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Last week, Michelle Rhee sat down with a group of women– hungry for inspiration– for a private lunch at Capitol Hill’s Art & Soul restaurant.

The mother of two was in D.C. accompanying her husband  Kevin Johnson for the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Although some remember the former Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools for her TIME Magazine cover in 2008 or her sometimes divisive political plays, Rhee came with one simple goal– to challenge women lacking in confidence to go after their dreams.

On Arranging the Life of Your Dreams

“You can’t let the fear that you’re going to do something wrong stop you from taking action,” says Rhee to two dozen women lunching on salmon and polenta. “You’ve just got to be kind of fearless about how you run your life.”

Rhee believes women can have it all. “You just can’t have it perfect,” she says, noting that women need to arrange their lives in such a way that makes room for both a family and career.

The lunch was organized by Safiya Jafari Simmons— a public relations heavyweight who formerly worked with Rhee– and is the first in what is shaping up to be an impressive series of women’s empowerment events.

After reading the groundbreaking study The Atlantic calls The Confidence Gap and watching women in her own circles live less than empowered lives, Simmons created the Leap Luncheon Series.

“I know what it’s like to not be sure of you’re worth,” says Simmons. “I want women to trust what is in them more than what is around them.”

“Everyone has a period in their life where in order to fulfill their dream they have to help someone else; but I believe 2015 is the year for women to stop helping others with their dreams and start fulfilling their own.”

Dates for the next Leap Luncheon have not yet been announced. To stay up to date with the series, follow their recently erected Facebook page for updates.

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Ursula Lauriston Avatar

Ursula Lauriston is the Founder & Chief Digital Strategist at CAPITOL STANDARD. A dynamic speaker and syndicated writer, she's been featured in Huffington Post, The Vault,Washington Post, and more.