What better time than at the very beginning of a new decade should we dare to believe in a perfect world? What better time than now should we decide that poverty, disease, greed, and suffering are not inevitable? What better person than you to heal the world?



Ten years from now, I'd like to look back and not see War. I'd like to look back and not see famine, Genocide, and destruction. (I always capitalize War and Genocide so as not to diminish their importance.)

Who are our believers? Who are our achievers? We are here. We are the women of the world who have had enough. That is why I am here. I have had enough.

On the one hand, I don’t want to win this contest. Although I know it will elevate me, I recognize that for many women, this may be their only chance to escape their situation and to shed light on atrocities in their communities. I would feel horrible if my victory meant tragedy for another. On the other hand, I know I have so much to offer that I feel it is a sin for me to continue to remain silent. I try as best I can to promote “one race, one place – humans on earth”, but the reality is that life on Earth is harder than it has to be for more than 92% of the world's population.

So here I am. As an intelligent, educated, healthy Black woman, I have a duty stand up for those who can't stand for themselves. My highest skill is designing weapons. My voice is heard, but I don't like what it says. My hope is that I will inspire many of you to fulfill your dreams and surpass me. As I tell the children I work with, “You all have my permission to do great things.”

I am only a click away, and though we are competitors, we are all winners. That is my personal vision.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Journey and Vision.


Thank you for commenting on my post. I am glad you found it inspiring for I struggled with this one. I often feel so empty because I have so much. How can I compare my angst to that of women who have and continue to experience trauma on a daily basis?

It can be something as simple as the knowledge that I am free to walk my streets or take public transportation. I have ridden buses in the past and except for that one incident in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania back in the 70's, have never been harassed or groped by strangers. That guy in Philly ended up with my knife at his crotch and a choice. He chose wisely. That is how I was raised in Baltimore, to defend myself. I am a 3rd degree black belt in an Okinawan-style of karate. I am trained to defend myself. Millions of women and children don't have that choice. I can walk freely, ride the bus freely, drive my car, or hop on an airplane and not have to think much about my personal safety. I've even been on a Navy aircraft carrier and felt safer there surrounded by sailors (thanks to my Marine Corps personal bodyguards!) than most women feel going to get a drink of water. That is an unforgivable shame.

I admire women who despite everything, truly believe they can improve the world. They have to believe it. You all make me believe it as well.

Dear Karen, Lucky you because many women out there cant defend themselves even if they want to and that is an advantage for you cuz you can defend yourself, i am one of them although i always loved to get karate training but never got that chance and luck.

Warmest regards. Maria

You can always learn to defend yourself.

First rule: Be aware of your surroundings. This is crucial. Know your route, and always look for an escape route. Try to avoid secluded places and there is usually safety in numbers. I say usually because I recognize that many times armies will do what they please and there is little defense against that.

Secondly, trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

Next, know yourself. Know your limitations and strengths. You can't out power someone larger than you most times, so you have to look for weaknesses. Don't be afraid to bite, scratch, kick, yell ,,, make a scene. I teach women that it is better to be embarrassed and wrong than silent and dead. I once had a woman in one of my self-defense classes who I thought was a horrible student. She didn't work very hard at all. One day, some men tried to accost her from a van. She ended up tearing off the blouse they grabbed her by and running down the street to safety with no top on. She later told me that all she could remember was me telling her "don't get in the car". Once they get you in a vehicle, they can transport you to a secluded spot and brutalize you to their satisfaction. She told me that she felt like a fool running down the street screaming with no top on. That was a tremendous learning experience for me.

Also, you are never too old or isolated to learn to use your body as a weapon. Your elbows, knees, head -- all hard weapons. Always aim for your attackers soft spots -- think center line. Eyes, nose, chin, solar plexus, groin, knees. If someone grabs you around the neck and tries to strangle you, don't go for his arms. Go for his eyes. Turn your head so you keep your air passage ways open (losing conscience is bad) and go for the soft spots. Learn to run! He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.

Finally, if you are attacked, realize that it is a crime of violence which has little to do with your worth as a person. Keep your wits about you and try to remember as much as you can about your attacker. Warn others about the danger.

I know this is a lot to digest, but with practice, comes confidence.

Dear Karen, Thank you so much for all these advices,i will always remember your words and i will try to do it practically if not all maybe most of it.

Kisses and hugs. Maria

Thank you for sharing your voice with us! I really enjoyed what you had to say, and your vision is very clear! I wonder though, what do you mean by "My highest skill is designing weapons. My voice is heard, but I don't like what it says."? It seems to me you have a very positive voice that rings out loud and clear! And how do you think PulseWire and World Pulse can help you achieve the vision you talk about? Keep up the great work!

Kind regards,


"Tell me then, what will you do with your one wild, sweet, and precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Unfortunately, warfare (electronic, information or missile) seems to be my passion. I truly wish the Navy didn't need my skills. I thought I had put this passion to rest, but the more time I observe the human condition, the more I see a need for precision weapons.

Hi Karen, I enjoyed the passion and determination you show in your post, but I think you shouldn't downplay your own dreams and passions (especially for this venture) by thinking that it will take away from others around the world. There is a place for everyone who wants to give and support their fellow females! I would love to read more from you! -Jennifer

Hi Karen,

Thank you for sharing your story. Your desire to make the world a more peaceful place is clearly a driving force in your life. Your emphasis on personal safety for women is so important. Your voice is so strong and you have so much to share -- keep going, the world needs voices like yours.

All the best, Amy