When I first started out, early articles that featured our work, Madamnoire for example, indicated I had an initial desire to serve women of color, and through our research we decided there was even more of a need to support black women which birthed, in part, Black Women About Business.
Under the auspice of my consulting practice, Change Agent Consulting I’ve had the privilege of serving people from all walks of life. Transforming the human condition is what I’ve strived to do in everything I touch: whether that’s helping an all-white board of directors incorporate diversity into their strategy, a black business owner step more into her power, a Latino client have a Crucial Conversation with someone dear to him, or facilitating a women of color sister circle.
Every person I’m positioned to support is something that I hold dearly. It’s no small feat when people trust you with their businesses and their lives. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to ensure that all my clients get what they need to create the kind of change they desire. No matter what identities they hold, how much they paid for the service I’m providing (pro bono, sliding scale, or market rate), or what their stories are. This is what it means to operate from a position of cultural humility, which is necessary if we’re going to authentically live out diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
So for the last year plus that I’ve been in the soft launch of Black Women About Business, I’ve had tension around this body of work and my DEI values. My goal was never to exclude women from this space. I’ve made it clear from the very beginning that any woman who wants to be part of the fabric of our work, would be embraced with love. However, everything in our branding was representative of black women. That in itself isn’t problematic as I feel that black people far too many times, lack spaces representative of them and their needs. Don’t get it twisted, Black Women About Business is about DEI, but the question that kept coming up for me was about how I do this work in a way that doesn’t inadvertently exclude other women. And in a way, more importantly, that fully honors myself. Representation matters. ‘We can’t be, what we can’t see’ has been coined by so many over the years. Our lived experience is a testament of this. But we also often won’t support places, where in some shape or form we don’t see ourselves reflected.
Women (and men) from all walks of life have supported me and my work since I can remember. Ms. Yochim, a white elementary school teacher, exposed me to my first theatrical performance. A white school counselor, Krista Hinga, took me into her home when I was a struggling teen. My first black supervisor, Linda Likely, gave me amazing mentorship opportunities. Sharon Logsden, a white friend, gifted with me with my first international trip. Remi Harrington, a black woman, took the plunge to co-found CDF Freedom Schools with me in our community. And Ruth Gaudard, a white woman, got her corporation, AT&T to be the first to invest in the Be Well Fabulous Black Woman Tour in a major way. Not to mention, diverse clients have served as my most potent marketing tool. Every person that has touched my life, has helped shape my life. And with that revelation, I have decided our new name will be Be Well Beautiful Woman.
Be Well Beautiful Woman will still help women prioritize wellness so they can live optimal lives. We will make sure to prioritize women who have historically been left out of the wellness landscape, and women who otherwise couldn’t afford our services. We believe that Be Well Beautiful Woman will serve as a platform for all women to be well. Part of the healing journey is to heal across identities. In spaces carved out for all women, we can speak our truths to each other, find ways where we’re aligned, and work more in concert towards issues that negatively affect the human condition, like racism, classism, ableism, sexism, homophobia, and more.
If you’re interested in engaging with our work, we have a couple events coming up you may want to check out! Our I Lead With Purpose program is a research-based leadership development program based on what the most successful social entrepreneurs in the world embody that starts on 9/26 and the Be Well Beautiful Woman retreat (yes we renamed it to align with our new brand) will deliver all-inclusive luxury on beautiful Gull Lake 10/25-27. To inquire about the leadership program please contact us here.
With deep love and gratitude,