviewed by during the Together Live Tour 20916. This year features speakers in 10 cities.

“We are zero bullshit.”

It is the fifth core value stated for Together Live, a 10-city tour of thought leaders, activists, authors, artists, athletes and innovators beginning September 18 in Portland, Oregon and culminating in the final event October 26 in Philadelphia, with Take The Lead as a partner.

This is just another way Together Live differentiates itself from other women’s conferences, says Maggie Shapiro, director of brand strategy for Together Live.

As for the BS, that translates to, “We believe our most vulnerable truths are what unite us, and transparency is integral to building a strong, thriving community,” according to the site.

The four other core values of Together Live also illuminate the mission: “We are ignited. We are curious. We are fierce. We are intersectional.”

Take The Lead is partnering with Together Live to offer discounts on tickets in all cities, using the discount code MIGHTY to save between $5 and $10 per ticket, with ticket prices starting at $25. In Phoenix Take The Lead’s Arizona 50 Women Can Change The World leadership training participants will take part in the Together live event September 28 at 6:30 p.m. at The Orpheum Theater.

#TogetherLive plans to host these 10 three-hour events for 30,000 women

In its second year, Together Live plans to host these 10 three-hour events for 30,000 women. That is double the participant goal achieved in the inaugural year, Shapiro says. While 2016 included a six-city tour with 15,000 participants, the goal remains to “transfer the storytelling powers from the page to the stage.”

Shapiro adds, “We have all been to a lot of different women’s conferences, and this is so unlike anything I have ever experienced. We wanted to democratize the stage and feel inclusive, bring people in the door.”

Headlining the group of events in each of the other eight cities are four women leaders at the core of Together Live. Each city, including Seattle, San Jose, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Austin, Washington, D.C., Nashville and Chicago, will host additional special guests, with five to eight speakers per city.

Jennifer Rudolph Walsh spearheads Together Live as head of WME’s Worldwide Literary, Lectures, and Conference Divisions. Walsh launched created national conferences for Oprah Winfrey with The Life You Want tour, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive conference and Cosmo Magazine with the Fun Fearless Life Conference.

Luvvie Ajayi is executive director of The Red Pump Project, a national nonprofit that raises awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls, author of I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manual and the blog, Awesomely Luvvie.

Glennon Doyle, author of Love Warrior and Carry On, Warrior, founded Together Rising, a non-profit organization that has raised over $7 million for women, families and children in crisis. Doyle, a mother of three, also created Momastery, an online community for millions of readers, and was named to OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) Network’s SuperSoul100 inaugural group– as one of 100 “awakened leaders who are using their voices and talent to elevate humanity.”

#TogetherRising has raised over $7 million for women, families, & children in crisis

Abby Wambach is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, and six-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award and author of Forward.

“Another unique aspect to the conference is how welcoming we are,” says Jamie Skrocki, community manager for Together Live. The Together Live Community app  allows for social media and personal connections beyond the conference.

“We have people who drive hours and hours looking to make friends and the stories we hear after are they were able to make friends,” says Skrocki, who describes the demographics for the conference as 25 to 55- year-old women.

According to Skrocki, “We want to inspire women to find their purpose and to share their life story through their purpose.”

#TogetherLive wants to #inspirewomen to find their purpose & share their life story

The theme of this year’s Together Live tour is “Living Your Love Story,” Shapiro says. Women want to know “how you can change your narrative and this helps you give back.” She adds, “We are not talking about networking or about leaning into your business. It is a purpose-driven event.“

In addition to the core of four Together Live leaders in each city, each event will host a changing line-up of guest speakers.

In Chicago, Olympic Medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad will take the stage. She was the first American woman to compete in the Olympics in hijab, and became the first Muslim American female athlete to medal for Team USA at the Rio Olympics.

In 2014, Muhammad launched her own clothing company, Louella, which aims to bring modest, affordable, fashionable clothing to the United States market. She is also a sports ambassador with the U.S. Department of State’s Sports Diplomacy program, and was named to Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential list in 2016.

Also in Chicago, Latham Thomas, aka Glow Maven, is the founder of Mama Glow, a lifestyle brand and author of Own Your Glow: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living And Crowning The Queen Within.

Activist Jamia Wilson will be in Chicago and other cities. Wilson is Executive Director and Publisher of Feminist Press at the City University of New York, former Executive Director of Women, Action, & the Media, the YTH Executive Director, TED Prize Storyteller, Planned Parenthood youth outreach director and former Vice President of Programs at The Women’s Media Center.

Actress, comedian, disability advocate and writer Maysoon Zayid is also on the guest list to speak. Zayid  gave the number one TED Talk of 2014 and was named to the 100 Women of 2015 by the BBC. She is the founder of Maysoon’s Kids, a scholarship and wellness program for disabled refugee children.

In Nashville, Connie Britton will be on the Together Live stage. In April 2014 Britton was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Program. In this role, she will raise awareness of UNDP’s work in poverty eradication and women’s empowerment, advocating to the American and global public.

In Minneapolis, Khalida Brohi, 28, is the founder and Executive Director of Sughar Foundation, a non-profit dedicated towards fighting honor killings of women, and Co-Founder of The Chai Spot, a social enterprise focused on bringing USA and Pakistan closer with chai tea while creating opportunities for women artisans in Pakistan.

Also on the Together Live tour is Elizabeth Lesser, author of The Seekers GuideBroken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow and Marrow: A Love Story. Lesser is cofounder of Omega Institute, recognized internationally for its workshops and conferences in health, wellness, spirituality, creativity and social change.

“We always say we have breadcrumbs of purpose throughout our lives and it is hard to see. We hope that this helps to see where your strength and your passion intersect and to reframe your story.”

With 30,000 women expected in cities across the country to come together live, the possibilities are enormous.

According to the site, as  Doyle says, “One warrior who is unafraid is a miracle, but thousands of warriors who are unafraid? That’s a revolution.”

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About the Author

Michele Weldon is editorial director of Take The Lead, an award-winning author, journalist, emerita faculty in journalism at Northwestern University and a senior leader with The OpEd Project. @micheleweldon