USC OWN IT strives to serve the next generation of female and non-binary leaders by helping students build representative networks and access opportunities. Our summit addresses the lack of gender equity in schools, the workforce, and society by uplifting marginalized voices, celebrating unconventional paths, and responding to societal needs. We form partnerships at the USC, local, and national level to scale our impact and diversify our reach.
We hope to contribute to a world that uplifts and values female and non-binary people.
Note from Executive Directors
OWN IT unites women and non-binary individuals to connect and share experiences and advice with one another, to uplift their voices and encourage each other to pursue their passions — whether that may be media, technology, finance, politics, entrepreneurship, or a variety of other fields. In order to actively progress toward our mission, we must maintain our core values as the grounding force of all our decisions and actions.
While we are proud of our impactful annual summits, we view every new summit as an opportunity to reflect and address how we can better represent all women in our leadership team, summit and beyond. The following values are our core commitment moving forward to ensure an inclusive, meaningful event where all women and non-binary people are provided with the tools to take agency in their own lives and positively impact the lives of countless others.
We seek to serve and uplift women and non-binary individuals from all walks of life because we believe in them—their courage to embrace challenges, their willingness to shake the world, and their voice to speak the truth. OWN IT strives to be a conducive environment that sparks their biggest endeavors. By facilitating sincere conversations and offering accessible mentorship, we foster a community grounded in guidance, support, and authentic connection.
Our executive board welcomes and accepts all perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences because we recognize the power in celebrating differences. In order to be fully inclusive, the OWN IT executive board must recognize and address internal blindspots. We recognize the need for diversity and representation both on our board and at our event, and we commit to expanding outreach across campus during recruitment of future executive boards. Current and incoming leaders will also conduct trainings on the complexity of intersectionality and its consequent role on the summit. OWN IT seeks to represent the diverse community of leaders that our summit serves in our executive board, speakers and overall brand identity.
Every OWN IT Summit is planned with intention, care and deliberation by our Executive Directors and our five teams—Speakers, Logistics, Marketing, Creative, and Finance. In order to bridge the gap between aspiring and established female and non-binary leaders, we must provide a valuable experience and equal access to opportunities for all parties involved, including but not limited to our attendees, speakers, vendors, sponsors, and executive board. We improve accessibility to the summit by waiving ticket fees for those who cannot afford it and addressing the particular needs of summit participants. Our preparation enables an impactful exchange across generations of leaders.
Both internal and external dialogue are key factors in fostering trust within and between our board and summit participants. Transparency embodies honesty and open communication—we must be willing to have difficult conversations, share information, and express ourselves. As an executive board, we are responsible for engaging with all summit participants because this open dialogue brings us closer within the executive board and among the OWN IT community.
We are committed to learning, embracing, and accepting a variety of perspectives. This means doing our best to listen to marginalized voices in order to best support them. Allyship is the key to unlocking the power of diversity within the OWN IT community, and we stand in solidarity with our underrepresented neighbors. By facilitating conversations around the interplay of identities, we can begin to understand each of our roles in supporting one another.
OWN IT as an organization, event, and community is an ever-growing process, and we must acknowledge the importance of collaboration in order to expand. By scaling our impact at the USC, local, and national level, we build mutually-beneficial relationships with other businesses and organizations. We track our annual speaker, sponsor, attendee, and vendor outreach to expand our circle of influence with each new summit. OWN IT is a movement relevant for countless individuals, and we do not take such a platform for granted.