Raised in West Virginia by her adopted parents, Sarah Culberson had little knowledge of her ancestry. She grew up in a loving, white household, but she had questions about her identity and biracial roots that led her to hire a private investigator. When she began her unforgettable journey to find her family, she never imagined what she would discover or how it would change her life: she was related to African royalty. Her biological grandfather is the Paramount Chief of a village in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Sarah is considered a Mahaloi, with the status of a princess.
Princess Sarah takes an audience on her journey from princess to humanitarian. She shares that everyone has to earn their title, whether it’s that of being a mother, a company leader, or new team hires. The title alone does not give a person success. Sarah’s talk focuses on core values that attendees can use personally and professionally:
- Build a community and culture
- Embrace diversity and inclusion
- Overcome your fears to live your dreams
From a dancer to princess, to humanitarian (where she co-founded a non profit, Sierra Leone Rising, to support rebuilding education, public health, and female empowerment), to being an educator (as director of Outreach at the Oakwood School in LA), Princess Sarah uses warmth and humor in her keynote to provide a unique experience filled with stories, images, art, and above all, kindness.
The result of her keynote is a challenge, to all attendees, to make their own discovery of self identity and transformation.
In ‘Fear to Fabulous’ Sarah Culberson explores how she achieved her dream of connecting with her biological family: an experience that changed the trajectory of her life for the better. She began her journey faced with the fear of rejection but stepped into a fabulous world where she met her family, connected with her tribe, and accepted the responsibility of supporting those with low visibility. Discovering her heritage revealed a new purpose where she actively works alongside community leaders in order to promote various infrastructure, public health, and female empowerment initiatives throughout Sierra Leone. With both a BFA and MFA in theater, Sarah mastered public speaking and acts as an advocate to campaign for diversity, equity, and self-discovery. Sarah inspires others with her experience of how she embraced the unknown and ventured into a wonderful world where she found what she is meant to do in her lifetime.
Princess Sarah’s program is more than an inspiring story of discovering her roots of becoming a princess. Sarah works with organizations to customize a message that is right for them.
Sarah has over 10 years+ of working with corporate and education groups on developing successful D&I programs as well as how to have conversations.
With Sarah’s program, groups will learn:
- How to listen to each other, even when you don’t agree
- How to create empathy
- Understand Intersectionality more
Princess Sarah uses her personal experience as an adopted child growing up in a bi-racial family, as well as understanding a whole new culture when she discovered that she was a real-life princess. Along with real personal examples, Sarah provides actionable takeaways based on the needs of the organization.
Below Are Samples of monthly session titles with a brief overview of value for the attendees.
Why Diversity Matters
a. Emphasis on how diverse and supportive workforces foster a greater sense of community and inclusivity
b. The many forms of diversity (race, age, socioeconomic status, etc.)
Crash course of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Vocabulary
a. Terminology of DEI that can help with constructive conversations
b. Defining terms and their impact in daily language
“Being comfortable with discomfort”
a. Establishing that a company can only grow from developing a deeper understanding of those who work so hard to support it
b. Breakthroughs happen through discomfort & willingness to learn
“Put yourself in someone’s shoes” / understanding cultural differences
a. Maintaining compassion and mindfulness for others
b. Acknowledging different perspectives
a. Difference between Race and Ethnicity
b. The many ways in which we identify ourselves / Exploration of it
Implicit bias & Stereotypes
a. How to identify internalized/externalized prejudice
b. Break away from generalizations
a. Identifying when microaggressions are used
b. Awareness of empowering and disempowering language as leaders in business
a. Understanding appropriation vs. appreciation of cultures
b. Cultural sensitivity
a. Define and explore what privilege is and can be
b. Recognizing levels of privilege and how they function in everyday life
c. Privilege is nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s important to always be aware of its existence
How to be an Ally
a. What an ally is and how to be one
b. What a difference they make inside of an organization
a. Defining & exploring race as a social construct
b. Acknowledging the ways in which to combat racism
Discourse about Sessions
a. Conversation with participants about what they’ve learned & how they’ve implemented the previous information sessions
b. What to do from here on out into the future