Enuma Okoro

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  • Nigerian-American Writer & Lecturer
  • Financial Times Weekend Columnist



Enuma Okoro is a Nigerian-American writer, lecturer, and speaker, who believes that the stories we believe, and tell ourselves become the stories we live. Using the arts, cultural identity, contemplative spirituality and psychology, Okoro explores the power of story and narratives in our individual and collective identities. She examines the stories we live, where they originate, how they are used, and how unquestioned stories and inherited narratives affect our public and private lives. To this end, her work covers a broad but intersecting range of topics: the arts as a lens for understanding human experience, meaning and identity-making, transcultural literacy and how cultural collisions have an impact on human development and social narratives, women’s empowerment, and intentional living with integrity and self-honor.

Born in Manhattan to Nigerian parents, Okoro was raised in five countries on three continents, and has spent her life living and working as a global citizen. Her educational and professional background is in Psychology and Communications, Family Systems Therapy, Creative and Academic Writing, and Theology. She is a certified spiritual director in the Ignatian tradition. Okoro has written and edited four non-fiction books, her poetry is published in anthologies, she is a weekend columnist for the Financial Times, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, ABC’s Good Morning America, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, The Guardian, Harpers’ Bazaar, Vogue, CNN, Essence, Artsy, Cultured, The Cut, Aeon, Catapult, and other media outlets.

As an international speaker, Okoro has spoken at over 100 engagements including universities, corporate institutions, organization and conferences. Her speaking invitations have come from four continents and have included Oxford University, Princeton University, The Atlantic Dialogues, The EurAfrican Forum, The Ford Foundation, The MEDays International Forum, Bloomberg Media Conference, Harvard Business School, The Abu Dhabi Culture Summit, and more. She had the honor of being the first woman of African descent to deliver a talk from the historic 200-year-old platform of The American Church in Paris, France, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was the first man of African descent to speak from the same platform in October 1965. Okoro gave a TEDx talk in London focused on global perceptions of women, identity, and cultural collisions.

 

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Enuma gave an amazing talk, very inspiring and kept the audience engaged to the end. We were happy with everything and are sure to engage Enuma again. Please pass on our heartfelt thanks.

Moderating clip - How the Stories We Tell About Ourselves Shape the Collective Narrative | Eurafrican Forum [3:03] - Get Sharable Link
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The Wisdom and Benefit of Engaging Cultural Differences

Engaging with people different from ourselves can be fraught, even for well-intentioned people and leaders, and therefore it takes a certain amount of courage and mindfulness to deliberately cultivate a diverse community, and to be transformed positively from that community. On teams, in business an ...

Engaging with people different from ourselves can be fraught, even for well-intentioned people and leaders, and therefore it takes a certain amount of courage and mindfulness to deliberately cultivate a diverse community, and to be transformed positively from that community. On teams, in business and in our communities, the intentional engagement with difference can stimulate new opportunities and understandings about ourselves and the world. By growing our emotional intelligence and openness to others, we expand our opportunities in every way imaginable.

Honor the Life that Calls You: A Primer for Individuals, Leaders and Teams

Enuma Okoro tells us how to live a life aligned with our purpose, how to enhance performance and stamina, and how to empower others on our teams and in our organizations to thrive.  Honoring our skills and passions, and encouraging those around us to hone and pursue theirs, allows for more wholistic ...

Enuma Okoro tells us how to live a life aligned with our purpose, how to enhance performance and stamina, and how to empower others on our teams and in our organizations to thrive.  Honoring our skills and passions, and encouraging those around us to hone and pursue theirs, allows for more wholistic, higher-performing individuals and teams.

The Power of a Story

The stories we believe and tell become the stories we live. And the stories we live, define who we are. Our lives are filled with competing narratives that come from our public and private communities. Learning to identify the reigning narratives in our lives will expose the story we are living, and ...

The stories we believe and tell become the stories we live. And the stories we live, define who we are. Our lives are filled with competing narratives that come from our public and private communities. Learning to identify the reigning narratives in our lives will expose the story we are living, and enable us to determine if it’s the story we want our lives to tell.

What Is it Time For?

The ancient Greeks had two understandings of time: Chronos time, which is chronological time, the hours and days and year we count, and then Kairos time, an unquantifiable but opportune sliver of time that can occur at any moment, openings in life that hold the potential for soul satisfaction and un ...

