Visual Story Network

2015 Women's Media Summit Executive Summary

October 9-10, 2015
Bel Air Presbyterian Church, Los Angeles, California


It has been said, "He who has the best story wins." But in reality, She who tells the best story wins. As Christ followers, we have the "greatest story ever told," yet we do not tell the best stories. It is vital to assist women in creating media-based stories for women. As women experience the love of Christ, they will be able to influence the children and men in their lives. In the Middle East, media has proven to be the most effective way to reach into hearts and homes that are otherwise closed to the Gospel.


55 women (including 13 MBBs) representing 30 organizations participated in the first Media Summit hosted by the Middle East Women’s Leadership Network. The summit fostered collaboration and innovation so greater audiences can be reached through media in the Middle East. Participants learned from seven TED-style presentations how story and branding work best with the people they seek to influence, the organizations they lead and the content they create. Panel discussions with television and film experts inspired the women with what is possible when they step out in faith. Examples of effective media were shown throughout the event. Personal reflection and table discussions followed presentations. Each participant developed their own five-point action plan for better integrating story and media into their lives and ministry.

Here is a brief slideshow from the event. Click on this link: slideshow.


  Biblical Call to Women’s Leadership (Amani Mustafa, Television host, Al-Hayat)

  How to Cultivate Story in Your Organization  (Mariam Varghese, VP, OneHope)

  Panel: Challenges / Opportunities in the Middle East (Naji Hendrix, Nevine Karasse, Samaa Habib, Heather Mercer, Sarah Mzi)

  Women in Media Panels (Kim Dorr, Shari Rigby, Nancy Schraeder, Joanna Adkisson, Brenda Crouch, Holly McClure, Erin Brown, Krissy Miles)

  Story Project Development  (Cassie Byram, Actress/Producer)

  Story 3-Act Structure (Jeremy Casper, LA Film Studies Center)

  Your Story is Your Brand   (Kathleen Cooke, Cooke Pictures)

  How to Select Your Story  (Nikki Hevesy, Prism)                                                      

  The Next Five Steps You Need to Take  (Dr. Karen Hatley, International Associates)

Media Shown

Arab school girls. A two-minute advocacy piece for the rights of girls and women.

Jangled. A six-minute film by the Global Short Film Network.

Closure. Trailer of a soon to be released feature by Hovsepian Ministries.

Return to Mogadishu. A 9-minute film by Mary Beth Minnis.

Participant Remarks

“I don’t know of any other organization offering media training with this expertise focused on women who serve the Middle East.”  (Kim Kerr, Women in the Window)

“This was one of the best conferences I’ve been to. The intimacy, training and strategic connections were amazing.” (Heather Mercer, Global Hope)

“I was so impressed and grateful for the training from the Hollywood-level experts. As a result, on the plane ride home, I reviewed the material, my notes and worked on my mission/vision statement, my logo and brand. I am excited to share my proposal with you next.” (Susan Sadighi, Talim Ministries)

Organizations Represented

A21, Al-Hayat TV, Al Karma TV Channel, Artists in Christian Testimony, Ascend Women's Conference, Bel Air Presbyterian Church, Brenda Crouch Ministries, Cooke Pictures, Cru, Epiphany, Faith Ablaze Intl Ministries, Global Hope, Global Media Outreach (GMO), Hovsepian Ministries, International House of Prayer, The JESUS Film Project, LA Film Studies Center, Mohabat TV, Oasis Network of Churches, OneHope, Oodles World, Open Doors, The Persian Church, Prism, Sharing Your Faith Ministries, The Word Network, Visual Story Network, Women in the Window, World Watch Monitor, World Witness, YWAM.

Bring the Story Seminar to Your Team

The Middle East Women’s Leadership Network will custom design a one-day seminar to train your team in applying story to better fulfill your organizational mission. This is ideal for groups of 10-30 key staff to foster a culture of story within your organization. Your staff develop common vocabulary and learn to tell, write and produce stories that will accelerate your growth objectives. For more information, contact Shirin Taber at

The Middle East Women’s Leadership Network is a division of the Visual Story Network (VSN). VSN is a global coalition of 270 organizations and 2200 storytellers focused on communicating Christ to the ends of our visual world.


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