Claire Charamnac has always had a passion for empowering women, from her childhood in Singapore to her current role as co-founder and US Executive Director of the non-profit organization Women LEAD, the first and only leadership development organization for young women in Kathmandu, Nepal. Claire graduated from Georgetown University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service. During her junior year, she co-founded Women LEAD and became its US Executive Director, focusing on fundraising, communications and partnerships. To date, more than 700 promising leaders have graduated from its programs. Women LEAD was selected as Women Deliver’s Top 50 Solutions Delivering for Women and Girls in 2012 and one of Dell’s 10 Most Promising Projects in 2014. Claire was selected as one of Ashoka/American Express’ Emerging Innovators of 2014.
What does the term TCK mean to you? Do you identify with being a TCK?
I identify as more than a TCK - being from everywhere and nowhere. I am also of more than one cultural backgrounda and I am an expat.
Is being a TCK the same as being a Global Citizen?
You are born a TCK. Being a Global Citizen means acting on that, not just traveling. Once you've had exposure/interaction with different cultures, the question is: What have you learned? What do you want to change? How are you going do it? It’s a case of acting globally.
What is the role or calling for adult T/CCKs as citizens of the world?
- We have a responsibility to celebrate different view points (not just tolerate/accept them).
- You can travel without actually traveling - being curious is an important personality trait.
- How can we bring people together from different walks of life and break down stereotypes? Create opportunities for people who woulnd't normally be in the same room to share ther vewpoints and perspectives.
- We have to stay open minded and not be too eing too tied to our beliefs.
How do we cultivate a Global Citizen mindset?
If you have the opportunity to travel - do it. Choose to be around people who are curious, read a lot, question things a lot, offer different view points and force you to question your assumptions - there is not one truth.
One piece of advice you can share with TCKs trying to define their identity?
Embrace the contradictions, there will always be contradictions. Don’t get caught up on "what am I supposed to be defined by"? Create your own identity - it's so linked to passion.
QUESTIONS TO TCKs FROM CLAIRE:
- How do we move from identifying as a TCK (this is who I am) to a Global Citizen (this is what I do / believe)?
- How do you bring those cross-cultural skills and knowledge to the table to change the conversation?