Founder’s Message

I am delighted to announce my “DC Chapter Bridge” initiative.

This platform unlocks opportunities for creative female voices who strive to make a meaningful difference within the DC community.

This unique chapter encourages diversity and connection, cultivating a network in the realm of art and literature. It serves as a bridge between cultures and paves the way for a more inclusive and equitable society. I am thrilled to begin this initiative through intercultural friendships I have developed throughout my amazing time in Washington DC.

My diverse surroundings in the US have served as a source of inspiration for this initiative. I have savored meals from different cuisines through my friendships. I could learn, connect, grow, and understand, since everyone I met had a unique perspective about food that we shared. This opened my mind to possibilities beyond my normal culinary imagination.

Mission Statement

The DC Chapter Bridge initiative celebrates diverse and creative female voices, and their achievements. It encourages connection, cultivating friendships and building networks in the realm of art and literature, and serving as a bridge between cultures while paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable society.


This initiative serves to position Washington DC as a model city that values and actively celebrates cultural diversity. The vision is to create a community where creative voices feel respected, valued, understood, and socially connected, thereby contributing to the overall well-being and dynamism of the city.

Founded in 2024, this initiative is dedicated to fostering connections among ethnic and cultural groups in the Washington DC area. It offers a platform for marginalized voices that might otherwise go unheard, particularly in art and literature.

My goal is to learn from one another by bringing diverse perspectives and talents to the forefront, showcasing the rich tapestry of cultures in DC.

By organizing seasonal events with creative artists in an inclusive environment, the DC Chapter Bridge platform offers vibrant and captivating experiences that celebrate cultural diversity to foster a more harmonious, creative society that bridges gaps among communities.

My story

My vision in founding the DC Chapter Bridge initiative resulted from a personal journey of discovery, exploration, and understanding in my new surroundings in America.

Through this process, I celebrated milestones and faced the challenges of becoming a first-time author. This learning experience consistently fueled my courage, reinforced my determination, and shaped my vision of the impact I wanted to create, particularly in the fields of art and literature.Top of Form

Creative voices, particularly those of women, in art and literature are not just my personal concern but hold immense significance for society. Embracing, actively supporting, and creating spaces for women’s creative expression is a fundamental democratic principle, underscoring the importance of diversity and equality.

The artistic journey of women, whether as authors, painters, or writers represents a bold decision that brings about social change and reflects the times. They represent unique perspectives and experiences that help in shaping society’s perception, giving voice to women, and contributing in their personal growth.  Such a progressive awareness empowers women to make informed choices and thrive. It is good for our overall wellbeing because when women create a work of art, it provides a feeling of traveling to another realm, a distinct, separate place. It can be an emotional release, a way to process and express feelings that might be challenging to articulate in words. This artistic pursuit can be deeply therapeutic, providing a sense of liberation, and healing.

Through my initiative, I want to challenge historical and ongoing biases that have marginalized or overlooked female artists and writers. I want to allow women to share their unique perspectives and creative experiences with others and make a meaningful impact.

Creating platforms and opportunities to share stories, insights, and emotions not only creates a more inclusive and understanding society but also helps women to cope with stress, boost self-esteem, and foster a sense of identity and belonging.

Self-expression plays a vital role in affirming self-worth, purpose, agency, and agency in life. This ability to express oneself without concern for negative feedback or judgment plays a transformative role in enhancing overall confidence and empowerment, and encourages authentic personal, professional, and social advances.

This progressive outlook empowers diverse individual women voices to continue breaking barriers, challenging the status quo, and contributing meaningfully to their fields. For me human achievement must be recognized beyond background or circumstance. We must promote the culture of merit and talent to amplify the voices of women from diverse backgrounds. It encourages society to look beyond stereotypes and historical biases, recognizing the dynamic role women play in driving progress.

Art & Literature

Artistic expression is an integral part of any vibrant society, injecting fun, wonder, and meaning into our lives. It holds a unique charm that bring social awareness and reflection. It offers a wide range of possibilities that sparks innovation and imagination, and reflects diverse perspectives.

It celebrates human emotions and hones skills, which are vital for our well-being – by equipping individuals with specific skills we can foster a sense of wellbeing, and enable women to contribute more effectively to society.

Art is a universal language and when imagined beyond customary boundaries, we become more adept at communicating, collaborating, and innovating, and can contribute more effectively and meaningfully to society which is crucial in today’s interconnected world.

We all have a distinct story, richly rooted within the realms of art and literature. Exploring diverse perspectives allows us to delve into the depths of human creativity, while encouraging a dialogue that unearths a wealth of expressions that vividly mirror the complexities of our times. It challenges us to think critically, appreciate different viewpoints, and understand the intricate nuances of human expression across cultures.

In doing so, we not only foster a deeper understanding but also create a means to connect with others on a profound level. We gain insights into different cultural backgrounds, and historical contexts, broadening our understanding of the world. I strongly believe that this process of discovery is crucial in fostering empathy and connection among people from various walks of life.

DC Chapter Bridge provides opportunities to learn, draw inspiration, and reflect upon diverse perspectives. Ultimately this platform is a gateway to fully engage with the rich and varied landscapes of art and literature that contributes significantly to our holistic well-being. By immersing ourselves in these realms, we nurture our souls, expand our minds, and strengthen the bonds of our shared humanity.

