Earlier this month, the Aga Khan Council for the Southwestern United States and the Ismaili Jamatkhana Center hosted its inaugural quarterly initiative titled T.E.A. Talks. T.E.A., which stands for Talk – Educate – Ask, aims to empower women, provide access to industry trailblazers, promote networking, and help build careers while focusing on a chosen charity at each event.

In the inaugural lecture series, four powerful female voices within the Houston, Texas community provided their perspectives on “Finding Your Voice” and empowering women to achieve their goals. Speakers included Mandy Kao, Sahar Paz, Lisa Powers, and Chau Nguyen. 

The ever-stylish business owner, Mandy Kao, provided women with work-life balance tips. On the topic of spirituality and health, speaker Sahar Paz informed women on how to turn destructive thoughts and emotions into their greatest allies! Paz’s passion for her work comes from her personal life journey of surviving the Iraq-Iran war, sexual abuse, suicide attempts, and professional burnout. Houston-based fashion stylist, Lisa Powers, who wasn’t physically able to attend the event due to the weather/flooding, had a Powerpoint presentation that was presented by chic hostess Sneha Merchant, which showed women how to empower themselves through the power of fashion. Chau Nguyen, who worked previously as a television news anchor and currently is the chief marketing officer at The Women’s Home in Houston (a nonprofit organization that aids homeless women), highlighted the mission and the vision of the commendable work coordinated by the Houston Area Women’s Center in improving the quality of women’s lives, through initiatives that work to end sexual and domestic violence.

With the pace and explosion of voices, ideas, and opinions in the digital ether, it’s easy to lose your voice and control of your priorities, so the quarterly (four times per year) T.E.A. Talks are built to help re-align your priorities to your personal values.

Photography: Quy Tran

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