What is your name and what is your ministry?
My name is Solombra Ingram and I am the founder and president of “I’m Every Woman Foundation” (IEW), which is a premiere organization dedicated to empowering minority women and their families by focusing on citizenship, scholarship, mentorship and partnership.
How long have you been in this ministry and how did you get started in it?
My ministry came about in 2004 after my marriage to the late Dr. Billy G. Ingram, pastor and founder of Maranatha Community Church in Los Angeles, California, who passed away at age 58 in 2011.
As first lady, I was driven by my faith in God and my commitment to serve to women and girls to found the non-profit organization, “I’m Every Woman.” My purpose was and still is to strengthen and empower, women and girls with the love of God.
IEW has spawned many other related activities and affiliations, including Women on Wellness Seminars; Women In Position meetings; Gems to Jewels, a 12-week mentorship program for young girls ages 12-18; bi-monthly IEW Book Club meetings and the bi-annual I’m Every Woman Women’s Conference and Awards Banquet where I have honored great women.
I have also collaborated with other non-profit organizations such as World Vision in their work with children and families, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation in their fight against breast cancer and the American Heart Association in their fight against heart disease. In addition, I have worked with Avon Products, Toyota Motors, former President Barack Obama’s campaign and Jenesse Center, a shelter for women and children of domestic violence as well as with Maria Shriver at her annual women’s conference, “Architects of Change,” and “Operation Gratitude,” which sends care packages to Military Troops.
What role has God or your faith played in your ministry?
Every program takes time, money, great support and detailed planning and execution. However, no matter how difficult the task, I truly believe “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I feel that I am an innovator and leader whose desire to help others inspires those around me to go beyond mediocrity. I believe that every selfless seed of kindness sown today will reap a harvest of blessing for many in the years to come. My prayer is to blossom wherever I am planted.
What is one of the most memorable moments or experiences during your ministry?
My first honoree at the IEW Women’s Conference is most dear to my heart – Chaka Khan. We celebrated her foundation, which helps women and children at-risk. She inspired me to name my organization after her signature song, “I’m Every Woman.” Other memorable honorees have included Sheila E., Nancy Wilson, Mary Mary, CeCe Winans, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Vanessa Bell Calloway and Kym Whitley.
What are you doing or working on now and what are some of your future goals?
Most recently, I kick-off of the Christmas season with my “Reflection of Hope Prayer Breakfast.” The purpose of the breakfast is to honor veterans who have served and made sacrifices for our nation, and also to provide Christmas gifts for the children of military families who stand in need. Four special veterans were honored — actor/veteran Richard Lawson; Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Karen A. Gauff; U.S. Navy Chaplain Rick Robledo and Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative Community Program Administrator Nathan Graeser. I want to continue to serve God through I’m Every Woman wherever God directs.