Naima Mora: from “America’s Next Top Model” to the TEDx stage (video)

Earlier this summer we drew your attention to model/author/performer Naima Mora. She was a fan favorite and winner of America’s Next Top Model, sings for a fantastic band called Galaxy of Tar, and is an author and speaker who seeks to inspire. To wit: witness her TEDx talk from July (below), in which she clearly comes across as compassionate, articulate, and artistic, embodying a healthy blend of ambition and groundedness.

Recalling her upbringing, Mora references her “avant-garde, hippie parents,” who taught her to “perceive the world with joy, and compassion… by giving [me] the gift of Nichiren Buddhism.” She notes that even she’s surprised to be a Buddhist: “I’m this mixed, bi-racial minority, living in low-income, poverty-stricken neighborhoods, adopting this really weird, Eastern philosophy, in Detroit, one of the most dangerous, violent cities in the United States. …And there I was, so young, and living in these harsh surroundings, adopting Buddhism as the first step to [... transcending] some very difficult circumstances.”

Well, it sure seems to be working for her. See for yourself by clicking through here to watch Mora’s TEDx talk, “Everyone is a Buddha.”