Sara Minkara

Founder & CEO

Biography

Sara Minkara is the founder and CEO of Empowerment Through Integration (ETI), a nonprofit committed to developing a more inclusive society through empowering youth with disabilities and transforming social and cultural stigmas against disability globally. ETI is committed to achieving inclusion for all people through groundbreaking initiatives that challenge stereotypes about people with disabilities. Sara strives to elevate marginalized voices and viewpoints and promote a robust, authentic respect for individual value through the organizations.

A Lebanese-American Muslim woman who lost her sight at age seven, Sara has transformed her unwavering passion for empowering persons with disabilities into innovative, empowering programs. ETI’s programs support individuals with disabilities to become catalysts for change in their own lives, their communities, and beyond.

Sara’s personal pledge to equip young people with disabilities with the confidence and skills to succeed as individuals and advocates blossomed as an undergraduate at Wellesley College. With support from the Clinton Foundation, she founded ETI in college and expanded its programs and mission while earning her master’s degree in public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Today, Sara is an internationally recognized advocate in the areas of disability inclusion, female leadership, and social entrepreneurship. Dynamic and memorable, she speaks and facilitates workshops across the globe, leveraging her personal background and professional expertise on disability inclusion, social entrepreneurship, empowerment, women’s leadership, and more.

To contact Sara for a speaking engagement, please email: hfuentes@etivision.org


Past speaking engagements

  • U.S. State Department Speaker’s Program (2018)

  • UNESCO’s Seventh ECOSOC Youth Forum (2018)

  • Second Annual Harkin International Disability Employment Summit (2018)

  • World Government Summit (2017)

  • TEDx (2017)

  • Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2016)

Awards and Fellowships

  • Forbes "30 Under 30" (2017)

  • Echoing Green Fellow (2015–2017)

  • Halcyon Incubator Fellow (2015–2017)

  • Girls Impact the World Film Festival, First Place (2015)

  • Margaret Freeman Bowers Award (2011)

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology IDEAS Global Challenge Award (2011)

  • Clinton Global Initiative Outstanding Commitment Award (2009)


TESTIMONIALS

"Sara Minkara earns 5 stars plus for her excellent speaking abilities. She is a rare personality who owns a room – has “presence” -- when she enters it.  Her graceful style, engaging body language, melodious voice and smooth intonation, all are qualities that combine to make her a gifted and talented speaker.  In sum, Sara is amazing!"

~ Jane C. Edmonds, Babson College, Vice President of Programming and Community Outreach

In the Dark Facilitation

Certified since 2014 by the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School in teambuilding and negotiation, Sara also serves as the primary facilitator for ETI’s exclusive “In the Dark” series, a provocative and rewarding experience that fosters in participants a deeper, practical understanding of the complex nature of identity. Leveraging all aspects of her identity—as a Blind, Muslim, Arab-American woman—Sara uses artificial blindness as a tool to encourage guests to embrace their own and others’ multiple identities, ultimately leading to true empowerment and inclusion.

Through her expert facilitation, participants reconsider how they view and value themselves and others, within and beyond society’s many preconceived “–isms.” “In the Dark” events have been customized for clients including Airbnb, the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University, the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, Exelon, and VitalVoices, among others.

Media Appearances

Please read about Sara’s many media appearances here.