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CBID Conversations: Empowering Women with Jin-Ya Huang

1 MINUTE READ | March 31, 2022

CBID Conversations: Empowering Women with Jin-Ya Huang

Between International Women's Day and Women's History Month, March is a time when we intentionally celebrate women, their contributions, and their achievements. As part of PMG's efforts to highlight amazing women, our ‘DIG In’ speaker series featured social entrepreneur and interdisciplinary artist Jin-Ya Huang, who is changing the lives of women refugees in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Jin-Ya is the founder of Break Bread, Break Borders (BBBB), an organization that trains and mentors women who fled war-torn countries like Syria, Chechnya, Afghanistan, and Myanmar, to work in the food industry. In her talk, she shared with PMG employees how much her mom—who immigrated to America so that Jin-Ya could find more opportunities as a girl, to become a chef and community leader who actively hired immigrants, refugees and migrants, trained them on the skills they needed to become culinary workers, and helped them on their paths to become even more—inspired her to launch BBBB.

While BBBB has made a huge impact on the lives of the women it trains and the local community (an estimated 14,000 lives impacted to date, and increasing to 76,000 projected by 2024), Jin-Ya and the refugees have also encountered xenophobia and accusations that they chose to come to America to take other people’s jobs. Jin-Ya illuminated the reasons why those refugees were here—to escape war, strife and danger in their homelands—and said, "If you really think about this, people are not just homeless in this situation. These people are country-less. If it were up to them, they would have never left their home, let alone their country."

BBBB has been featured on the Today Show, NPR's Morning Edition, The Dallas Morning News, The Hill and Texas Observer. Jin-Ya herself was among the 27 people TIME lauded for “bridging divides across America” in 2020. Her impact was recognized by the Texas Women’s Foundation, which honored her with a Maura Women Helping Women Award, given to female leaders and trailblazers making a difference in their communities.

Thank you, Jin-Ya, for sharing your amazing story and mission with us!

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Each month at PMG, our ‘DIG In’ speaker series welcomes speakers with diverse backgrounds to PMG to spark meaningful conversations that celebrate diverse, people, voices, perspectives, and experiences, as part of our ongoing efforts to build a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity (CBID).

Posted by: David Gong