A fact that Reema is most proud of is that her readership and audience is made of equal parts women and men. Because to truly heal and grow as a global family, we will need everyone's participation, beginning with addressing each other and our most difficult conversations with love and respect.
When it comes to equality and compassion between genders, all our pressing issues come back to the truth that so many of us have struggled with unhealed trauma. And it's from unhealed wounds that we then inflict pain on others. This is all the evidence we need to know that it isn't an "Us vs. Them" or "Men vs. Women" situation. We were all born as children, innocent, and we then become the love or pain that was modeled to us by society or family. This is all the evidence we need to understand that every human being is deserving of grace, empathy, and forgiveness, and that we each hold the capacity to heal and grow. What makes Reema uniquely effective as a speaker, author, and change agent is the clarity and depth with which she unpacks historically fraught or complex topics like assault and trauma, and her tone is one of unwavering respect and love for all parties. It is this combination of qualities that make men and boys feel included as valuable players in the conversation for gender equality, as opposed to feeling reprimanded or helpless.
Progress begins with empathy. And empathy is ignited through the story we choose to believe about ourselves and others. In addition to her work with women's organizations and non-profits that serve immigrants and survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, Reema collaborates with schools, sororities, fraternities, men's groups, and athletic organizations in a united vision and tactical plan for a more compassionate world of gender equality, respect, and dignity. It is time to redefine the antiquated mindset that conflates strength with dominance, a mindset that has only resulted in violence, power imbalance, and trauma. It is time that we all join to understand and embody that true strength is grounded in service. Without love, we cannot heal. And through love, we lead.
If not us, then who?
To be a true leader is to lead with empathy.