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Laurie Emrich - Bold Giver Story

  • Broadcast in Women
Sylvia Global Media

Sylvia Global Media


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In my twenties I inherited enough money to live without a paid job.
I had grown up in Denver in a culturally Jewish family that emphasized Tikkun Olam, the value of healing the world through economic and social justice. I took these values to heart and prepared for a career in international development and women's empowerment. At the start, my idea of justice was to spend my time helping those with less.
After grad school I moved to Kinshasa, Zaire (now DRC) and worked there for four years, launching a career working with governments, the UN and NGOs to assist in developing primary health care delivery systems and infrastructure in Africa. I was also blessed to meet the woman who became my life partner, Gael Murphy. Although I was helping, I began to understand the limits of creating justice through outside aid. Meanwhile, the funds that I had inherited basically gathered dust, partly because I was busy with my work and partly because I was ambivalent about my own wealth and privilege.