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Last Saturday, April 5, a full day of seminars were held in Los Angeles for women and at-risk youth, sponsored by Maybelline and model Tomiko Fraser's Goddess organization. Making a difference is a recurring theme in Fraser’s life. Last year she put together Butterflies Over Hollywood to raise funds and awareness about Lupus, an event she anticipates doing again this year. Saturday’s event was the first Born With It workshop, an outreach program and offshoot of Tomiko Fraser’s Goddess Gathering.

Tomiko at Born With It
What began as a small gathering of five women at her home spawned an event with about 50 women. Fraser says of her gatherings, “Everybody comes to the table with their various strengths. I call it girlfriends being there for girlfriends. Each month I come up with a topic such as self esteem or goal setting.” She adds that she gives a homework assignment based on the topic so they can use it in their lives.

The goddess members were involved in every aspect of the program on Saturday, from being workshop leaders to serving food. Among them were a choreographer, a personal trainer, people who work in music, actresses, and a model.

Fraser describes all of the workshops as “pieces of the empowerment puzzle.” Among the workshops were those relating to fitness, beauty, confidence building, self esteem, spirituality, and well being, and there was also a financial freedom seminar that taught basics such as balancing a check book and investing.

The activities on Saturday were innovative and included props and physical activity. The girls involved all had fun.The confidence building seminar engaged the youth in creating commercials about themselves which highlighted the positive. In another seminar, girls created a collage based on their qualities as women.

Women at Born With It

Personal Trainer Fee King said of her involvement, “I am especially enthusiastic about this event because type 2 Diabetes is an epidemic in African American and Latino communities. It is an epidemic that does not have to be. I am using this platform to be an example and minister to these young people.”

Another member of the Goddess group, Big & Beautiful model Chenese Lewis, loaned her support to the body image workshop. Her emphasis was that real beauty comes from within.

Fraser and Maybelline plan on spreading the Goddess Gatherings to several cities throughout the country.

(Photos copyright Natiya Guin )

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