LYNARE ROBBINS | Our communities Mona Lisa Smile
by Herb Sosa
Lynare Robbins has 25 years of experience working
with diversity and human relationships. She holds a
Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a Masters
of Arts degree in Behavioral Psychology. Because
of her educational background, Lynare is an
excellent strategic partner who helps clients
successfully identify and communicate with their
audience. In addition, Lynare has worked in various
sectors such as social work, the travel industry,
special event management, marketing, media,
cultural arts, as well as government. Lynare served
in the United States Navy and has traveled
extensively throughout the world. She is also a
published writer and credentialed journalist who has
taken part in domestic and international press trips.
With her extensive experience, Lynare is a multi-
dimensional and savvy partner to enlist in helping
you or your team reach a wide variety of audiences
Always working for her community & passions. Dressed classically
and ready for whatever the world throws at her that day. Unending
energy, work ethic and drive...and that smile!
It was our privilege to interview the unstoppable LYNARE.
What are you PASSIONATE about, and why?
I am passionate about learning. My mind is always in motion and
when I hear about something that I do not know about I research it.
I am constantly researching as a result. I used to have an
encyclopedia set from A to Z as a child; and now I have more
sophisticated resources. But learning is something that has been
important to me my whole life. Because of my love of learning it
has prompted me to learn about a number of different things, so
I do have many interests. One of my greatest interests is learning about the world and it's people. People from country to country
have been shaped by it's history. It's astonishing how one could read about the historical events of a country but then go there and
actually witness the legacy of that history. As a result there are places in the world where the native languages of its people are replaced
with the languages of its conquerers with even the same accent. If one were to travel to Lagos, Nigeria blindfolded and guess where they
are by listening to people speaking near them; they may assume they are in London, England when hearing a person speaking the
official language of Nigeria. Although often unsettling; I find the global results of history to be fascinating. As a result, I am passionate
about using that fascination for a greater good. There is a lot in the world that cannot be undone; but improvements can be made. And
that is why working for equality is another passion of mine. Something deep within me not only tells me when something is wrong, but it
prompts me to try and do something about it. Aside from trying, with a lot of other people that feel similarly, to save the world; I am also
passionate about world cuisine; travel; music; poetry; writing and the creative arts.
What do you consider unfair or unequal in the world?
I think that although all people are CREATED equally in the world, that we see inequality
because not all people are afforded with equal circumstances, therefore not all people
are GROOMED equally. This has nothing to do with ability. It has to do with access.
In comparing the United States with a developing country where most people have access
to running water here but in a developing nation they may not; it stands to reason to say
that the person who is struggling to obtain water is not going to be thinking and executing
plans the same way a person would who can just walk over to a sink and turn on the
water faucet. Instead, the person with no access to water is going to feel thirsty, weak,
and tired from the struggle of having to fight for water, the same source that means life
of death for them. When access to water is denied to people in certain parts in the world,
it is a form of enslavement. Very few are able to break free because, again, it's a source
of life that is being held for ransom. We can look to the Cochabamba Water War in Bolivia
to see exactly how this scenario works and plays out. It often ends in violence and the
problem persists because the people that the situation is happening to hardly ever get to
a position of power to make the change. And why would those in power who instilled the
rule in the first place change it if it undermines their sense of power over others? We can
see this scenario in so many places in the world; taking shape in many ways. Even in the
United States, although we have free K thru 12 education; not all public schools are
created equally as it depends on the taxes that a community pays per school district.
Therefore, more economically robust communities are going to have more programming
in their public schools. Therefore education is free, but is it really equal? I think when
people begin to weed through the nuances and investigate issues at deeper levels they
can see these things a lot better and then when inequality is voiced a concern raised, the
automatic assumption is not that someone is just complaining or trying to be a trouble
maker. Inequality is a real life issue for some people in our world and yes, even here in
the United States. When my family moved to the Appalachian region of the United States when I was in the midst of High School I saw
inequality firsthand. Appalachia is a region that Americans like to tell jokes about "cousins marrying cousins," but there are profound
socio-economic issues there. Just like many inner cities that are "left behind," so is Appalachia. The town where I lived while attending
high school had two gas stations; a video store; two pizza parlors; a Mc Donald's; an ice cream parlor; a supermarket; a drug store; a
lumber yard; and fifteen churches all with outside signage warning people to show up for prayer and "Turn or Burn." It was a dry county,
which meant that no alcohol could be sold or bought. Which also meant that no restaurants that served alcohol could ever open; nor
could a hotel be built there; and that it would never be a place on the map for tourism even though the West Virginia holler and rolling hills
are breathtaking. People would also suffer from the lack of commerce and economic stimulation which would impact their access to
resources and therefore self development. Today in 2017, that part of the country has the highest heroine usage and casualty rate in the
country. This is what inequality breeds.
