Brave: United in Action [Or Why I’m Headed to the United Nations]

tedxunplaza Have you been inspired by a TEDx talk? I sure have—and so, when Kunal Sood of TEDxUNPlaza approached me about appearing at an independently organized TEDx event, I was incredibly honored.

And the time is drawing near! I’m in New York and headed to the United Nations  to participate in BRAVE: United in Action this Monday, September 16. It’s a one-day event that unites some truly amazing speakers to discuss four important themes: Women’s Empowerment, Change Everything, Being Human and Ideas to Action. I’m participating in the Women’s Empowerment segment and am excited to join our host, Joris Luyendijk, along with Sarah Hillware, Steven Rogers, Deepika Mehta and Dr. James Doty.

I’m really excited… and really nervous, too. I can’t believe I’m going to participate in such an inspiring event! Me? At the UN? Not someplace I’d ever be asked to speak. What makes it a little easier is that I’ll be talking about something I truly love: how women can empower themselves through resilience. I’m passionate about resilience because I believe it’s key to helping girls and women take control of their lives, stand up for themselves and make their dreams reality.

This will be a special presentation for me for a variety of reasons. One of the most important–I’ll get a chance to pay tribute to my first role model: my mother. Not only did she teach me resilience—she also gave me the tools I needed to work for my dreams and make a career out of my passion for storytelling through drawing, writing and filmmaking.

To say I’m excited for this opportunity is an understatement. To those who will be in attendance, I can’t wait to see you. And for those who aren’t, please follow TEDxUNPlaza on Twitter and Facebook for updates from the event.

As I put the finishing touches on my presentation, I’d love to hear more about your role models and who taught you the power of resilience. Feel free to share your thoughts and stories with me! Oh, and if you’ve got some spare luck hanging around, please cross your fingers that I do a good job.

Image via TEDxUNPlaza

  • Dwight Chapman

    My fingers are “crossed” for my hero and a little prayer as well! Look forward to hearing about the experience! Love you!

    • brendachapman

      Thank you, Dwight. xo I’ll send you the link when it’s available. Love you, too! xo

  • Rosa Mª Perianes

    I think my mother was my first role model, same as yours, Brenda. She has taught me many things and also the power of resilience, she always told me not to give up with my studies and I never did so. I think you’re one of my role models too and also Princess Merida (unlike other people, I think she’s a perfect role model and a very relatable character) and Queen Elinor, they both taught me many things too, I think that’s other of the reasons why I love your movie Brave so much. My main role models are and always will be my mother, my sister and my favourite characters from movies and books. I hope the event goes very well and I’m sure your participation on it will be essential to the event. 🙂

    • brendachapman

      Thank you, Rosa! It did go well… at least it seemed to. 🙂 I’m happy that BRAVE meant something to you. That is so encouraging!

      • Rosa Mª Perianes

        You’re most welcome ^_^ I’m very glad to know it. It meant a lot, so much that it’s one of my favorite movies 🙂

  • MelissaWardy

    Good luck, Brenda! You will be amazing! I think I learned resilience from so many women in my life, I cannot choose just one. I can recall specific conversations with my mom, my favorite aunt, my grandmothers, my teachers, older female friends….Which is what is so wonderful about it – a true form of sisterhood is teaching younger women how to make their way in a sometimes dangerous and hurtful world and to not trip over those parts so that you can still soak in all the beauty.

    • brendachapman

      I’m glad you have had so many role models. It’s good to know you have them in your corner, isn’t it?

  • LAHill

    Wow. How extraordinary! Forget the luck and crossed fingers, you don’t need it. All you need is to be yourself and you will be amazing. Your family must be so very proud. Don’t forget to have fun!


    • brendachapman

      Thank you, Lori. It was a lot of fun. I met some AMAZING people with really great ideas. It’s really comforting to meet so many people who are trying to make the world a better place for us all.

  • Nicole Berg

    When he was still alive, Marc Davis told me how Retta Scott was hired to animate the powerful & scary hunting dogs in ‘Bambi’ because the top animators were already busy with the main animal characters and no one else at the studio could draw the dogs effectively. So entered the first female Disney animator, which I found an inspiring story.

    It’s also truly inspiring that you spoke at the UN. It must have been an exciting TedxUNPlaza event. Congratulations!

  • Sue Nichols

    Well now, I AM impressed and awe struck. You GO girl!!!!

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