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October Newsletter
 
 
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Source: Pexels.com

 

Over Being the Only One

I’ve spent much of my life being the only one. The only one in my etiquette classes, the only one in Girl Scouts, the only one in flag corps—the only black girl. This reality followed me to college where I was the only one in many of my upper-division Sociology classes, and the only one in student government; still the only one. I thought things would be different once I graduated and became a professional, particularly because I was moving to Chicago, a big city known for its diverse and international flair. But again I found myself the only one in my North Side apartment building, and the only one in my employee training courses. Moving to Atlanta provided a safe harbor where it was easy to identify like-hued professionals, but once my career advanced and took me to places like Webster Groves, MO, Muncie, IN, and now State College, PA, I have continued to find myself the only one.

When I was younger, it used to be sort of a thrill to be the only one. Before people were “woke,” I thought it was a compliment when someone told me “You're so articulate for a little black girl” or “You’re going to add such diversity to this team.” I also thought that being the only one around must have been a result of having done something more deserving; that I had worked harder, faster and been more competent than other black women, and that my reward was being the HBBIC (sound it out).

Part of the problem was my lack of awareness. There were systematic reasons for why I didn’t see anyone who looked like me in the rooms and positions I occupied, and I hadn’t come to recognize those reasons yet. Also, as I rationalized that maybe I had done something different or special, I had inadvertently made the assumption that other black people had not been as smart, thoughtful, or deserving as they needed to be in order to be included. That is when I began to realize more about the problem.

At this point in my career, I have amassed an expert level of knowledge in my field, the respect of my peers and the opportunity to lead and teach the next generation of higher education professionals. Despite all that, I am still too often the only one. However, I’m smarter now and I know that this isn’t a privilege or a badge that I should wear with honor, but a disgrace and a disservice to so many smart, capable black women who are not present in a field where they could truly add value.

I’m over being the only one and I’m dedicated to lifting as I climb. Whether it’s through mentoring, teaching, hiring practices, or spheres of influence, I’m committed to being intentional about bringing other black women into the spaces that I occupy. There need to be more of us; the talent, strength and light we possess is what the world needs more of. Through proactive advocacy, I think we can replace future groups of “only ones” by creating more spaces where black women thrive in the shared confidence and excellence of greater numbers.

Join me in social media advocacy by sharing your #overonlyone stories of how the voice of many is better than the voice of one.

 
 

Catch Me If You Can!

 
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Source: Pexels.com

 

Marcy and I love nothing more than connecting with listeners in person and talking life, love & (occasionally) libations in real life. Catch us in the streets in Atlanta and D.C. at these exciting October events!

A Pod Connection ATL October 6, 2018, Atlanta, GA

We’re thrilled to share our expertise with other podcasters and fans in one of our favorite cities. I’ll be serving as a guest speaker at 9:00 a.m. with my talk “What I’ve Learned from My First Year in Podcasting,” and both Marcy and I will sit on a panel at 3:15 p.m. to discuss the importance of listener engagement. Whether you're a novice podcaster or a loyal member of the Schoolin Life class, grab your ticket and meet us there. We’re also planning a pop-up meet and greet in the city, so be sure to follow us on social for more information. We can’t wait to see you in the A!

Howard Homecoming 2018: The Kickback October 27, 2018, Washington, D.C.

It’s homecoming season and there is no better place to celebrate than Howard. Join me, Diplomatic Enterprises, and Howard University School of Law’s Class of 2008 for a grown-up’s party including all of our favorite jams from the 1999-2000’s. HBCU homecoming events are not to be missed (even if you didn’t go to the school and are perpetrating like me), so get your ticket today. I’ll meet you on the dance floor.

 
 

In My ears

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6LACK – EAST ATLANTA LOVE LETTER

One of the early episodes of Schoolin Life was “Ex Calling” (you should go back and listen; it was hilarious) which was aptly named after 6LACK’s song because of how much I vibe with his music. This sophomore album has me longing for the time I lived in the A and reminiscing about all the times I fell in love (in the club). This album has so much to swoon over, including his classic, laid-back, sing-songy flow; the features (Hey, Khalid and J. Cole. Which speaking of, does this mean I have to forgive him for the misogynistic comments from 2016?); and the interludes (shout out to Ghetto Girls, another Schoolin Life episode reference). This album feels personal, like I’m peeping at his iMessage as he texts with his girl and well…*grabs popcorn* I’m all in.

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SERIAL SEASON 3

Like everyone else in America, I started my podcast experience, listening to Serial Season 1. Holding my breath as Sarah Koenig told the story of Hae Min Lee’s death and the creepily-charming story of the accused, her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed, I was enthralled. But my fascination fell off in Season 2 when the topics turned to military operatives and missing people. Hearing that Season 3 will bring back criminal cases in Cleveland has me hype. All I’ve heard so far is the trailer and I feel confident that I’ll have to remember to breathe again this season.

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ANDERSON .PAAK - MALIBU

Throwback. Malibu was my introduction to AP at the recommendation of an ex. (Side note: Don’t you hate when an ex introduces you to something and then you’ve got to learn to love it without thinking about them; ugh.) I don’t know what it is about his raspy voice and slightly-gospelly cadence but I’m a fan. My favorite tracks are “The Waters,” “The Season / Carry Me,” and, of course, the lead single “Heart Don’t Stand a Chance.” This album reminds me that “it’s been far too long” since I’ve been to the West Coast and I need to get back.