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BBW - Black Business Woman

It’s Women’s History Month and I’m making history for the Davis Family. As a successful business owner (Yes I said it. Say it, Declare it. Be it), I’m the first*. My mother worked various jobs while I was growing up to eventually retire from a state job with great benefits. My father was a career military man which afforded us the opportunity to live around the world. I was exposed at an early age to various cultures, values and belief systems. I thought the only black women who owned businesses were hair stylists, beauty shops, or child care centers. What a revelation in high school when I learned that there are many more opportunities available to us. Yet I went the traditional route - school, a good job, a better job, the best job, then my dream job. Three years before the pandemic, I truly felt like I had my dream job. I was beyond excited. I was finally doing what I loved, traveling, working with senior leaders, and supporting communities across the country. Dream J O B! I was received and perceived by others as a subject matter expert (SME) for community engagement. It was through this experience that I began to learn more about systems change and its impact on the success of communities.


Then, the pandemic struck. It all came crashing down. I learned as a child not just to pick myself up, but to pick myself up and keep running! My desire to be my own boss birthed EMBOLDEN Action, LLC. I had the opportunity to be my own boss and have my dream job. Now, it really feels like a dream! I’m doing what I love to do - consult, project-based work, explore and execute solutions on my passionate topics of diversity equity and inclusion and systems change. I also support leaders through executive coaching. The business life I have created for myself is no small task. There were times that I wanted to give up, shut it all down and walk away. I instead chose to learn more about who I am, what type of leader I wanted to be, and found my voice around what I wanted to share with others. The business part was simple. My CliftonStrengths domain is strong in executing. So I made a plan and worked on the plan with optimal results.


The hard part, the intersectionality that comes with the identity of being Black and a Woman. As a DEI practitioner, being hired to assist organizations and its leaders on strategies can be challenging, emotional and taxing. But I’m up for the challenge because I believe in what I do. The lenses I bring to my work as a Black woman are so incredibly helpful and provide so many resources. I’m bringing all of my experience and curiosity to the table. I also felt like I had to strategize how I can be at the table and seen as a viable and reliable resource for my clients. I pushed the self-doubt out of my head and focused on one of my favorite quotes:


“If they don’t bring you a seat, bring a folding chair.” - Shirly Chisholm


I brought my own folding chair and now sit at any table because I’m meant to be there. That’s an amazing feeling. I’m making history and very proud of the milestones that will pave the way for others in my family and community.







*That I’m aware of based on my various conversations with my mother and father. I’m certain there were other entrepreneurs in my lineage but for the sake of today’s writing, I’m going with this! :)


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