"I May Be My Most Rewarding Project So Far", Our Interview with Actionist Jess Weiner, 1/01/2011
by Suzette Banzo
The difference between those that spend their lives
dreaming and those inspired by those dreams to better the world was found
in one word, activist. Now it can be found in one more word,
Mahatma Gandhi infamous quote "be the change you want to see in the
world" defines the work and character of Jess Weiner, who proudly refers
to herself as an "Actionist", a word she has coined to promote self-esteem for
women of all ages.
Jess is a self made entrepreneur with a quest to enhance the
life of women by not only empowering them through self worth and self
acceptance, but by also networking and building a global community to connect
individuals with organizations that make a difference. Jess, Dove's Global
Ambassador for Self Esteem, believes in social storytelling as a way to promote
change, shedding light on just how important it is to look beyond the weight in
pounds and focus on the weight in worth.
what is your professional background? How did you get started? What kind of
jobs did you do previously?
Jess: By nature I am an entrepreneur and always have
started my own businesses. Thankfully, I've been able to turn my passions into
For me, my career began in college when I helped form a
student social issue theater company that performed plays on campus. My passion
was ignited for using theater to make change during this time. Then while I was
still in college I had the rare opportunity to work with MTV on a show called "Unfiltered"
it was a you shoot it/ we air it news show for teens. I covered a sexual
harassment event on campus. It got a lot of response and it led me to be
featured in other media outlets like CNN. Then I graduated and moved to Indiana
and started Act Out Ensemble in 1995. It was loosely based on the structure of
what I created in college. We ran for six seasons and traveled all over the
nation together performing social, health, and educational plays for students.
Now, I am a best selling author, self-esteem expert and
founder of the Actionist Network® an online community of like-minded leaders
who care about confident women and girls. I also serve as Dove's Global
Self-Esteem Ambassador and am a contributing editor to Seventeen Magazine.
Suzette: Tell us about the Actionist® Network.
Jess: It is global online community that recognizes and
connects individuals and organizations who are making a difference in the lives
of others. The Actionist® Network is a community of people who don't settle for
status quo, who challenge cultural stereotypes, and who take risks to follow
type of workshops do you offer as a self-esteem expert?
Jess: I offer workshops, seminars, and consulting services
to large and small companies, non-profits, entrepreneurs, and new businesses.
Some of the areas we cover include corporate and workplace dynamics, personal
relationships and overcoming obstacles, as well as leadership and life skills.
A list of my programs are at www.jessweiner.com/speakingworkshops and
I am always open to customizing topics for my client's needs.
Suzette: Do you offer tips for young girls that differ from
those for older women?
Jess: My advice for all girls and women is really rooted in
creating authentic and whole confidence by focusing on the full and complete
picture of your life. It's not just about your body or your achievements - it
is about your voice, mind, spirit, vision, and heart, too.