Welcome to She Leads Podcast Season 5, Episode 3! This episode of She Leads Podcast features Y. Rená Cooper founder of 4 My Voice Matters. Y. Rená Cooper is a Domestic Violence Trainer/Volunteer, Internet Radio Personality, and Speaker who leads her life like the Boss she is. To hear Y. Rená Cooper’s take on leadership, listen to her interview as she discusses embracing individuality, the importance of credibility, and fostering team productivity.
Y. Rená Cooper Bio
Yolunda Rená Cooper is affectionately known by her family and friends as Rená. Seeing others live their best lives is one thing that drives her. Seeing victims become free and victorious and witnessing survivors thrive in their ‘after’ is another thing that drives her and gives her life. Rená graduated Trinity High School in River Forest, IL. After graduating she attended Grambling State University in Grambling, LA for a spell.
A survivor of domestic violence, Rená made it her life’s mission to make sure her voice was heard. She makes sure she cries loud and spares not for victims of domestic situations. Rená completed 40hr Domestic Violence training and obtained her certificate with the state of Illinois. Aside from being trained for domestic violence, she also volunteers her spare time at Sarah’s Inn, a Domestic Violence Agency in Oak Park, IL.
Rená is the founder & CEO of 4 My Voice Matters, a NFP (501c3) organization that raises funds and brings awareness to domestic violence and suicide. She organizes events to raise monies for DV shelters and organizations throughout the country.
Rená has spoken at the University of Chicago, the Kimmy G. Foundation’s Beauty for Ashes, the Move Me Soul Youth Dance and mentoring program. She’s the member and speaker for Global Woman Club. She’s spoken at several churches and organizations throughout the Chicagoland area. She also was invited to speak at a woman’s shelter in Dothan, AL.
Rená is the 2018 recipient of a G.E.M.S. award. She’s the co-host of the internet radio show called Art of Transparency. She’s also keynote speaker on the 2019 Art of Transparency Tour.
Nicole Walker’s Interview Commentary
I really enjoyed this interview with Rená and I hope you did as well.
I agree with Rená’s advice to treat others better than we have been treated. Choose to be better by taking the high road to decrease the cycle of toxicity present in many marriages, households, families, friendships, churches, work places, communities, and so on. As Rená stated, “Some people mirror the bad person as opposed to changing it”. Negative experiences are impactful and leave a blueprint on our lives, this is something we cannot control. We are impacted by our interactions, even if we don’t like it or choose not to accept it. Thankfully, we have been blessed with the ability, choice, option, and power to stop the madness by being and doing better!! A quote by Stephen Covey reads, Moral authority comes from following universal and timeless principles like honesty, integrity, and treating people with respect”.
I admire Rená’s decision to help others by having the courage to open up about her experiences with domestic violence. Rená turned her pain into her power and how she profits from the purpose of it all. As Rená mentioned, “Our trials and where we feel like we are falling off are our testimony”. Rising above adversity is a great accomplishment!! Yet, choosing to stop at this point is a complete disservice!!! Rená advised us, to speak out because that’s what leaders do! Disregarding the judgement of others provides the opportunity to share our life freely and openly. Seek liberty and change lives by helping others get through what you have gone through. A quote by Mahatma Gandhi reads, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”.
I can relate Rená’s experience with having a failed marriage, as I experienced the same. I wore a mask for many years and pretended to be strong, while slowing dying on the inside until I decided to take care of myself first. Knowing something is for the best does not take away the pain associated with letting go. By choosing to focus on and be grateful for the lessons learned from my previous marriage, I have become better as opposed to being bitter. When we replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts and negative words with positive words we shift the atmosphere and begin to see and experience life differently. A quote by Winston Churchill reads, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”.
Nicole Walker’s Takeaway of the Week
Rená suggested we find someone who has done what we aim to do, then use their example as a guiding light to navigate in the darkness of the unknown. This is a controversial idea for me because my upbringing taught me that being copied by others is annoying and copying others is cheating. Gratefully, I now realize that it is a blessing be a source of inspiration to others, and it is a gift to acquire the strategies needed for success.
I will make it my business to find “my someone” to glean from by doing research on those that have been where I want to go, so I can have a vivid picture of what it takes to accomplish my goals.
A quote by Shawn Johnson reads, “I always have someone to look up to, and I think it helps me with motivating myself.”
Nicole Walker’s Leadership Challenge
My leadership challenge for you would be to think about the one thing you can take away from this episode and adopt into your life. I know it’s hard to absorb too much information at one time and it’s even harder to try and implement too many changes at once. When I attend a training or listen to podcasts I aim to walk away with a least one thing that stuck out to me and one way that I can change as a result. I challenge you to do the same!
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Thanks and until next time “Be Empowered and Empower On”!