Enjoy reading about the wonderful community that has developed around this annual event.
Speaker Announcement: Jensine Larsen, Giving Women a Global Voice
During her senior year of high school in rural Wisconsin, Jensine (Yen-See-Nah) Larsen experienced a moment of courage that would shape the rest of her life. As she broke through a paralyzing shyness, Jensine found her voice.
That year, Jensine stood up to homophobic bullies in her conservative farming community. She joined the school newspaper, writing passionate commentary about ending war and having the right to love who you chose. She even conquered her worst fear: trying out for the school play. And she won the leading role.
Shortly after fulfilling her dream of acting, Jensine wrote and performed her own play. She then wrote a 200-page book about the anguish of falling in love when it wasn’t accepted by her community. Through her words, Jensine hoped others could avoid the isolation and pain she’d felt.
“I channeled my pain of feeling like an outsider into creative expression and haven’t stopped since,” Jensine says.
As a young journalist in Burma and the Amazon, Jensine was astonished how some of the most important global stories she discovered hardly received mention in the mass media. She was determined to give a new voice to these stories.
At age 28 and with no prior publishing experience, Jensine founded World Pulse, a media network devoted to bringing women a global voice. Through the power of interactive digital media, World Pulse has transformed from a magazine into a powerful social movement, connecting more than 50,000 women from 190 countries.
Most recently, Jensine launched a web 2.0 citizen journalism training program that empowers women journalists from some of the world’s most forgotten places.
“I have a burning, unquenchable hunger to know what the world will look like when women and girls experience freedom to live to their full potential,” Jensine says. “It’s what gets me up in the morning.”
She describes a perfect day as road tripping somewhere she’s never been and getting a little bit lost on an unexpected adventure. Curiosity is always what motivates Jensine, and she continues to dream of unleashing the creative human potential of women across the globe through the power of media.
After making it her job for nearly a decade to listen to women on the ground around the world, this year Jensine plans to step out of her comfort zone and grow her own voice, expressing her unique point of view on world events.
“I don’t feel a heavy burden of ‘responsibility’ but a silken cord of anticipation unceasingly tugging me forward into a fascinating future,” Jensine says.
Lisa Anderson is a Hawthorne-based storyteller, adventure lover and a dress-up queen. She’s one of several storytellers who will be sharing write-ups, interviews, and perspectives on the many extraordinary people from our surrounding community.