Grace is founder of African Diaspora Kids. Her first degree was in Biology and Dance (yes, really!). Her master’s degree was in Learning and Development. Grace has developed thousands of leaders from around the world. She is passionate about learning and experiencing life in all its fullness. She is wife to Simon and mother to Ben, who turned ten this year.
Read on to discover why she is a leader…
Country of birth:
The African countries you have visited:
Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa (Johannesburg and Cape Town), Tanzania, Eritrea
Languages spoken, African dialects spoken or understood:
English. Sadly, I no longer speak German or French. I didn’t learn Twi but I hope to one day.
Your family background:
I'm a British Ghanaian, whose parents and siblings came to London in the mid 1960's. My father’s first career was as a librarian. He worked in Ghana, Nigeria and London. My mother was an entrepreneur. She started a school, printing business and internet café in Ghana. I come from a large family of siblings, I am a middle child with five older brothers and sisters and four who are younger.
Tell us something about your leadership roles (employed and voluntary):
In addition to being director of African Diaspora Kids, I am also the director of Grace Owen Solutions, a leadership development consultancy, which I started in 2003. In this role I have grown an eclectic portfolio of work spanning the charity, enterprise, public and private sectors. I am an advisor to organisations and institutions, a facilitator of groups and teams, and a mentor coach to individuals.
I do lots of voluntary work in my local community and in Africa. Recently I went to Eritrea to deliver a leadership development programme for more than twenty-five public sector leaders. Earlier this year I helped a friend start a community gospel choir. During the winter I lead a small team of cooks who come together for seven months to prepare food and serve it at a homeless shelter in London.
What recent (in the last 3 years) achievement/s are you proud of and why (give an example of positive impact you have made in the diaspora and/or on the continent):
Getting African Diaspora Kids up and running over the past nineteen months, it has been hard work and so rewarding. Writing and publishing my second book, The Leader’s Call – 4 Insights for Leading Yourself at the Next Level
Words of advice to young leaders (age five-eleven) in the African Diaspora:
- Keep dreaming. As you grow you’ll find opportunities to turn your dreams into reality.
- Learn from everything and everyone you meet. Each day will bring you lessons to learn.
- Stay connected to Africa, you are our future leaders in the UK and wherever you go in Africa.