The ancient Greeks had two understandings of time: Chronos time, which is chronological time, the hours and days and year we count, and then Kairos time, an unquantifiable but opportune sliver of time that can occur at any moment, openings in life that hold the potential for soul satisfaction and unquantifiable gift. To recognize and live into Kairos time, we must learn to discern the seasons of our lives, shifting our attitudes about chronological time, and being open to reshape how we approach our days, ultimately inviting mystery, wonder, and faith back into our lives. 

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<p>Speaker Spotlight: Why businesses need Enuma Okoro to teach them about the Art of Life</p>

Speaker Spotlight: Why businesses need Enuma Okoro to teach them about the Art of Life

Employee well-being is something that organizations are – finally – focusing on, spurred by the difficult time we’ve each had during the pandemic, more awareness about the value of caring for our mental health, and the drive for us to bring our whole-selves to work to share and celebrate our diversity.  And, quite honestly, keeping employees engaged and happy is a required investment in a competitive job market.  This is one reason why the Financial Times tapped cultural observer, and art and contemplative life writer ENUMA OKORO to create and write her weekly Art of Life column in which she reflects on the intersection of art, culture and how we live our lives. Okoro's publication bylines include The New York Times, The Atlantic, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and others. She has delivered Tedx Talks, and has authored several books, all with the grounding premise that the stories we tell and beleive are the central way of shaping human perspectives, beliefs and behavior. She is the creator and host of the new podcast launching this fall, Here’s the Story: Conversations with Enuma, where she talks with artists, writers, culture-shapers, and wellness and spiritual practitioners about intentional living and the power of understanding that our lives are storied. Organizations looking to build culture, teams and community tap Okoro to speak on the power of identity and belonging, and how we can collectively elevate ourselves with bigger ideas – like art, culture and the human experience – to find our shared humanity. Born in New York city and raised in Cote d’Ivoire, England, North America and Nigeria, Okoro sees the world through a broad lens, and helps us do the same. 

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Biography

Enuma Okoro is a Nigerian-American writer, lecturer, and speaker, who believes that the stories we believe, and tell ourselves become the stories we live. Using the arts, cultural identity, contemplative spirituality and psychology, Okoro explores the power of story and narratives in our individual and collective identities. She examines the stories we live, where they originate, how they are used, and how unquestioned stories and inherited narratives affect our public and private lives. To this end, her work covers a broad but intersecting range of topics: the arts as a lens for understanding human experience, meaning and identity-making, transcultural literacy and how cultural collisions have an impact on human development and social narratives, women’s empowerment, and intentional living with integrity and self-honor.

Born in Manhattan to Nigerian parents, Okoro was raised in five countries on three continents, and has spent her life living and working as a global citizen. Her educational and professional background is in Psychology and Communications, Family Systems Therapy, Creative and Academic Writing, and Theology. She is a certified spiritual director in the Ignatian tradition. Okoro has written and edited four non-fiction books, her poetry is published in anthologies, she is a weekend columnist for the Financial Times, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, ABC’s Good Morning America, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, The Guardian, Harpers’ Bazaar, Vogue, CNN, Essence, Artsy, Cultured, The Cut, Aeon, Catapult, and other media outlets.

As an international speaker, Okoro has spoken at over 100 engagements including universities, corporate institutions, organization and conferences. Her speaking invitations have come from four continents and have included Oxford University, Princeton University, The Atlantic Dialogues, The EurAfrican Forum, The Ford Foundation, The MEDays International Forum, Bloomberg Media Conference, Harvard Business School, The Abu Dhabi Culture Summit, and more. She had the honor of being the first woman of African descent to deliver a talk from the historic 200-year-old platform of The American Church in Paris, France, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was the first man of African descent to speak from the same platform in October 1965. Okoro gave a TEDx talk in London focused on global perceptions of women, identity, and cultural collisions.

Her first book, Reluctant Pilgrim, was recognized by USA Book News as a 2010 Best Books Award Winning Finalist for Religion, and received the 2011 Indie National Book Awards Winning Finalist in Spirituality and Non-Fiction.

In 2018 she was recognized by The Guardian Nigerian national newspaper as one of the "100 Most Inspiring Women in Nigeria."

In addition to speaking and writing, Okoro teaches seminars, and leads developmental workshops and retreats in America and abroad, and she curates public conversations with artists, writers, culture-shapers and theologians about intentional living and the power of stories in our lives and practices.