Alissa Moore was shocked walking into the Urbana 09 Business Track.
“I was overwhelmed by the fact that I had finally met my people,” she said. “It clicked for me that what my organization was doing wasn’t something entirely new, but that God had put this on the hearts of many, many people.”
The previous year, Alissa had cofounded Nomi Network with Diana Mao and Supei Liu, a nonprofit that provides job opportunities and education for women at risk of human trafficking in India and Cambodia. “It’s really a business model to connect vulnerable people to the marketplace,” she said. “We really wanted to utilize the intelligence and the economic power of business to change the lives of these women.”
After having God realign her from a career in the arts to pursuing social justice at Urbana 06, Alissa returned to Urbana 09, joining the Business Track to be equipped to run Nomi Network more effectively. Since then, the nonprofit has trained hundreds, inspired a number of microenterprises, and protected many young girls from becoming victims of the commercial sex industry. Nomi Network has also received national attention, including recognition from the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
Alissa was so impacted by her experience at the Business Track, she returned for Urbana 12 and 15. “God, in his creativity and in his wisdom, creates a space in Urbana for individuals to explore their vocational calling through the lens of mission, which I think is brilliant,” she said.
Having attended the track as both a participant and volunteer, Alissa appreciates its emphasis on mentorship, saying, “Being able to meet with somebody who has walked the walk and wants to pray with you and maybe even offer a couple words of advice or some resources can truly start the domino effect of you pursuing something that can change the trajectory of your life and also can set you in the direction of inviting Christ to be more powerful and present in your day-to-day.”
At Urbana 18, the Business Track will once again invite and equip many like Alissa to consider how to join God’s global mission through their careers and callings. Visit the Business Track page on urbana.org to learn more.