Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves
The New York Times, social media, Harper Collins, TED Women and others feel Maria Bello has an idea that is definitely worth spreading. What began as an article in the New York Times became the top fifth article ever in the “Modern Love” column. It went on to start a global conversation that encouraged people to really examine who we are; that conversation will be expanded upon in the upcoming book release, Whatever… Love is Love in April 2015.
In this discussion, speaker Maria Bello questions the labels we use to describe ourselves — are they outdated or irrelevant? Perhaps the age-old habit of labeling people based on their family, sexual orientation, religion or heritage no longer explains the totality of a person. Based on her own personal life experiences, she contemplates if labels still fit into our dialogue in 2015. She also shares the radical idea that we modernize our labels, and at the very least, question how we both pigeonhole and choose the words that define us.
You Serve Best by Doing the Thing You Love Most
Maria Bello was studying international law at Villanova when she found her calling in an unlikely place: an acting elective. Stunned by the realization that acting was what she was meant to do, she looked to a personal friend — a priest — for guidance. His advice? “You serve best by doing the thing you love most.”
In this very personal keynote, Maria Bello shares the inspiring story of how she found her way to acting, and how that career path has afforded her a platform to become an agent for promoting global peace and social justice as co-founder of We Advance, an NGO advocating for Haitian women to have full political, economic, and social participation. Her inspiring, entertaining message — perfect for students, professional groups, or philanthropic associations — resonates with audiences who are looking to change the world by pursuing their passion.
The Importance of Investing in Women
Maria Bello began her career as a women’s activist while she was a student at Villanova University. Since then, she has worked with Save the Children, The Feminist Majority, Vital Voices, and Save Darfur, her main focus being the empowerment of women worldwide.
Now the co-founder of We Advance — an organization dedicated to advancing Haitian women’s health, safety, and well being — Bello shares her powerful message on the importance of investing in women in this informative, fascinating keynote. Perfect for women’s professional or philanthropic groups, Bello shares her insights—gleaned from her years working with and for disenfranchised women across the globe—into how investing in women can quite literally change the world.
Caregiving & Mental Illness: A Personal Perspective
Actress and public speaker Maria Bello has a very personal perspective on caregiving and mental illness. Bello's mother was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma nearly thirty years ago and was told she only had months to live. Now, 28 years later, her mother is undergoing her third round of chemotherapy. In addition, Maria has experienced bi-polar disorder for many years, but through the lessons learned, she concludes that mental illness is no different from physical illness.
In this captivating keynote, Bello shares how she and her siblings share the responsibility of caring for their mom; they identify their individual strengths, then contribute to her caregiving in a way that draws on those strengths. Bello also stresses the importance of setting boundaries and focusing on self care as a caregiver as well as taking the stigma off of mental illness and rather, seeing it as a gift.
Feminism: A Human Right for All
Disaster Relief, Healthcare & Women’s Issues in Developing Countries