INSPIRED
SPEAKING

PROFILE
A renowned public speaker, Sara, with her unique perspective, highly personal story, and remarkably warm presentation style has engaged audiences around the world, from the United Nations to TEDx. Comfortable, accessible, and captivating, she expands on her own empowering experiences as a Blind, Muslim Lebanese-American woman and explores topics like how to access the authentic self, framing empowering personal narratives with inclusive leadership and entrepreneurship practices.  Sara speaks to groups in private enterprise, academia and government to provide keynote addresses, interactive lectures, workshops, and more. 

Sara is always thrilled to connect with new audiences. To discuss what she can bring to your event, contact us here or send us an email: info@saraminkara.com.  
SPEECH TOPICS
01

Authentic Leadership and Representation in the Global Economy Lazard

Sara frequently addresses institutional and implicit bias as a barrier to growth and innovation personally, professionally and globally. Speaking to leaders across sectors, in private enterprise as well as government and civil society, she emphasizes the importance of a culture of inclusion to improve engagement and productivity, and to cultivate responsive policy- and decision-making. At Lazard, Sara spoke with management about the role of Authentic Leadership and the importance of representation among the leaders of our global economy. Sara explains the research behind the practice, and how managers hold a special ability to exercise Authentic Leadership and create individual and institutional change by empowering employees to bring their true selves forward at work. Where people are empowered to realize their true potential, and where they feel respected and valued for their talents and contributions, companies realize tangible gains in the form of improved employee retention and performance and stronger growth margins.

02

Disability, Accessibility and Inclusion United Nations, Vienna

At the United Nations in Vienna, Sara discussed her approach to inclusion in the context of disability. Inclusion is typically addressed as a human rights issue, and approached from a human rights perspective. Sara instead adopts a value-based perspective that considers each person as uniquely and inherently valuable. She emphasizes a comprehensive definition of inclusion that encompasses people with disabilities as equal participants in society who control their own narratives. In many ways, disability does not discriminate. Although there is unequal access to medical care and other resources, disability still reaches across geographic borders, affecting 20% of all people across social, educational and economic categories in all aspects of their lives. And so Sara is a passionate advocate of bringing the disability lens to all spaces, rather than limiting how, where and with whom we address disability. People with disabilities need to be part of every conversation that is about them, but every conversation that people with disabilities are a part of should not be limited to the issue of disability. Such a limited view constrains possibilities by shutting out novel voices and ideas. A comprehensive approach to inclusion coupled with a value-based perspective moves beyond technical solutions to recognize and embrace the unique talents we each contain. It provides a distinctive lens that influences all aspects of policy, practice and program design, and a strong foundation for lasting, equitable change.

03

Opportunity & Empowerment of Women and Girls U.S. State Department Speaking Tour, Kazakhstan, Rwanda

Through intimate engagements in churches, schools, local homes and other community spaces, Sara spoke with women and girls about her experiences in the U.S. and Lebanon, acclimating to blindness at a young age, and navigating the unexpected challenges — and blessings — it presented. She discussed the importance of personal empowerment and access to opportunity to direct her own path, and the related importance of creating and nurturing opportunities for women and girls globally. Sara spoke of her experience working directly with children and refugees in the Middle East, developing life skills programming for children with disabilities and establishing partnerships with international development agencies to help build local capacity to meet community needs.

04

The Value of Identity: Intersectionality and Responsive Leadership Harvard School of Public Health

Sara has worked with many universities, facilitating interactive programs for and speaking with students on intersectionality and identity. From incoming student orientations for undergraduates to working sessions with graduate, continuing and executive education students, Sara’s programs provide an exceptional opportunity to introduce concepts that significantly impact their educational, social and professional experiences. The reality of intersectional identity and its impact exist regardless of our acknowledgment.
But an affirmative effort to not just acknowledge, but to value the multidimensional nature of identity shifts perspective and provides an opportunity to identify and dismantle barriers to equity. For doctoral students at Harvard’s School of Public Health, Sara addressed the impact of identity in healthcare settings and the fundamental importance of recognizing bias in healthcare to improve health outcomes for all people. There are significant disparities in access and quality of care, as well as a lack of diversity and representation. Sara discusses how identity fits at the core of these problems and any effective solution.

Past Engagements
PAST ENGAGEMENTS
  • Global Entrepreneurship Week: Fort Worth 
  •  Harvard Poverty and Inequality Panel (2020) 
  • Islamic Circle of North America 
  • Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities Biennial Conference on Disability 
  •  Kuwait America Foundation “Do the Write Thing” Challenge 
  •  Lazard National Disability Employment Awareness Month 
  •  “Leading on Inclusive Business” panel hosted by UN Women, GEENIE, and City of Boston Women’s Advancement (2019) 
  • Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office 
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 3rd Annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit (2019) 
  •  NEXUS USA Summit (2020) 
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, MD 
  •  Southern Illinois University 
  •  U.S. Institute of Peace, Washington, DC 
  •  U.S. State Department Tour (2019) 
  •  United Nations “This is Our Workplace” International Day of Persons with Disabilities Event 
  • United Nations Conference of State Parties on the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, United Nations, Vienna, Austria 
  • US State Department Tour of Rwanda on “Economic Empowerment and Employment for People with Disabilities 
  • Zero Conference (2019)
Seeing with Sara

SEEING WITH SARA

In this virtual series hosted by Empowerment Through Integration (ETI), Sara reflects on topics related to people with disabilities, including her own experiences as an empowered woman with disability and as the founder of ETI. Sara continues to work closely with ETI as its founder and a member of its Board of Directors, and this series highlights how her advocacy and activism have grown the organization and promoted inclusion worldwide
Sara Minkara speaking to crowd and sitting on couch with 3 other women
Testimonials
TESTIMONIALS



Sara Minkara earns 5 stars plus for her excellent speaking abilities. 

She is a rare personality who owns a room – has “presence” — when she enters it.  Her graceful style, engaging body language, melodious voice and smooth intonation, all are qualities that combine to make her a gifted and talented speaker.
  
In sum, Sara is amazing!

-Jane C. Edmonds 

Vice President, Programming and Community Outreach
Babson College 



Sara’s personal story along with her global understanding of barriers both physical and attitudinal was an invitation to move beyond the social biases steeped in loss and limitation and into a world of diverse attributes and distinct contributions. As the Mass Cultural Council stewards access as a cultural competency, Sara’s keynote was a point of activation that percolated throughout all who were in attendance.

-Charles Baldwin

Mass Cultural Council

Highlights
HIGHLIGHTS
Why We Should Be Blind to the Labels of Society

2019 Guest Speaker Sara Minkara

Sara Minkara Presents at the World Government Summit 2017

Confident Muslim | Sara Minkara, Omar Suleiman

Sara Minkara’s message to youth with disabilities

Sara Minkara speaking for TedX at Tysons
Photo Gallery
Contacts
CONTACT
To learn more, please email info@saraminkara.com.