Inspiring people to live purpose-driven lives; This is the motto for my company.
I am a Professional Leadership Coach, writer, speaker, mentor, daughter, sister, mother, wife, and friend. I have had break downs, and I have witnessed breakthroughs. I practice what I preach and work hard to lead by example. I am an executive who has worked for large companies in highly ranked leadership positions. However, there has always been a ceiling; I could not break through, no matter how hard I tried. I know that it is still there and thrived regardless, knowing I could only go so far and would only be allowed to do just so much.
You see, I am black AND a woman. I live in the United States of America, and it is the year 2020.
I have been passed over for deserved promotions when I was the only one who met the qualifications for the position. I have endured bullying, been the butt of inside jokes. I have lived in my current city for two years and been pulled over or stopped by police four times for no purpose, and I was not breaking the law. I was not issued a citation. I was even “escorted” home so that the kind officers had proof I lived in the very neighborhood they stopped me in.
I wanted to cry. I did not. I wanted to complain. I did not. I spoke about it to friends and family, and while we all got angry, we realized, “that’s just our lots in life;” “That’s what happens;” “It is to be expected.” My behavior and reactions to these things have been conditioned and shaped.
My white relatives and friends, who are my counterparts, have never had to endure this. They have not experienced my story, my life, many of them female, none of them black.
I give, teach, train, mentor. I have worked hard my entire life, and I love people. I love my family.
How do I move forward? I will continue to inspire people to live purpose-driven lives. I will stop sweeping institutionalized and hidden racism under the rug. I will look at it, see it and confront it. I move forward by practicing authenticity.
No more willful blindness. I see it, and it’s wrong. I am black. I am a woman. I live in the United States of America, and it is the year 2020.
We are all the better than this.