Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Interview with Anita Carman from Inspire Women

Inspire Women is a leading women’s ministry and one of the largest ministries in Texas, where they independently put on conferences, fund scholarships and provide training to women of all backgrounds.

Founded by Anita Carman, the non-profit’s inception was, in part, birthed out of Anita’s challenging upbringing. She came to the United States as a 17-year old, following a childhood filled with emotional trauma and incredible challenges, but ready for a fresh start. As an adult Anita began her journey in the corporate world, where she developed as a leader by pursuing both a Master of Business Administration from the State University of New York and a graduate degree in biblical studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. She worked for top companies such as Booz, Allen, Hamilton and Exxon.

Since its independent establishment in 2003, Inspire Women has invested over $1 million in the ministry dreams of Houston women. An estimated 24,000 women have attended an Inspire Women event, and the organization continually reaches more than 150,000 a year.


How has your personal story fueled what you do?

Ever since I lost my mother to suicide when I was 17, I was always searching to fill an emptiness in my heart. I was also uprooted from my country when I came to America and frantically searched for a place of belonging. The dream of coming to America began in my mother's heart so when she was no longer here I wasn't sure how the story was supposed to end. That led me to develop a passion for helping others find their purpose because I have experienced the pain of not knowing where you belong or what you're supposed to be doing with your life.

What's your biggest challenge?
I find it hard to juggle so many things at the same time. When I write I disappear into that place in my head where I shut out the world. But while there I'm concerned over the ministry and what's needed for everyone on staff to run. So I go between being an "artist" if you will and a CEO. I definitely could not fulfill my role had God not hand picked the staff I have around me. They are phenomenal.
What makes Inspire Women different from other ministries?
We are a ministry that reaches women across ethnicities and economic levels. Most ministries are one ethnicity or have women of similar economic levels. The women we reach range from ministry leaders to top women CEOs and philanthropists.
We are all inclusive in that there are ministries that produce conferences but they don't invest back in the women in the conference. They don't give scholarships and grants. We also have small groups after the conference so I would say our uniqueness is in our followup programs to empower potential and to keep women going in their service.
You recently celebrated the ten-year anniversary of an independent Inspire Women. What do the next ten years look like?
We are putting processes in place so that what we have in Houston can be replicated or can easily be passed down to the next generation to operate. So while our VP of Houston builds sustaining programs, I focus on developing the message that brands Inspire Women globally and continue building the financial infrastructure to support the ministry not only in Houston but beyond.
What kind of changes do you see in the women who find their God-given calling?
I see them exhibiting the peace of knowing why they were created. Also at Inspire Women I see them finding joy in being part of a community of women who desire to know their purpose and to make a difference in the world.
How can people get involved with Inspire Women?
They can re-teach the materials we share at our monthly spiritual oasis. They can sign up for a leadership certificate and learn how to respond to life the way the daughter of a King would. We're looking into possibly letting women lead small groups over the internet where they can share our signature curriculum on how to respond as a King's daughter. They can fund scholarships and grants. They can use our events and serve as an ambassador to invite friends to our events.
You can learn more about Anita Carman and Inspire Women on their website

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