Board Members

Shaziah Zuberi

Shaziah Zuberi completed an MBA earning a gold medal in finance. She worked in advertising focusing on consumer research and media planning. She has pursued a range of passions and interests. She was a fashion designer and ran a boutique for women’s apparel. She is an avid blogger on contemporary subjects and has contributed to publications such as The Express Tribute and Dawn Images. She has also contributed to a book on Pakistani cuisine authored by Shanaz Ramzi titled Food Prints.

Since moving to the US, Shaziah promotes innovative Pakistani-themed fusion cooking. She has recently authored a book titled A Taste of Pakistan in Fusion.

The book has been accepted at the Library of Congress as well as Montgomery County Public Library. It has won the Gourmand Awards 2023 in the Best Asian Cuisines category. The book’s backstory can be accessed here.


Julia Yoder

Julie Yoder is an experienced English language coach and founder of English With Purpose, a communication skills training company that helps international professionals working for a better world eliminate any final communication barriers, unlock career potential, and confidently lead teams in English.

EWP offers unique and innovative language coaching programs for advanced English learners that cannot be found anywhere else, including Communication Vacation™, a holistic presentation and public speaking skills retreat hosted at Julie’s farmette in Frederick County, Maryland, where she grows vegetables, fruit, and herbs and keeps chickens.

Julie was recently awarded one of Frederick County’s Top 50 EmPOWERED leaders. She loves to dance and is also passionate about finding ways to make healthy and local food accessible to all.


Myriam Gomez

Myriam Gómez boasts over 25 years of experience in senior management roles, excelling both in the public and private sectors. Her leadership has been instrumental in the transformation of organizations in strategic areas such as international relations, foreign trade, and sustainability.

Recognized as one of Chile’s top 100 women leaders in 2023, Myriam is also an active advocate for female empowerment in the business world. With a solid academic background including engineering degrees and multiple master’s degrees, her focus lies in development, innovation, and sustainability across all organizations she engages with.


Andrea Bernardo

Andrea Bernardo has lived in Rockville, Maryland for over 35 years.  Andrea has been an administrative and ethics lawyer at several federal government agencies, and plans to retire very soon. Andrea grew up in the city of Boston, Massachusetts and graduated from Smith College and Suffolk Law School.  She is member of the Maryland, Massachusetts, and DC Bars. She has a husband and three adult children.  She has been a community activist in Montgomery County, Maryland, and has testified before the Maryland legislature in support of several issues. 

Andrea has a passion for social justice and making a difference in the community.  Besides community activism, her hobbies have been focused on her children’s sports activities.  Her daughter rowed crew and played rugby in high school. Her two sons played football, wrestling and lacrosse through college and are still coaching. She is a very creative cook, interested in healthy diet.  As an Italian-American Momma, she is always prepared to cook up a lot of pasta for a lot of people, like a whole football team!  When she is not cooking for a crowd, Andrea loves to knit and needlepoint. Having been an avid sewer as a young person, she looks forward to pursuing her creative interests in retirement. The only bar to pursuing needlework projects would be her passion for reading, and her community activism. 


Nida Jamal

By qualification Nida is a biochemist. She currently severs as director, board member, ambassador for many local and international charitable organizations.

She works closely with building bridges between US and Pakistan relations projects with the Embassy of Pakistan in DC. She is a council member for Meridian International House in DC which connects and host global leaders to find a solution for global challenges. Nida sits on the advisory board and is on the executive committee of THIS for Diplomats.

Nida is the founder of a women empowerment jewelry line. The mission behind this brand is to empower rural women in Pakistan with sustainability and create a bridge between the artisans and the US market. The brand aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Nida has been recognized as a Pakistani-American leader and change maker in the US by the Embassy of Pakistan. She is an Estee Lauder Visionary Fellow.


Florence Kando Fraval

Florence has lived in various countries before making the USA her home. Embodying a spirit of sharing and exchange, she chose to channel this ethos into her career, becoming a language teacher—a role she had always aspired to. With passion, dedication, and patience, she has imparted her knowledge and cultural insights to a diverse range of students, from young learners to adults for 26 years now.

Florence has been an esteemed French instructor at the World Bank Group. Beyond teaching, she is a proficient English/French translator, contributing her expertise to notable international organizationssuch as the UNDP, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the Canadian International Development Agency, Thinkwell Global International and the World Bank Group, to name a few.

Driven by the same philosophy, Florence shares the benefits of shea butter, a staple of her childhood, to her community. This led her to establish DUSELYS, a line of natural cosmetics blending organic ingredients, which reflects her commitment to promoting well-being and sustainable practices.

Florence continues to foster a culture of generosity and meaningful connections, aiming to enrich a diverse and dynamic community.


Contact for general inquiries & communication, volunteering, and participation

Reach out to DC Chapter Bridge!

We are actively seeking participants with inspiring stories within the realms of art and literature. Our aim is to encourage diverse individual perspectives whose experiences and unique insights enrich our collective understanding and appreciation of promoting a more inclusive and equitable society. To build a bridge that celebrates diversity and achievements, we invite you to share your story with us by submitting a 300-words essay about your personal journey, highlighting a defining change in your life. We will notify you if you are selected for our future events, held periodically.


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