Honoring Black History Series: This month as a part of our commitment to honor black history, Access team members will be sharing about businesses, books, literature, stories, podcasts, films, songs, or pieces of art created by black authors, leaders, entrepreneurs, and artists that have impacted us.
By McKenzie Jackson, a member of Good Food Systems Team
McKenzie shares below a reflection on two books that have been impactful this year: The Memo by Minda Harts and I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown.
A co worker (Alaina) shared the book I’m Still Here with me, stating that she felt a lot of what was in this book could put words to what the non-profit sector feels like to me as I had been trying to verbalize different things to her. I heard about The Memo from Shannon Cohen and gained so much insight on what it means to secure your seat at the table and be in a leadership role as a woman of color.
It isn’t as much as what shifted in my mind, it was more so what I now feel inspired and called to do. It is necessary and needed for black women to hold seats at the table in all forms of executive leadership. We must continue to strive and create paths for those coming behind us because so often no one else is doing that. I think it is important in the public sector to look at our leadership and fight for black women to hold and occupy those seats. The odds are stacked against woman of color from the start including pay gap, micro-aggressions, biases, and so much more. I want woman of color to see and learn from women who look like us and are fighting for us in leadership and not have to worry about our hair or our tone of voice when we are expressing something passionately. We need to feel safe in these spaces and that can only begin to happen when we have people who look like us and who are ready to fight for us in higher level positions, who will help influence and change racist values and policies at predominantly white organizations.