Breaking Free From the cycle of Oppression: A Universal Journey to Self-Actualization Told Through One Woman’s Story


September 10 | 9:00-10:00 AM | Room 3010A

As an African American woman, raised in a low income and crime ridden environment, LaShanna Alfred has endured many hardships. LaShanna was an only child raised by her grandmother and surrounded by unscrupulous men. At the age of 2 her mother was murdered. Four years later, her father’s life was also taken by murder. She grew up in a family that would cover for her and excuse whatever behavior she offered to the world. She witnessed family members exploiting women through prostitution and abuse with little compassion, except for monetary gain. This led to an unhealthy self-image and a distorted view of women’s value in the world. Without positive role models in my formative years, LaShanna became a student of my environment, learning the lessons of survival. Finally incarcerated for trafficking drugs in a 3rd world country, pregnant and hopeless, she adopted new lessons to change her life. Now 13 years later, LaShanna has a master’s degree, published two books, is a Clinical Director of a program, teaches at a university, and facilitates women’s empowerment groups. She has learned the art of self-empowerment to break free from the cycle of internalized oppression. This talk will focus on those life lessons that are universal for any woman wanting to break free from her oppression and understand her value, fulfill their God given destiny, and self-actualize. All will learn to live by choice, and not circumstance.

About the Presenter