#Powerwives is a monthly column where we feature women who inspire us. Marital status is completely irrelevant. The title is inspired by our founders November 2013 Toronto Life cover story. This month’s #powerwife is Ebonnie Rowe.
Throughout her career, Ebonnie has distinguished herself as a someone dedicated to the growth and support of others. She has founded and directed organizations that cater to the needs of some of society’s overlooked groups – the Each One, Teach One mentoring program for at risk Black Youth and PhemPhat Entertainment Group, a dynamic, all-female non-profit company that provides promotional, educational and performance opportunities for upcoming female artists and supports and promotes women’s charities. They produce a popular summer concert called “Honey Jam” which celebrates it’s 20th Anniversary in 2015. Listed in the Who’s Who of Canadian Women, Ebonnie’s work has earned her many awards, including a Special Achievement Award from the Urban Music Association of Canada, an Ontario Volunteerism Award and the YWCA’s Women of Distinction Award for Arts & Entertainment.
Name: Ebonnie Rowe
Title: Executive Director, PhemPhat Entertainment Group
Handles across social media: @thehoneyjam
Who is in your tribe? (family members, friends, partners)
My mother is my #1 tribe member and I have a handful of friends and mentors, my go to squad, my ride or die trusted confidantes who will be there through thick and thin, offering support, advice, inspiration, a great big belly laugh, a shoulder to cry on, a reality check when needed and a most fattening box of chocolates and slice of cheesecake to lift my spirits. They are essential to my life.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is a new adventure. What is constant is starting every day at the gym and always being on my hustle and grind pushing my projects forward, creating opportunities, networking.
What’s in your clutch?
Phone, compact, lipstick, hand cream, toothbrush, wallet and mints.
Five things you can’t live without?
Food, oxygen, water, sleep, love!
Who is your hero?
My definition of a hero would be someone who did something selfless and courageous, putting their own safety and well being in jeopardy, or depriving themselves of something so that others could benefit. That person for me would have to be my mother who made so many sacrifices for her family oftentimes resulting in her having to go without and the deferment of her own dreams.
What are you reading?
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.
How did you get your start?
Both of my parents were always very community minded and devoted to being of assistance to others. I became serious about my own commitment at age 12 after racially motivated gun violence resulted in the death of a student at a mall I was in. It was a pivotal moment that shattered my innocence and changed my life.
Tell us about a time you were challenged and you learned a lesson:
Every day there are challenges and lessons to be learned. Death, heartache, betrayal, disappointment, a lost job…Struggles are required to teach life survival skills. You have to know what falling down is like before you can stand strong and you have to experience failure to be able to appreciate success. Each trial reveals you to yourself – it’s all about how you react. You learn through introspection what you are made of, what you can handle and withstand, who your true friends are and how to cope. At the end of the day it is always possible to recover, to heal and to come back swinging!
What inspires you?
Beauty, passion, love, talent, emotion, examples of kindness and humanity, innocence honesty, and authenticity.
What are you excited about right now?
The 20th anniversary of Honey Jam!
How do you unwind?
Working out, watching the ocean, seeing a great movie,
Most interesting people to follow on social media?
Honestly I’m too busy to follow anyone with any regularity but what would draw me in would be people with provocative ideas, inspiring messages.
It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs though checkered with failure, than to be one of those poor souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Advice for women trying to get to where you are?
I think every individual should be looking to chart their own path, their own journey rather than look to mimic someone else’s. I’m not sure where I am is necessarily something to aspire to – I don’t feel like I’m there – wherever that is – I’m still figuring it out. What I would say as general advice would be to know your self, follow your passion, have clarity about what you want to achieve and be prepared to move the earth to get it done.