Serving in the United States Navy taught me obvious things like protocol
and how to navigate through organizational structures that have a chain of
command. But I also learned much about people and realized that every
stereotype that I heard growing up was flawed. We all wore a uniform in the
Navy, and one might expect that it would strip our individuality away. But
instead, it only striped away the stereotypes and left the real person standing
there in uniform where people were judged by their merit and by their actions.
It was a wonderful learning experience to have had at such a developmental
time for me, fresh out of high school. I have been able to live my life as an
open minded person who is not afraid of people that are different than me
because of the time that I served in the United States Navy and what the
experience taught me.
Tell us about your role in the 2017 OUT Games Miami, and what we should expect:
I am the Diversity and Inclusion Officer and the Director of the Global LGBTQI Human Rights Conference. What you can expect from the
conference is a platform provided for LGBTQI people and allies across the world to share their voices at the conference. We are inviting
people from every corner of the globe to be there at the Miami Beach Convention Center from May 26th through May 28th, 2017. The
narratives that will be told will be coming from the speakers personal experiences. The goal is to use the platform of the Global LGBTQI
Human Rights Conference as a forum for understanding one another; identifying intersectionalities; and forging ideas and solutions for
making the world a better place for LGBTQI equality and for the world in general. As Hillary Clinton said in 2011 during a historic speech
in Geneva, "Gay Rights Are Human Rights, and Human Rights Are gay Rights." We believe in the intersectionality of LGBTQI rights and
we are looking to incorporate how we can recognize and honor the indigenous people, our First Peoples, the native American groups who
were here before us on the soil that we stand on and the benefits that we enjoy from it. My colleague, Ivan Cano, World OutGames
Miami's CEO; and I have talked a great deal about this and it is something that he and I really believe in. Another way that the conference
will really break down topics for deep understanding, is for example, when we have a sports inclusivity and visibility panel that explores
opportunities for LGBTQI athletes; our goal is for people to hear from athletes across all lines, cisgender, transgender, intersex, black,
white, Asian, European, African, Caribbean, individuals from Oceana, etc. By offering diversity in these discussions there will be many
perspectives, and bases of experience that will add to the nuance of these presented topics. It is going to be an exciting event and
although I, and the rest of the people that are involved in the World OutGames Miami project, are working non stop to present something
unforgettable, we are at the same time in awe of what this could mean to the people who travel to Miami Beach for the first time in their
lives and how it will change them for the better.
Tell us about your other business ventures:
I started a Public Relations, Marketing and Event
Brokerage company called 'Robbins Global Innovations.'
I have a Bachelors in Sociology and a Masters in
Behavioral Psychology; so the services that I provide are
based on using my background in the study of societies,
since one needs to understand the market and to
understand it one needs to understand the people in it
and what will work in some communities versus what
marketing approach will work in others. My background
in Behavioral Psych is also extremely helpful because I
am able to help my clients identify what it driving them
and also the psychology behind what their product
represents to others in terms of models like Maslow's
Hierarchy of Needs. There are things that a person needs.
So if a client is selling food, then we know there is an
established need and we can sell it with not that much
effort, other than assuring them that it is healthy and tastes
good. But if they are selling rings, the ring is not a need,
it is a want. So psychology is introduced in how to make
the ring attractive enough to where a want feels like a
burning need. I try to help clients understand the societies
that they are doing business with, and I try to help them
understand the psychology of individual consumers and
also the psychology of themselves as a provider of
services. Some of my clients so far have been Happy
Paws Pet Care; the British Consulate General of Miami;
the International Visitors Leadership Program; the Hub
at the Visitors Center of Miami Beach and World
I am also doing some philanthropic work serving on
committees and board of directors for organizations.
I serve on the LGBT Advisory Committee for the City
of Miami Beach and we have a really good team of
committee members that advice the Miami Beach City
Commission on LGBT matters in Miami Beach. We have
advised on matters such as rainbow crosswalk on Ocean
Avenue; Gender Neutral Restrooms and some other
equality and inclusivity driven initiatives that are in the
works. I am very involved with the work of Global Ties
Miami, a National organization funded by the U.S. State
Department that has satellite offices throughout the country. We bring business and cultural exchange programs to Miami from around
the globe for diplomacy and building connections, appreciation and respect. I have also served on the board of directors for the Aqua
Foundation for Women for a number of years. In addition, I support local organizations like MiFo; Equality Florida; SAVE; Gay8; Pridelines;
Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida, the National LGBTQ Task Force, and SAGE by either donating to them or by supporting them by serving
on their event host committees.
