“The Wisdom Stories: Finding Wisdom in the Ordinary”
As the founder of Girls on the Run and now the Red Boot Way, Molly Barker has had the good fortune to experience truly pivotal moments in the lives of many, many people. She is also the single mom, to two extremely creative and independent kids. This coupled with the unexpected prominence that comes with founding two successful non-profits has taken her on one heckuva messy, fun, scary, up and down and all-over-the-place professional and personal roller coaster ride!
Molly is a gifted story teller who appreciates the wisdom that can be found in the ordinary moments of our lives. She has called this “experiential wisdom” or “living wisdom.”
Join Molly, as she shares what she calls “Wisdom Stories”. Most are simple, some are funny and some are sure to make you “feel deeply”, but tucked in between the words rests something richer and more meaningful than the words themselves…nuggets of wisdom…for you to uncover and integrate into your life. Molly will also engage you in “conversation” throughout her presentation so come prepared to speak, laugh, shout and participate!
Molly Barker is the founder of Girls on the Run International, the program that uses running to empower girls. A four-time Hawaii Ironman triathlete, Molly used her background in social work, counseling and teaching to develop the program. Since Barker founded it in 1996, it has served a million girls and earned her numerous accolades, including the Daily Point of Light Award, given by President Obama and Former President Bush in a ceremony at the White House.
After retiring from the organization in 2013, she was asked to join the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Political Reform, a Washington group seeking ways to bridge the political divide in Congress. By the time its 29 members of the commission made recommendations, however, Barker had decided the real problem was bigger than Congress. It was all of us.
That was when she began formulating an idea for The Red Boot Coalition, a new organization whose name was inspired by the gift of a pair of red boots from her daughter Helen.
In August 2014, Molly put those conversation-starting red boots to task and set out to get to the root of what was causing these polarizing conversations. From Charlotte to Las Vegas she listened to hundreds share their fears, concerns and hopes.
“Ultimately, leadership comes down to one very simple question,” she wrote in the telling of her cross-country journey. “Am I willing to make the effort to see, to listen, to look for the humanness that rests within each person I encounter?”
Molly is the mother to two children: James, a fashion designer in New York and Helen, a bass player in Charlotte. When asked recently what her mom does for a living, Helen responded, “My mom listens and loves people for her living.”