skip to Main Content


10AM – 12PM
Doors open at 9:30AM

12615 Tribunal Lane
Potomac, MD 20854

Brunch will be served.
Valet parking is provided.
Space is limited.

The theme for Friday May 12th is “OVERCOMING IMPOSSIBLE ODDS – in Healthcare, Women’s Rights and in Life”.

We hope you will join us for this special event featuring Dr. Melissa Clarke (Author, TedX/Keynote Speaker, Physician, Health Show Host), Anila Ali (Civil Rights Advocate, Philanthropist, Teacher, Political Activist) and Jessica Buchanan (Author, Speaker, Survivor, Coach).

Melissa will TEACH us about health equity through empowering women to be their own best health advocates, Anila will GIVE us a unique perspective on Muslim women’s rights, and empowering female leadership through her work with interfaith communities, and Jessica will INSPIRE us with her infamous story of survival and resiliency in rebuilding her life after a traumatic life experience.

This special event is one like never before and will serve as a guide for “living our best lives”. I hope you will join me to listen, learn and reflect on topics that tie into the world around us.

MELISSA CLARKE – Teach Speaker

Author, TedX/Keynote Speaker, Thought Leader, Physician, Health Show Host, Educator and Population Health Expert

Dr. Melissa Clarke. Author, TedX/Keynote Speaker, Health Show Host, Thought Leader, Physician, Educator and Population Health Expert.

These are all the ways the Dr Clarke expresses her passion to achieve health equity through empowering individuals to be their own best health advocates. A Harvard educated Emergency Medicine physician, with over 30 years of healthcare experience, Dr. Clarke has been on the frontlines in addressing health disparities, health literacy and improving the way doctors and patients work together.

Dr Clarke is the medical contributor to the Russ Parr Morning show, has made numerous television and radio appearances including on CNN. Her book, “Excuse Me, Doctor. I’ve got WHAT?!” is a roadmap for how to be a smart healthcare consumer and understanding why now, taking control of your health and healthcare is more important than ever. Based on the book, Dr Clarke is host and co-creator of “Excuse Me Dr! with Dr. Mel”, a live weekly health forum on Sirius XM and streamed on YouTube & Facebook where she provides urgent information and answers audience questions in real time every Monday night @ 6pm PST/9pm EST. She has served as keynote conferences and has an upcoming Ted X talk entitled Blue Wall/White Wall – Linking Equity in Healthcare and Policing.

Dr Clarke has served as Senior Medical Director for Fortune 100 companies, Assistant Dean and Faculty at Howard University College of Medicine, and former Chair of the Board at Unity Healthcare, the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in Washington, DC.

She graduated from Harvard College and the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, and completed residency in Emergency Medicine at George Washington and Georgetown Universities.

ANILA ALI – Give Speaker

Grassroots Community Leader, Muslim Philanthropist, School Teacher, Political Party Activist, Feminist

Anila is an outspoken civil rights advocate challenging stereotypes and bigotry. A Muslim philanthropist committed to empowering female leadership. A California public school teacher and Democratic Party activist.

While Anila Ali has experienced misogyny and bigotry firsthand, she categorically rejects victimhood and instead promotes empowerment for Muslim women and all women. Inspired by her family’s legacy of service, Ali understands that leaders need to both uplift others. She believess Feminism Empowers Muslim Women.

Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Ali was raised in a family dedicated to public service. Her great-grandfather served as the Prime Minister of Kashmir. Her grandmother served as Secretary of the Muslim League and authored several books on Islam and women’s rights. Her father was a journalist and diplomat who founded Pakistan’s first news agency and wrote over a dozen books, including a biography of the Prophet Muhammad. Her mother was a teacher and a philanthropist.

Ali was educated in London in the 1980s while her father served at the Pakistani Embassy. Experiencing discrimination from some classmates prompted her to join various interracial community-building projects. She also became an active youth leader for the All-Pakistan Women’s Association. One highlight of her time in the UK was meeting Princess Diana.