What are 3 things U.S. Americans get wrong about other people and places (from your travels)
Throughout my international travels I am always surprised by how much people in other countries know about the United States. It
seems as though in some regions of the world that people know about our American history better than we ourselves do. They know the
facts and figures but they do not always understand what makes Americans tick, generally speaking. So I would say that the first thing
that Americans get wrong about our fellow humankind abroad is the erroneous thinking that "people do not like us in other countries." On
the contrary, in some places they are fascinated by Americans. Not because they want to be exactly like us, but because they are trying to
understand us. While many people that I have encountered abroad are impressed by the opportunities that we have in the United States
and what we have built in a relatively short amount of time; they do not understand other things about us. No one that I have met abroad
understands why some Americans are adamant about having guns. And they also do not understand the reluctance of some Americans
to learn another language or to be opposed to people who are speaking other languages. They find the level of nationalism a bit
overboard, especially in Europe, where to be very nationalistic would appear to be a negative characteristic that might alarm surrounding
countries. On my travels abroad I have defended Americans by explaining a few facts. One being that just as many people abroad do not
understand Americans; Americans in turn, generally do not understand people abroad. I explained this in terms of geography. European
nations are surrounded by one another. It is very easy for them to hop on a cheap flight from Copenhagen to Barcelona and it will
probably cost 59 Euros. There is a reason then for a Danish person to learn Spanish. They also learn about Spain because they have
the opportunity to visit more frequently than a person in the United States would that would be paying $700+ dollars to fly to Spain. Many
Americans have never traveled outside of the United States not because they are not interested, but because of the expense. The United
States is perceived as a "rich country" and while the government may be it certainly does not mean that the average person is. Therefore
the perception that we are a country of financially well off individuals who do not travel outside of our bubble because we love America so
much that we don't want to explore anywhere else, is false and it is unfair for anyone to assume that. In terms of how "nationalistic" we
appear in the United States to others in the world, I have explained that to many Americans it is generally a good thing to be patriotic; but
with a fine balance of not being fanatical about it, hence when xenophobia takes root. The majority of Americans do not support
xenophobia and I try to make that clear despite the conclusions that people abroad draw from media headlines. For some European
countries, patriotism is subdued because of World Wars that were started from nationalistic foundations. Therefore there is less of an
isolationist sentiment because of their geography being in close proximity to numerous other countries and the fact that historically these
same countries have experienced conflict. The United States, aside from earlier wars like the American Revolutionary War, the War of
1812, the Mexican American War, and the Pearl Harbor attack; we have not experienced war with foreign nations on American soil.
Therefore our geography has protected us, but it has also hindered us with bonding on personal levels with the rest of the nations and
their peoples in the world.
Tell me about your upbringing (where), family then & now, and how that has made you who you are today?
I was born in Miami but only lived in Miami until I was 12. Ironically I was born at Hialeah Hospital and I went to a private Cuban American
school in Hialeah while we were still living in Miami. I am mistaken as Cuban all of the time, so I laugh about the fact that I was born in
and went to school in such a heavily Cuban American populated area of Miami. I don't mind being mistaken for Cuban as I love the
Cuban culture and spirit; but my ethnicity is actually English, Irish and Nigerian. I was raised Catholic and feel that I got a lot of good
things out of being raised with a religious foundation. I used to want to be a priest when I was growing up until my bubble was burst
when I realized that the rules regarding women answering the vocation to priesthood would prevent that from happening due to my
gender. I could point to the fact that this is why I phased out of Catholicism and became less and less practicing of the faith over the
years to where I no longer subscribe to Catholicism at all. However, I think it is more involved in that. On my journey through life and
going to so many places and navigating through so many spaces, I found truth in so many faiths to where I could not settle on one
exclusively. I borrowed bits and pieces of what resonated with me from every faith. I became an Ordained Interfaith Minister a few years
ago and in 2016 I officiated two LGBTQ weddings. I was honored that both couples asked me to officiate their wedding and I feel invested
in bringing people together for the right reasons, meaning, the reasons that are entirely right for them. I also study Kabbalah, which has
led me on a deep inward exploration of reviewing my entire life and really taking responsibility for events that I have played a role in. This
means that I honestly investigate my own attitude when situations have manifested and I do not point fingers at people because I know
that I have to take responsibility for everything that happens in my life. If I do not like something about my life, I know that it is me who has
to fix it. It is not anyone else's responsibility because the responsibility of others is to search their own minds and soul and take
responsibility for what is inside, and make whatever needed adjustments so that they can put forth the best of themselves to the outside.
