Life coach coming to Howe Hall on Wednesday


Alec Giljohann/Iowa State Daily

Howe Hall Stock Photo

Ashtyn Perrin

Life coach Iyabo Onipede focuses on connecting leaders to their core sense of purpose.

The Engineering Student Services will co-sponsor with the Committee on Lectures to host Onipede at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7. Onipede will be presenting her lecture “Why Leadership Equity and Diversity Matters” in the Alliant-Lee Liu Auditorium at Howe Hall.

Onipede came to the United States from Nigeria when she was 16. She said coming to a new country at such a young age impacted her ability to grow roots in any one spot.

“For many years, I thought this was a problem,” Onipede said. “I thought I was broken and that somehow something was wrong with me.”

Onipede described stumbling upon a concept called “Third Culture Kids,” a group she calls her “tribe.”

“Over the years, I have found that one’s sense of belonging is critical to one’s identity,” Onipede said.

This has led to Onipede’s affection for and work with millennials.

“I have never met a smarter, more self assured group of people,” Onipede said. “This dialogue will begin to open pathways for young people to experience affirmation in their own difference in ideology.”

Onipede graduated from Georgetown University Law School and opened her own law practice which she ran for 20 years. She now works as a life coach, focusing on leadership development.

Her goal is to teach leaders to embrace spirituality in their work to achieve a sense of peace and balance.

“My intention for this talk is to help young people begin to think about how they can incorporate principles of diversity and inclusion into their social lives and their communities,” Onipede said.

Onipede explained that while she will be discussing diversity in her lecture, it may not be in the context people expect.

“We all think we know the meaning of the word ‘diversity’ but sometimes it reflects diversity of thought as well as gender, race, nationality and sexuality,” Onipede said.

She said she is excited yet unsure how her lecture will go, but she doesn’t see it as a lecture. To her, it’s an opportunity for the community to learn from her and her from the community.

“It may appear that I am coming to give a lecture, but I promise you, I will leave your community more enriched in growing my perspectives, gaining wisdom and discovering new things that expand my world,” Onipede said.