After returning to Karachi for university studies, Ali earned a bachelor’s at St. Joseph’s Convent and a Masters at the University of Karachi. She married and lived with her family in Saudi Arabia, where she experienced firsthand restrictions on basic women’s rights. In 1996 her family relocated to southern California, where she earned a master’s in education from Concordia University.

For over two decades, Ali has taught at public elementary and high schools in southern California. She enjoys bringing unusual speakers to her classroom, including Holocaust survivors and Barack Obama’s sister Dr. Maya Soetoro. She co-founded the Irvine Pakistan Parents Association to support public school arts funding via charity events celebrating South Asian heritage.

To address border profiling many Muslim-Americans experienced after 9-11, Ali worked with NYU Law School to produce a documentary titled “Americans on Hold: Profiling, Prejudice, and National Security.” She also co-authored a children’s book promoting tolerance (titled “Mommy, Am I…?”) that tells the story of a third-grader named Aisha who experiences derogatory comments at school.

Ali co-founded CalPak, a non-profit promoting education for at-risk girls in Pakistan. The organization sponsors schools in remote areas as well as an online certificate program in conjunction with Cal State Fullerton University. Ali co-founded AMMWEC (American Muslim & Multifaith Women’s Empowerment Council), which holds an annual women’s leadership conference featuring keynote women Congressional leaders. Ali and her board guide AMMWEC’s unique initiatives to uplift Muslim-American women, including a career internship partnership with Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and a helpline for women in need.

Ali has chaired the International Leadership Foundation, which promotes internship opportunities for Asian American youth. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Olive Tree Initiative at UC Irvine, which promotes meaningful student dialogue on geopolitical conflicts. In 2018, she received Cal Southern University’s Hecht Philanthropy and Service Award.

Ali served as a delegate representing the 45th Congressional District at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 and 2016 – the first Pakistani Muslim woman to be elected from Orange County. She is a grassroots organizer for the Democratic Party who has raised thousands of dollars for candidates on the local and national levels.

Anila lives in Washington D.C. and is the mother of Sara and Danyal.

JESSICA BUCHANAN – Inspire Speaker

Author, Speaker, Survivor, Coach

On October 25, 2011, while on a routine field mission in Somalia, working as the Education Advisor for her non-governmental organization, Jessica was abducted at gunpoint and held for ransom by a group of Somali pirates for 93 days. Forced to live outdoors in deplorable conditions, starved, and terrorized by more than two dozen gangsters, Jessica’s health steadily deteriorated until, by order of President Obama, she was rescued by the elite SEAL Team VI on January 25, 2012.

Jessica’s ordeal is detailed in her New York Times bestselling book, Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six.

Jessica has been named one of the ‘150 Women Who will Shake the World’ by Newsweek, and her story was the most highly viewed 60 Minutes episode to air, to date. Jessica is a highly sought-after inspirational speaker and her TEDx Pearl Street talk, ‘Change is Your Proof of Life’ has been the foundation for which she travels the world, inspiring audiences to access their resilience by identifying their own autonomy and choice in the middle of their own life changing event.

Jessica is the founder of Soul Speak Press, an imprint of Merack Publishing, where she supports women who are ready to share their stories through Memoir Manifestos- books that are one part memoir, one part self-help, and one part inspiration. Jessica’s first anthology project, Deserts to Mountaintops: Our Journey to (re) Claiming Our Voice comes out in January 2023.

Jessica is the co-host of the TOP 1% ranking podcast worldwide, We Should Talk About That where she and her Jessica Kidwell attempt to unpack the uncomfortable topics that nobody is talking about, but definitely should.

And in her free time, Jessica can be found hiking mountains all over the world with her husband and two kids.

To learn more about Jessica go to and follow her on Instagram @jessicacbuchanan.

Back To Top