We had the good fortune of connecting with Eileen Dong and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eileen, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“I Am Enough.” Many have used this affirmation. Joel Osteen has his affirmation “You Are Enough”. Marisa Peer wrote a book, “I Am Enough.”
At first, I didn’t understand what it meant. I was born and raised in Shanghai, China. In our culture, if you love yourself first, you are considered selfish. I was taught to always take care of others first. Therefore, that was the first concept I had difficulty processing when I arrived in the United States many years ago. It took me years to fully comprehend this. It took even longer to put it into practice. I now understand that only when I love myself first, can I love someone else.
Armed with first-hand experience on this and other cultural stigmas, such as the honor-and-shame system, I now provide training on cultural-informed and survivor-centered care for victims and survivors of gender-based violence. I utilize my international business consulting experience and knowledge from helping international firms to now help social workers, healthcare providers, law enforcement, legal professionals, and non-profit organizations.
As a survivor of gender-based violence, I have broken the chain from my own cultural stigmas – I have spoken out and become a voice for the voiceless. I inspire others with similar experiences to overcome adversities and to practice self-love, and I bring hope and light to the recovery journey for all who are still going through them.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
By trade, I am an international business consultant, a cross-cultural communications expert and a linguist. I am a NASA Scholar, and I hold degrees in Business Management and Petroleum Engineering. I am a former President of Society of Petroleum Engineers, the world’s largest oil and gas association with more than 124,800 members in 134 countries. Some of the firms and organizations which I have worked with include UNICEF, Forbes, Shell, Caterpillar, Schlumberger, LyondellBasell, SAP, McKinsey, Formula One Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing, Small Business Development Center, Texas A&M, University of Houston, Rockwell Automation and Kennemetal.
As Ms. Texas, I am the spokesperson of Hope Pyx Global (www.HopePyxGlobal.org), the host of The Ms Texas Show (https://www.youtube.com/
As a survivor leader, human rights activist, keynote speaker, coach, and expert on gender-based violence, culture stigmas, leadership, and mental health, I conduct speeches on the following topics:
● Gender-Based Violence
● Domestic Violence
● Human Trafficking
● Sexual Assault
● Child Abuse
● Trauma-Informed Interpretation
● Cross-Cultural Communications
● Trauma-Informed Care
● Culture-informed Care
● Mental Health
● Gender-Based Violence & Mental Health
● Gender-Based Violence & Substance Abuse
● Gun Violence
● Hope & Healing
● Workplace Sexual Harassment Training
The journey wasn’t easy for me. I had no support system here in the United States. With my family is 8,000 miles away in China, I had to endure homelessness and sexual assault in order to survive. That’s why I do what I do today to prevent this from happening to anyone else so that no one else has to go through what I have been through again.
In my recovery journey, I had a hard time finding help with the limited resources available to me, let alone finding someone who understood my culture in order to help me adequately.
Based on the honor-and-shame system, victims in our culture do not always identify themselves. It is important to have someone who understands our culture in victim services so as to provide the much-needed help. I tirelessly volunteer with my expertise over 2,000 hours a year. I sit on various boards, advisory boards, committees, and coalitions throughout Texas and nationally. I have served over 11,000 people in the United States as well as Africa, Asia, North America, South America and Europe.
My merits have been recognized by various government officials, such as the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, the United States Congress Special Congressional Recognition, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and the Atlanta City Council. Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston, proclaimed January 19th as Eileen Dong Day.
I have been featured on over 115 television, radio stations and media platforms such as TEDx, ABC 13, KHOU, and CW39, in multiple languages with an audience of over 36.3 million around the world.
This is just the beginning. There is still a lot of work to do. And I can not do this alone. Unfortunately, Houston is ranked the number one city in crime counts for human trafficking, and Texas, as a state, counts as number two. This is happening in our backyard. Anyone can be a victim regardless of their gender, race, nationality, social, economic and educational backgrounds. There are 315,000 trafficking victims in Texas alone, but there are only 400 beds for trafficking survivors in the United States altogether. My long-term vision is to build a shelter that provides a safe haven for survivors and facilitates education to equip survivors from all backgrounds for equal employment opportunities and entrepreneurship. Join me in the fight so our children can be free. Together we can end it. (www.HopePyxGlobal.org)
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Hello y’all, welcome to Houston. You have got to the right person when it comes to trip planning.
From the world’s oil and gas center to leading technologies in the international renowned Medical Center and NASA, Houston is the most diverse city in the United States. Some of the top movies made in Houston include “Pearl Harbor”, “Urban Cowboy”, “Logan’s Run”, Armageddon”, and “Apollo 13”. If you are in Houston this October, mark your calendar:
– Hollywood in Houston – 2022 International Book Awards Gala
Oct 21, 2022
The 2022 International Book Awards Gala honors Playboy’s Miss September 1963, Victoria Valentino. This year, celebrate Halloween in Hollywood style for a good cause. All proceeds go to help victims and survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault. Come dressed as your favorite movie character or in your favorite movie theme.
I am not only a good event planner, but also a serious foodie. Here is my proposed itinerary:
Day 1: Visit NASA, dinner at Landry’s Seafood on Kemah Boardwalk
Day 2: Visit San Jacinto Monument, dinner at Crazy Alan’s Swamp Shack
Day 3: Visit Old Town Spring, Texas BBQ lunch at Corkscrews BBQ, Cajun dinner at Bluewater Seafood
Day 4: Visit Lake Conroe, Scottish lunch at Pengus’s Place, dinner at Churrasco’s Waterway in the Woodlands
Day 5: Visit downtown Houston, dinner at Gloria’s Latin Cuisine with live Latin band
Day 6: Brunch at Fung’s Kitchen, shopping at the Houston Galleria Mall, dinner at Mastro’s
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give a shoutout to Hope Pyx Global.
Hope Pyx Global is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to families from all backgrounds who are victims and survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault.
I am a survivor from gender-based violence. My family is 8,000 miles away in China. If it weren’t for organizations like Hope Pyx Global and community members who were here for me when I needed someone the most, I wouldn’t be here today.
Due to culture barriers, I wasn’t able to get adequate help from most who don’t understand me. Hope Pyx Global bridges the gap among ethic communities and social workers, healthcare providers, law enforcement, legal professionals, non-profit organizations by educating providers about cultural stigmas, providing language assistance, raising awareness for victims to break the silence, and providing resources for victims and survivors to obtain help.
In 2022, Hope Pyx Global presents:
– The 2022 Conference on Abuse
Oct 20-21, 2022
The Conference is designed to raise awareness for prevention, provide education, resources and networking opportunities for survivors, advocates, providers, and organizations to end abuse together.
– Hollywood in Houston – 2022 International Book Awards Gala
Oct 21, 2022
The 2022 International Book Awards Gala honors Playboy’s Miss September 1963, Victoria Valentino. The Gala will be open to philanthropists, human rights activists, fashionistas, and movie fans. This year, celebrate Halloween in Hollywood style for a good cause. All proceeds go to help victims and survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault. Come dressed as your favorite movie character or in your favorite movie theme.
TED Talk: https://youtu.be/
To book a speaking engagement or training: www.eileendong.com
To get tickets to the International Book Awards Gala or Conference on Abuse or to enter your book into the International Book Awards: http://www.hopepyxglobal.org/
To donate or volunteer: www.hopepyxglobal.