Black & Bold: Perspectives on Leadership

“Though slavery was legally abolished in the United States in 1865, the conditions that existed under slavery continue to persist today. Black women continue to be at a severe disadvantage in many aspects of our democracy and our economy. Whether one examines Black women’s access to health care, Black women’s earnings, or Black women’s access to much needed social supports like childcare and eldercare, Black women are getting the short end of the stick — despite having contributed so much to the building of this nation.”

- Alicia Garza, Foreword, The Status of Black Women in the United States (June 2017)

We live in a country founded on white supremacy and are complicit in upholding it. From centuries of inhaling air filled with racism (and other social toxins), we have become conditioned to accept the status quo, rather than disrupt it. Racial disparities that exist in health, wealth, access to leadership, and other domains are the result of our country’s bias toward whiteness.

Black & Bold: Perspectives on Leadership is a rejection of the status quo and a resistance to the fallacy of white supremacy. This blog series seeks to amplify the voices of Black women, presenting examples and proof points of the diverse pathways they have forged in a world that wasn’t created for them. Each interview will explore Black female identity, finding one’s voice, negotiating values tensions, and developing as a leader in the social sector.

You might be asking yourself how La Piana Consulting, a predominantly white management consulting firm, has credibility to launch this series dedicated to Black female identity and leadership. We don’t. Frankly, we have work to do to better live out our values related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Where we do have credibility is with the thousands of organizations we have supported through strategy and planning, strategic restructuring, and leadership and board development over the last two decades. This gives us a platform and a network that can serve to connect people who are curious about the shared experiences of others.

Black & Bold is an effort to affirm, promote, and elevate the experiences of Black women who are their ancestors’ wildest dreams. Interviews will be posted bimonthly and are conducted by Makiyah Moody, Senior Consultant. Makiyah is committed to a world where Black lives matter.

 

Interviews posted to date:

Tyra Mariani, Executive Vice President, New America (posted 2/14/18)

Tenicka Boyd (posted 2/21/18)

Ify Walker, Founder and Chief Talent Matchmaker, Offor Walker Group (posted 2/27/18)

Vernetta Walker, Vice President of Programs and Chief Governance Officer, BoardSource (posted 3/7/18)

Tulaine Montgomery, Managing Partner, New Profit (posted 3/14/18)

Dr. Mahalia Hines, President, Common Ground Foundation (posted 3/20/18)

Natalie S. Burke, President and CEO, CommonHealth ACTION (posted 3/28/18)

Sherece West-Scantlebury, President and CEO, The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (posted 4/4/18)

Wanda Speight, SVP, Senior Credit Officer, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (posted 4/18/18)

Monica Sylvain, PhD, EVP, Chief Diversity Officer, IBERIABANK (posted 5/2/18)

Keisha Smith, MEd, PhD, The Data Center (posted 5/16/18)

Michele Mason, Newark Charter School Fund (posted 5/29/18)

Idrissa Simmonds-Nastili, Pahara Institute (posted 6/13/18)

Michell Speight, Race Forward (posted 6/19/18)

Crystal German, Prosperity Labs (posted 6/25/18)

Miecha Forbes, Vice President, Koya Leadership Partners (posted 7/10/18)