By Laura Onyeneho
In honor of Women’s History and Reading Awareness Month, the Society for Africans in the Diaspora (SAiD Institute), Houston’s first Pan African library, hosted its spotlight series “Shared Journey Conversations: The Stories that Shape Our Future,” an ode to Black authors.
Chinwe Esimai, award-winning attorney and chief anti-bribery officer at Citigroup Inc., kicked off the first leg of her tour in Houston introducing the debut of her new book, “Brilliance Beyond Borders: Remarkable Women Leaders Share the Power of Immigrace,” moderated by Defender education reporter Laura Onyeneho.
At a time when Black history is being threatened at every level of government, along with talks of banning books by Black authors in libraries, to the broken-down immigration system that diminishes the voices of foreign-born people, the series was viewed as necessary and timely.
“Brilliance Beyond Border” is described as “the world’s first-ever immigrant women’s genius blueprint.” The book introduces the untold stories of 17 trailblazing immigrant women leaders worldwide across various industries who set new standards of success and fulfillment while navigating the life challenges that the American dream means for them. Esimai uses the word “Immigrace,” a term used to describe the gifts and grace immigrant women bring to the world.
“It’s really critical that we listen to the voices of immigrant women and our version of leadership and how we have overcome, said Esimai. [The book] is first about women bringing their brilliance from their home countries to the U.S. It’s also the idea that even after we come to the U.S, there are still borders, and those borders may be…racial discrimination and gender bias. It could be the borders our families place on us or the borders that we place on ourselves.”
Esimai migrated from Nigeria to the U.S in 1995 and has shaped a successful career as a corporate executive and attorney. She’s worked in several risk management roles at Goldman Sachs, served as a law professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, and has received numerous honors for her excellence in leadership.
“Her book helped fuel our work to share the African immigrant story in all its richness and complexity, as an essential part of the American narrative,” said Debo Folorunsho, founder and executive director of the Society for Africans in the Diaspora. “Her presence, experience, and insight helped magnify our Shared Journey Campaign in the best possible way.”
The book has five foundational pillars of the “Brilliance Blueprint,” a step-by-step guide encouraging readers to journal and manifest their own narratives.
- Say Yes to Your Immigrace: Discover Your Genius
- Inner Self-Mastery Find Joy
- Dare to Play in the Big League: Set and Accomplish big goals
- Transform Failure
- Embrace Change and Innovation
Brilliance Beyond Borders is available now wherever books are sold.