Claudia Chan created S.H.E. Summit Week, as an opportunity to highlight women during a “women’s week” full of events organized by female-led brands and designed to inspire women personally and professionally. At Claudia’s #SHEsummit the company overture filmed women speaking about what empowers them–and here is mine to share!

Find out more about the summit here:

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, cities tried to respond to [internal] issues with active government–what historians have labeled progressivism. Despite the persistence of corruption, widespread poverty, and racial discrimination, cities increased municipal expenditures, professionalized their administration, and constructed buildings and infrastructures that supposed the most vibrant and successful era in American urban history. in the late twentieth century, by contrast, the response to similar issues was the withdrawal of active government, evident in reduced federal funds, reliance on market based solutions to urban problems, and the need to turn to private initiatives, like special service districts to carry out public functions, such as street cleaning and security. The results are everywhere to be seen, in homelessness on city streets, poverty spreading outward to inner suburbs, uncontrolled sprawl eating up open space, crumbling infrastructure, gross inequity on public education, the future of urban finance mortgaged to casino gambling, the incapacity to prevent or respond effectively to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the subprime mortgage crisis. The widely heralded comeback of American cities is thing and fragile. If you move away from shiny center cities, it is not nearly so visible. Look at city budgets, and it does not seem nearly so robust. The question, What is an American City? has begun to elicit both a cacophony of definitions and an array of intelligent and promising ideas about ow to respond. But we have yet to see a powerful and pervasive new urban progressivism. Clearly,, though, without the will to forge an effective and coordinated political response, the future of American cities, however defined, is unlikely to be as buoyant as their past.

Michael B. Katz, “What Is An American City?” Dissent 56, 3 (2009)


1. Luck exists: sometimes you’re at the right place at the right time and everything works out perfectly. (this doesn’t always happen)

2. College is as informative and useful as you make it, and a GPA is not necessarily a reflection of that.

3. It’s critically important to accept failure and to stay humble.

4. Networking is a *highly* valuable skill, not a bad word. Approach networking as an opportunity to leverage your curiosity to meet cool people you wouldn’t meet otherwise.

5. Using time effectively matters so much. It is the one resource that is constantly depleting.

6. Just be nice. Being respectful and kind to everyone makes you a better person and the world a nicer place.

7. Getting involved in extracurriculars that are not work or school related will likely make you happier and more fulfilled.

8. Forming healthy habits early on matters The sooner you establish them the faster you can reap the benefits of being well.

9. Social media is here to stay, using it to your advantage (to stay informed and add to meaningful conversations) can add positive value to your days if used properly.

10. Thinking about how much work you have is worse than actually doing the work. Sitting down, putting headphones on, and getting it done feels a million times better than ignoring it.

11.  It’s true that you are (and become) what you think–fill your mind with great thoughts.

12. Understanding art history (the evolution of humans’ representations of themselves and the world as they see it), astronomy (the astounding laws and forces the shape the universe), and computers (what’s the ROM again?) is a great way to appreciate your surroundings and the intricacies of the tools you interact with every day.

13. It’s never a bad time to step back and put stuff in perspective.

14. Traveling (even as a student) is not as expensive or difficult to plan as people make it out to be. If you really want to travel you can do it.

15. Make no excuses for your behavior. Always make the right choice.

16. Being around great people makes all the difference. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

17. Be grateful for the love you receive.

18. It’s better to focus on the things you have control over rather than dwelling on matters that are out of your hands.

19. Being practical and down to earth goes a long way.

20. Upon meeting someone who challenges your core values, hold on to your beliefs.

21. “Life is a marathon, not a sprint”. Don’t wait until you reach the finish line to realize that you were competing against yourself the whole time.

A Classic: How to Live Before You Die

“you can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards, so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever—because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.”

-Steve Jobs