National Media Release (November 28, 2011)
From the Chairman & Founder, Sophia A. Nelson, Esquire:
I am pleased to announce that for the past two years, since the 2009 (5th anniversary Holiday Tea) a very small group of founders and professionals have been discussing how we can truly have the greatest impact on the lives of African American women professionals in this nation. We have poked, prodded, analyzed, sought expert counsel and more as to what is the best way to connect the talent, expertise, and skill-set of black women in the corporate sector, as well as to help us as black women lead more fulfilling and healthy lives.
Finally, we have agreed on a strategy and new direction.
We are ReDefining, IASK, INC., into a healthy lifestyle, life coaching, life skills building, inspirational organization for all women. Although we will continue to have an emphasis on the issues that plague African American women as one of our platforms, our goal is to build unity, sisterhood, and foster collaboration among ALL women of ALL races, creeds, Geographic Regions, and Faiths. We will offer webinars, etiquette training & coaching, workshops and forums quarterly for women that will feature some of the nation’s best and brightest thought leaders, educators, motivators, spiritual leaders, health experts, relationship experts and more.
To our members who have been with us since 2004 (we first started a paying membership system in 2006) and who have waited so patiently and wondered what was to come of “iask, Inc.,” we finally have an answer for you. Our new name will be “My Sister to Keep” which is a hybrid of where we started in May 2004 (I Am My Sister’s Keeper, Inc.) and is in keeping with the notion & spirit of being able to “ask” one another for help, to uplift and support our sisters in time of need.
In the wake of the national success of my first book, “Black Woman Redefined” the new formation committee agrees that the goal of this great organization is to create a powerful and universal sisterhood in the vein of the work, example, spirit and conviction of our fabulous First Lady Michelle Obama. The organization will no longer be solely focused on professional black women, but instead on all professional women and our universal sisterhood.
Our website domain and name will all remain the same through February 2012. You can still visit us at www.iaskinc.org or www.iaskblog.com through that time. We have a new Facebook Group page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/mysistertokeep/) and a Twitter page @mysistertokeep. Our first event will be in the late fall of 2012. We will have a national “Living Redefined” conference that will be held in Washington, DC Metro and will be the premier event of its kind in 2012. More details, planning committee, speakers, and more to be announced in January 2012.
Over the past 7 years here is a quick recap of what the founders, members, and friends of IASK, Inc., have done for the community, for one another, for our Military and to honor other black women of distinction and character: (You can see photos and more via our website http://www.iaskinc.org):
- We raised in excess of $12,500 for the Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure” to fight Breast Cancer
- We raised over $5000 worth of goods, gift cards, and clothing for over 150 Military Families through the Walter Reed Wounded Warriors Program and Military Family Programs.
- We held groundbreaking workshops & forums on Depression, health & wellness, relationships at American University Washington College of Law’s Conference Center.
- We helped through our Award winning Benevolence team from 2004-present team sick, wounded, mentally ill, unemployed, dying, bereaved and displaced with financial support, visits, personal care, flowers, gift cards, groceries, prayer groups, family support, counseling services, peer counseling, and our Sister Buddy Groups.
- We activated national sisters buddy groups in 14 US cities and 3 countries (France,UK, & Africa) that are still thriving.
- We hosted five (5) Holiday Tea’s that became and IASK hallmark for their elegance, grace, class and honorees. The first Tea had 30 women in attendance, and the 5th anniversary Tea in 2009 had over 300 in attendance.
- We started several scholarship and award programs to support and honor women & girls who had done extraordinary things, under very challenging circumstances.
- We started a Men’s Advisory group to work with the sisters, to foster better communications and understanding in order to better build up the black family unit.
- In the historic 2008 election year we honored (and all accepted) the following women: CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, First-lady Elect Mrs. Michelle Obama, former Secretary of State Condi Rice, CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux, & PBS’s Gwen Ifill.
- We started a Junior IASK Member program in honor of the late Marissa Norwood, who was an honoree in 2009 and died of Brain Cancer that sane year at the age of 12 years old.
- We have worked in partnership & been sponsored by some of the nation’s biggest corporations: Coca Cola, Glaxo Smith Kline, Merk, Curves, IBM, Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, The Washington Post, The White House, Essence Magazine (Time Warner), National law firms like Holland & Knight LLP and more. We have also worked with Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Links, Junior League and more. We look forward to working with them as we go forward.
This is just a snapshot of what we did to positively change the lives of black women in this new Century. I will be writing a Chairman’s letter with more details to our dues paying members before the end of 2011. We look forward to working with all of you and building a global organization that truly sets the world aglow with love, collaboration, service, sisterhood and success!
Sophia A. Nelson
Chairman & Founder