World Moms at AYASummit

It has been almost two weeks since I attended the AYA Summit in Washington DC at Google’s offices with ONE, and I still feel a flood of emotion each time I think about the experience. As I wrote on my blog last week, the words to explain such a powerful and inspiring event are hard to come by.

The AYA Summit focused on issues facing girls and women in the developing world, with a special emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa. The name AYA comes from an African Adinkra Symbol, which means fern and symbolizes endurance, resourcefulness and growth.

I, along with fellow World Moms Blog contributors Jennifer Burden, Elizabeth Atalay, Nicole Morgan, Nicole Melancon, Kelly Pugliano and Cindy Levin, sat in a room of about 80 bloggers and listened to inspiring panel after inspiring panel. In addition to thought-provoking conversations about human trafficking, the importance of vaccinations, electrifying Africa, making change through economic opportunities and the dire need to end Ebola in West Africa, we witnessed incredible performances by a young poet named Marquesha Babers and actress Danai Gurira.

Tears were shed. We were all moved and left wanting to do more for women and girls around the globe.

Why invite only bloggers to such a powerful event? According to this article from WUSA9 who covered the event, the combined audiences of our blogs exceeds 45 million and 28 states. As it was noted, “that kind of reach is priceless.”

There was a general theme of storytelling throughout the event. As bloggers, we have the ability to tell the stories of girls and women around the globe that the mainstream media simply cannot duplicate. We use our experiences as women, mothers and global citizens to lend our voices to those who don’t have a microphone and help others join in the conversation. We personalize the stories, talk about our concerns, and amplify the issues that media may not even be fully aware of or willing to devote the time to cover.

As Ginny Wolfe, Senior Director, Strategic Relationships at ONE, said at the very start of the AYA Summit, “We’re not asking for your money, we’re asking for your voice.” If you are reading this post, you can lend your voice too.

Though it is still hard to put into words what the AYA Summit meant to me, I thought I would share the highlights and key takeaways through a series of tweets during the event:

Read what other World Moms are writing about the event:

For more on the AYA Summit and the work that is coming from the event, visit and follow the AYA Summit 2014 Flipboard.

This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Jennifer Iacovelli who also writes at

How will you or do you use your voice to stand up for those who are unable to speak up for themselves?

Jennifer Iacovelli

Jennifer Iacovelli is a writer, speaker and nonprofit professional. Based in Brunswick, Maine, she’s a proud single mom of two boys and one Siberian husky.  Jennifer is the author of the Another Jennifer blog and creator of the Simple Giving Lab. Jennifer is also a contributing author of the book The Mother Of All Meltdowns. Her work has been featured on GOODBlogHerUSAID ImpactFeed the Future and the PSI Impact blog. Her latest book, Simple Giving: Easy Ways to Give Every Day, is available everywhere. Her passions are writing, philanthropy, her awesome kids and bacon, though not necessarily in that order.

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