I grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida in a close family of voracious book readers. My mom, an English Rhetoric and African-American Studies college professor, encouraged us to read daily and acquire knowledge from books. From a young age, I was exposed to the realities of life which influenced my perspectives on race, gender, poverty and so much more.
I am a certified Professional Coach, Cultural Diversity expert and Emergency Manager. My expertise includes disaster management, national security event planning, leadership coaching, immigrant and refugee outreach, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion training. In my role as CEO for the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management, I am entrusted to lead the effort to integrate equity into all facets of disaster policy, programs, and practice with the goal of increasing cultural competence and mitigating the harmful impacts of bias on underserved groups.
I have gone through more skirmishes, battles, and wars in my 20 year career than I care to remember. My experiences have taught me to prioritize my faith in God, trust my inner voice, and have confidence in my inherent talents and abilities. I have learned the techniques and mindset that are needed to grow like a rose in the desert.
I believe that anything living must be pruned to truly flourish. Life has a way of pruning us, individually and collectively, through pain and loss. We can choose to die on the vine or stretch towards the sunlight to grow beyond what we think are insurmountable limitations. Personally, I have chosen to be stretched…