As an African woman from the Cabo Verde Islands, I was born to be a servant to my community, to tell my story, to empower and be empowered, to inspire and be inspired!
Dr. Terza A. S. Lima-Neves is available for speaking engagements, lectures, presentations and consultations. She has served as keynote speaker for numerous programs at secondary schools such as Providence Country Day, West Mecklenburg High School and Charles E. Shea High School, organizations in the likes of Senior Scholars and Our Children Our Future, and institutions of higher education such as Brown University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of the South, Providence College, and Bridgewater State University, focusing on topics such as the empowerment of and global access to education for women and girls, Cabo Verde history, culture and politics, the Cabo Verdean community in the United States, African politics and development, as well as modern African diasporas.
“I once heard that "you can't be what you can't see." More often than not, when I do speaking engagements at middle and high schools, young immigrant women of color share their excitement to meet me because they have not met a college professor or successful women in other fields who look like them.
For this reason, I have made a commitment to support young women and girls. In my own community for example, there are limited written accounts and oral histories detailing the significant contributions made by Cabo Verdean women. Knowing this history is important in bridging the gap between the generations and creating linkages between them. Cabo Verdean women in the United States, for example, make up a very diverse group of lawyers, doctors, mothers, educators, university students, factory workers, business owners, political officials and so much more.
Our story is woven into the historical fabric of the United States as well as other countries. We must tell the full story and acknowledge the strength and resilience of all Cabo Verdean women. When we know “who” we come from, we feel empowered and inspired to be more and do more! We must tell our own stories, in our own voices, for the sake of our generation and future generations of Kriolas and other African women and girls.