TaVia Wooley-iles is a Business owner, and Executive Director of a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles County CA The EmpowerTHEM Collective, but mostly she is proud of being a woman who deeply believes in empowering women.
Tavia is the owner and principal of Tavia W. Iles Communications LLC a Strategic communication agency that provides comms services to entrepreneurs, business and non-profit organizations, optimizing their reach through innovative and authentic strategies.
Tell us about your background and what led you to launch The EmpowerTHEM Collective.
I founded the EmpowerThem Collective out of my own experience of feeling dis-empowered after the death of my son at birth. In the traumatic experience I didn’t have anyone to advocate for me, I was unable to stand up for myself and due to a lack of resources I was unable to seek a resolution to the treatment I received. The more I asked questions and listened to other peoples stories, I realized that there is a gap, or at the very least not enough training on leadership, specifically community leadership, and advocacy and policy, getting communities from under-seen and heard demographics to the table and economic empowerment, building business in communities of color. So I wanted to do my part to help reshape the narrative. The EmpowerThem Collective was born.
How is The EmpowerTHEM Collective empowering the community to be seen, heard, and to act?
We designed several community focused programs that will empower the community by teaching leadership and the value of community leadership and development, educational trainings and call to actions surrounding public policy and advocacy efforts that support social justice movements and through entrepreneur training, in which members will work through a series of modules that will support the development of a business idea, to a plan, to a successful launch.
Our beliefs is that when we provide community members these skills rooted in ownership of community, policy and economic empowerment we can begin to see the shifts needed to change a community for the better.
As a society we are enthralled by Film, Theater, and Music. How does your organization provide advocacy through storytelling?
Storytelling is everything!! We have a framework that is grounded in the three C context, communication and community. We work with participants to identify the pivotal moments in their own story, identify what their call to action is and how to move the viewer from inspiration to act on the call to action. We are partnered with the City of Hope to provide storytelling with regard to Homelessness and mental health concerns that are impacting northern los Angeles County.
Our goal is to allow people to tell their own story, their own narrative, and move from victim to victor.
What can we find at the Build-A-Business Academy?
The Build-A- Business Academy teaches foundational business building principals. Participants will start with their idea, and brainstorm the fruitfulness of such an idea by way of conducting market research, identify competitors and modify as necessary. They work with business owners in the community to develop their skills and increase their circle of influence as well as engage in coaching sessions to expand their business idea. From there participants begin to build the framework of their business relying on resourcefulness and developing a plan that has thought through potential barriers so that they can successfully launch. The participants end with a shark tank style investment panel, where business owners listen to their pitch and pledge their financial support. The next cohort will be open for application January 2023.
Tell us about the resources and programs offered.
We offer Leadership and policy training
Advocacy through storytelling
Build a business academy
We will be launching soon a junior version of Leadership and entrepreneurship program for kids that families can use to teach their children.
What do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the absolutely most seeing people have the aha moment, that moment when they finally believe that they can, or when they finally dismiss those old negative narratives. I am a firm believer in affirming people, so I am intentional about pouring into people positive thoughts and words of encouragement. I love to see people feel empowered and grow.
Tell us about Tavia W. Iles Communications LLC, a Strategic communication agency and how you are helping entrepreneurs, businesses, and nonprofits optimize their reach.
We work with our clients to identify their authentic voice. Our page line is Have the Audacity to be seen. Take up space. There is an audience waiting to hear from you as you are. We do work with our clients on identifying their Power statements and position and then work to develop a plan of action that allows for increased exposure organically and aligned with their beliefs and principals. From there we move into developing their branded content and connecting them with other organizations or businesses that will provide a fruitful partnership that leads to M.O.R.E Money Opportunities Resources and Experiences.