And the outside part of us is what the world sees and therefore makes judgements about us on. We can have the best intentions, but
unless we are committed to doing the internal work so that we can execute all that we want to share, then no one will know about all of the
good that we intended for others in the world.
I used to get in trouble with the nuns for smiling during Communion at the
Catholic Cathedral that I attended as an adolescent.
And then my mother would say all throughout my childhood that it was a
'nervous smile' because I was quiet and extremely shy.
Although I am still really shy and I have worked on trying to put myself out
there, in reality, I think I've always worn a smile on my face because I have
always been an optimist.
Even in the worse situations I have always clung to optimism and hope that things can be better if I inject creativity and find a way. I also
smile because I like finding out the less obvious about other people, such as the things that really make them unique. That kind of
information really makes me smile because I appreciate authenticity and originality. Tell me all about your quirks and I am sold! I would
much rather know what makes a person passionate and come to life, rather than "what they do for a living." As a writer, I also have an
ongoing monologue in my mind and sometimes what I am thinking to myself entertains me to where I laugh about it. I admit that
laughing suddenly when no one knows what you are laughing about can be weird for everyone else. But I have learned as an adult to try
not to think too much when I am in serious spaces in order to avoid sudden laughter. Okay, well now I have to laugh at myself.
What would you tell a teenage Lynare about life? Would you do anything different if you could? If so, what?
I would tell the teenage Lynare who was in love with her best female friend, who knew no one else who has those kinds of feelings, and
didn't even have a name for it because all of the available names were derogatory slurs and what she felt was not vulgar like the terms
she would have been called-- I would tell her that she was not a 'freak' like some people called her and that there is power in being
different. I would make sure she knows that not subscribing to group thinking will one day work to her advantage. I would encourage her
to believe in herself more because she is the only person who knows what she is made of. Others have ideas and they are often wrong
because no one knows everything and only we know ourselves better than anyone else does. I would congratulate her for not selling out
to be someone she is not at the expense of other people. Looking back at pictures of the teenage Lynare and her phases of fashion as
she grew up, I would, however, advise her that she made a few disastrous fashion choices over the years and I would strongly urge her to
"just say no" to certain styles. Joking aside, if I could do anything differently it would be to have learned how to love myself a lot sooner
than my mid-forties. It would have saved me a lot of inner turmoil and heartbreak by my own doing. If I would have accepted myself at an
earlier age I would have had more confidence and I could have executed a deep reservoir of creative ideas that I have been generating my
entire life. I did the best that I could and I am proud of the risks that I took and how I made the most of living my life; but I will probably
always wonder if I would have had someone there in my teenage years to nurture me the way I really needed to be, without having to
spend so much time learning how to nurture myself, would I have been a different person today and what could I have already contributed
to the world by now? This is why I feel like I am on borrowed time. There is so much that I want to give and I am afraid of time running out
In the next 5 years, I hope to make a difference with:
In the next 5 years I want to be doing three things. I want to be contributing to
something that offers global impact. I am not sure what that would look like
though. I look for signs in life that illuminate my path. I have learned to follow
these signs. Therefore I want to make global impact but I have to see where
the signs lead me to determine the how, what, where, etc. Secondly, I want to
write the book that has been taking shape in my mind for the past few years.
I feel that the book will make a difference for people because my intention is
to help people, so it will be written with love in mind. The book will go great
accompanied by a meal that was made with love! I am not afraid to be human
and admit to my own trial and errors, therefore, self-disclosure is not a problem
for me and I think that some of the things that I have gone through in life and the
lessons I've taken from life could possibly help other people who may have
similar feelings. And lastly, I want to be making a difference with my family
and friends. Love makes a difference in this world and I want to continue to
offer them that for the next five years and as long as I am in this world.
When people meet me, I hope they walk away with:
I hope they walk away with a sense that I am open minded, fair minded, and
that I have a sense of humor. Time is so valuable and I do not want people
who have spent their precious time with me to ever feel like they wasted it on
someone who didn't care enough to listen to them or try to understand them.
I am not going to agree with every person. No one is capable of that. But I will
use empathy and try to imagine what it is like to be them and how having their
lens would change everything about the way I see the world. I want people to
know that I am someone who will respect their right to be who they are; and
although I love a healthy debate, I will respect those who think independent
of the way that I think. I hope they know that I am not going to walk away from
them focusing on their human faults and shortcomings; but I am going to look
for the positive in them, just as I hope they take the time to see in me during
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