Who are you?
There are intersecting levels and areas! I am Board President of Leeway Foundation, an organizational development consultant and executive coach, filmmaker/writer, and radio host. In my work life, I support social justice movements to do their work well and be transformational in doing it. I support the leadership development of women of color to build their power and stay whole. In my creative work, I aim to expand the range of stories about what it means to be human and Black.
On my radio platform, I showcase organizations and strategies for change that are providing approaches and solutions that are creative and outside-the-box. I also am a doting aunt, a daughter, sister, niece, and friend. On my best days, I am playful and funny.
How would you define your place within Leeway’s community?
As a member of the board of Leeway, I have the pleasure and honor of helping guide the organization toward an ever-expanding vision of space-making, power-shifting, and influence. Space-making to provide platforms, networks, and access to our grantees, and through our example, providing a model of power-sharing in philanthropy that can influence our field and arts and culture more broadly.
What role has Leeway played in your own evolution?
Leeway is always transforming me. We have a learning culture, so Leeway is a place of ongoing intellectual growth. This is partly because of Denise Brown’s leadership – this is her way of navigating the world, through relationship and learning.
We are always discussing the newest and the latest -- what is the discourse around the kind of work and artists we are supporting and are interested in supporting. We go to see artists and practitioners who are doing this kind of work at the national level, we read analysis, so we are always engaging on that edge of what's happening. That keeps challenging me and keeps me thinking about what are the different models? How can we do this work better?
I think Leeway has provided a place where I and the other board members can really bring our values to bear. There are not a lot of organizations where you can really bring your full self and your full set of values. I have been on other boards of good organizations, but I didn’t feel like I could fully bring everything. I think part of that is that Leeway isn’t afraid of conflict, in having hard conversations, because we know that leads to growth.
What would you like see Leeway do in the next 25 years?
I see Leeway able to leverage more money and resources from larger foundations in the service of our values and our grantees to have an even greater impact. I see Leeway becoming a national model for a kind of social justice grantmaking that shares power with the communities it supports. I see Leeway expanding its reach nationally and globally via fellowships that bring international artists to Philadelphia and place our Philly artists around the world. I see Leeway seeding future generations of trans, nonbinary and gender nonconforming artists. Leeway will help organizations across our region see the need for employing cultural strategy as an essential part of their work. I think Leeway can do all of this!
If Leeway were a playlist, what song would you be?
I would be "Can You Feel It" by The Jacksons.