Caribbean-American Woman Trailblazer: Eveline Pierre, Haitian Heritage Museum Executive Director

By: Guest Contributor, Ashley Andrews

Eveline Pierre  ‘Campaigner of Empowerment’

Eveline Pierre
‘Campaigner of Empowerment’

SOUTH FLORIDA – Inspiring woman mogul, Eveline Pierre is a jack of all trades. Co-founder/executive director of the Haitian Heritage Museum, speaker and best-selling author, Pierre has made a name for herself in the arts and entertainment industry in South Florida.

For those who don’t know you, what do you do and how did you get started in business?

I am the co-founder and executive director of the Haitian Heritage Museum in Miami. The museum has been around for 11 years, and is also the first Haitian museum outside of Haiti. I am also a best-selling author and speaker. Most recently, I’ve created the Woman Tech Alliance and Miami Caribbean Code (MC2). The Women Tech Alliance provides Caribbean women with the tools required to navigate through and diversify the technology field. MC2 is focused on connecting South Florida and the Caribbean together with technological innovation.

I received my bachelor’s at Howard University with a major in political science and a minor in history, focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean. While viewing Haitian artifacts at a campus library, I did my research and found that there were no Haitian museums outside of the island. I felt it was important to document and showcase the rich culture of Haiti, not only for Haitians but for all people. As far as writing and speaking goes, I developed a knack for communication by lobbying on behalf of the museum to various professionals. I decided that I should share my wisdom to a larger audience after my museum interns told me how much my words inspired them. In 2012 I co-wrote “The Secret to Wining Big” with Brian Tracy. After the vast success of that book, I went on to become an empowerment speaker for professional women.

How did you earn the title “Campaigner of Empowerment”?

When I was lobbying for support during the museum’s inception, some people weren’t as supportive as I had hoped they would be. I became very discouraged. I had to learn how to empower myself. Although I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, I knew for a fact that it was what I should be doing. From my own self-empowerment, I learned that other people need that as well. I am the self-appointed “campaigner of empowerment.”

Having all the ideas for a business means nothing if you don’t have a strong support system. When you think of the word ‘campaign’, it’s not a one-time thing. You have to understand your end goal of the campaign before you start. People don’t campaign to lose, they campaign to win. Being the “campaigner of empowerment”, you have to constantly empower and encourage others to keep pushing. The people that win, envision their plan and success all throughout their campaign. Sometimes you just need someone to believe in you.

What obstacles have you had to overcome being a female business owner?

Because you’re a woman, some do not think you know what you’re talking about. Even though you’re well studied and competent in a specific arena, people may think that you’re just a pretty face. I had to get over the shortcomings people projected on me because I am a woman. It was a struggle knowing that I’m smart but when given an opportunity to show my intelligence, people often focused only my looks. I also had to overcome having men make advances at me in the workplace, which has been experienced by many women. As women, sometimes we second guess ourselves when we are put in uncomfortable situations. It’s a disservice if we don’t nip it in the bud and address these problems, because it will only continue.

Which aspect of Haitian culture do you love the most, and how do you incorporate it in your business?

I love the happiness and excitement of Haitian culture. The news rarely shows the positive side of Haiti but despite its unflattering presentation, the Haitian people are always smiling! Whereas my ancestors living in Haiti don’t have as much as we do in America, they are always happy. I strive to demonstrate Haitian hospitality in what I do and to those I meet. When you’re happy, people feed off that positive energy and good things happen.

What advice would you give aspiring female entrepreneurs looking to break the glass ceiling?

I would say there is no glass ceiling. You only create the glass ceiling in your mind. You have to go into a job knowing you are just as good as your male counterparts. Hard work, determination and perseverance changes everything. Don’t go in there thinking that people owe you something. Don’t go in there thinking just because I am a woman, they should open the door for me. While that is nice, if they don’t open the door, you kick the door down for yourself. Go into the workplace with a confident mindset and you won’t lose.

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