The Women Who Rock Their Roles (WWRTR) is a project of M.G. Ballard Designs and InnerVision Magazine International. The project aims to tell the stories of women who represent excellence in what they do in their roles as professionals. However, most importantly, it recognizes them for the work they do in their communities to give back ~ especially with efforts to improve the lives of other women and children.
Read their stories in the March 2022 issue of InnerVision Magazine. Find out what they do in their various roles, and learn what makes them "rock!"
InnerVision Magazine International highlights the greater good of people around the world. With each bi-monthly issue the magazine's creative contributors identify, interview and report on individuals across the globe who are doing extraordinary work in their efforts to give back, do good, and change lives for the better. In addition to the contributors who bring these stories to the readers, InnerVision has a group of professionals who write columns on things to better their lives. Readers can expect to find helpful information on physical, as well as financial fitness, education, etc. There is even an article from a child's perspective written by a youth contributor.
Television producer, host, publisher, teacher, advocate - Alicia Figueras-Lambert has worn many hats in her many roles. Her self-described "eclectic" background has included being a retired veteran/drug interdiction agent, and running for New York State Governor (2010).
One of Alicia’s greatest passions is the welfare of children whose parents are incarcerated. While working at Rikers and Nassau County Maximum Security Jails as a teacher of cognitive behavior, she witnessed the affect incarceration had on the children, and saw that it was particularly hard during the Christmas season. Wishing to extend support to these children she founded C.H.E.L.A. 4 Kids, a non-profit organization that, among other things, hosts an annual toy drive and party so that these children can have a Christmas.
Alicia’s parents taught her that if you can’t be a tree, then be the best bush around. So, to follow her parent’s teachings, she has worked hard to touch many populations through her efforts to give back. Her publication “InnerVision,” celebrates the spirit of altruism, and recognizes others in our global community who do the same.
Marva G. Ballard, who grew up in Akron, Ohio, moved to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1980 and opened a custom design salon designing under the label – M.G. Ballard Designs. In 1984, she began specializing in leather wearable art apparel and was nominated for the More Fashion Awards in N.Y., sponsored by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
Marva moved to Tuskegee, AL in 1987 to take a position with Tuskegee University as an instructor with their Fashion Merchandising program. She was awarded both an Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching and an Outstanding Faculty Award for Service from the University for her work with the program.
In 1998, she returned to her passion full time, designing leather wearable art apparel which was sold through specialty retailers and department stores across the country. The collection is now sold entirely online.
Her work is owned by many celebrities and professional, yet daring women (and men) across the country, has been featured in several magazines and newspapers over the years.
Bishop Desmond Tutu is quoted as saying “If we are going to see real development in the world then our best investment is women.” Research tells us that investing in the welfare and development of women benefits not only the women themselves but changes the trajectory of their families and the well-being of their communities. Research also tells us that the earlier we begin that investment the better. Considering this, we must embrace and guide the girls in our villages. We must help them build their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth, help them recognize their gifts, expose them to their possibilities, and help them set a course for an education that will lead them to prosperity. Additionally, we must help them develop the resilience they will need to stay strong through the changes and adversity they will surely face.
Within our villages there are girls like Oprah Winfrey, who was fired from her first job as a news anchor for being too emotionally involved in the stories she reported. However, when they made her the host of a little talk show that was doing poorly in the ratings, just to let her ride out her contract, she found her seat of greatness and followed a path that changed the trajectory of her life. But her success also changed the trajectory of the lives of so many more, including the girls being educated at her Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.
Within our villages there are girls like J.K Rowling, who went from being a single mother on welfare to a best-selling author and billionaire with her Harry Potter books and film franchise. Her philanthropic efforts combat poverty and social inequality as well as provide funds for other organizations that aid children, one-parent families, and multiple sclerosis research.
Within our village there are also other girls like Leshia Champs who as a single mother of five and at the age of 33, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Law School, passed the bar exam, and soon after was selected as assistant county attorney for the Children’s Protection Practice Group of Harris County in Pasadena, Texas. This phenomenal young woman who grew up in foster care, became a teen mother, experienced homelessness, the death of her husband from Cancer, and numerous other challenges, is experiencing success against all odds. Success she feels will give hope for future success to not only her children but their children.
These women are examples of why we recognize the women who not only excel in their professions, but accept the opportunity to be role models, and actively pave the way for others by sharing their time, talent, and resources. Without them and their passion for inspiring others we may never get the opportunity to see the next Oprah, J.K or Leshia. To us, these are the Women Who Rock Their Roles!
~Marva G. Ballard