Founder of Connecticut non-profit speaks at TEDxTryon

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tanisha Akinloye, founder of the groundbreaking Bridgeport, Conn. non-profit Empowering Through Beauty, Inc. (ETBINC), took to the stage in her hometown of Tryon, N.C. on Sept. 12, to participate in her first TEDx talk. Akinloye was one of 12 speakers chosen from over 40 applicants to present at this first time event to be held in the Carolina Foothills area.

The response was overwhelming, according to Akinloye. “People were in tears. They came up to me, told me they were touched by my spirit and passion and said you need to continue to share this speech over and over.”

Akinloye spoke about something near and dear to her heart – empowering women and girls in less fortunate circumstances. She told the story of how she gave up a successful, upscale beauty salon and hairstyling practice in order to launch ETB after bearing witness to the harsh realities of many of the women who visited her Bridgeport, Conn. salon over the years. “I wanted to give back,” she says.

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And give back she has.

9.28TedXAkinloyeSince 2010 ETBINC has been serving the community’s disadvantaged women and girls through myriad avenues. The organization has worked with The Center for Family Justice, Bridgeport Rescue Mission, Homes with Hope in Westport and several other shelters across Connecticut.

They host annual special events that provide services such as hair coloring, haircutting and styling, hair treatments, manicures and facials. They have held educational workshops on hair and makeup application, résumé writing, job training as well as self-empowerment workshops and seminars. And every year when she visits her family in North Carolina, Tanisha hosts an event designed to assist those low-income women and single moms in the Tryon area who may need it.

What Akinloye strove to impart to listeners in her 15 minute TEDx talk, above all else, is that beauty is more than skin deep – it comes from within and is exemplified in love, confidence and empowerment.

“This TED talk was a defining event in my life,” she says. “To be able to stand up on a stage and pour out my heart and spread the message of empowerment – I would never have thought that I would have been able to do that. I could have stayed up there for hours.”

TEDx talks are independent, grassroots versions of the popular TED (technology, entertainment and design) talks founded in 1984 as a nonprofit to spread ideas, from scientific to inspirational, around the globe through talks by experts in the field

For more information contact Tanisha Akinloye at 203-767-9264.

– Submitted by Susan Capparelle