Why 40?

Spiritually, 40 represents transformation.  In the Bible 40 comes up to note tests and trials of faith. In Hebrew Mem is the 40th alphabet representing water; akin to the flow of one’s spirit. As such, I desired a platform where the narratives of women of color in the nonprofit and social enterprise space will flow to in the directions we need them to. We aren’t 40 under 40, we are above the snares that were intended to box us in. The stories highlighted here will speak to that and more.

Why TEA?

Tea is an herb. It is restorative, soothing and healing

  1. Ask about me. My partner did and got shut down when we first started dating: “Want to get coffee? *my face* “I don’t drink coffee, I drink tea”.

  2. In college we had weekly Friday teas. Much to the convention of tradition, I missed several teas on Fridays. It didn’t amount to the level of depth of engagement I craved and wanted to explore with women were connected to a shared experience (historical and lived) at the time. I preferred to be on the move with my sista girls or in the library checking out a ton of books that I didn’t even get a chance to read *shrugs*.

In summary...give me tea, honey and lemon. Please and thank you!

Why a podcast?

I am a visual learner and as such this is a part of the vision. Some of you may be auditory learners so the message will be transmitted in that format. Forward 40 will hit at all of the 5 senses: taste, sight, touch, smell, and sound.

What’s the end goal?

Listen, I will not put a limit on what God will do with this work. The end goal is to press on towards the mark. Period’t (yes with the t on the end *wink*). What I will offer up is this, Forward 40 will be a platform of inspiration for younger women who are considering this field and also serve as an affirming space for my peers.

Sis you aren’t alone, we are in this together. I want this to be a space where we can authentically celebrate our resilience, re-ignite our purpose, impart our lessons learned and inspire the next generation of women of color coming up.


Why the non-profit & social ENTERPRISE sECTORS?

Brace yourself.

My entire career has been in the nonprofit and social enterprise space. I’ve found myself either preaching to the choir or feeling like I was going crazy with the microaggressions that tend to cut more deeply in this space. Why is that you might ask? Because your identity (racial, faith-based, community, inner passions etc.) are more closely tied to the work.

There is no denying that our sisters in the corporate or tech sectors face similar challenges yet I would like to think that being in a mission-based sector or launching a mission-based initiative is doubly taxing. It’s even in the data. Race to Lead was a report put out by the Building Movement Project. It was released at a point of a breakthrough in my career. Surprise surprise! A recent report (nothing short of timely) has been released on Women of Color in the Nonprofit Sector.

Additionally, I thought I was going crazy and found that I was not alone. Thank you Dr. Aisha Holder for exploring this very issue area.

I found myself getting tired, sick and tired, of being in places under the diversity, equity and inclusion umbrella, where our unique voices were either overlooked or silenced. And listen, in the corporate sector, “the man” is a White male, in the nonprofit sector, “the man” takes a different form and is gendered differently than in the corporate sector. Talk about it now. Intersectionality on line 1..please hold *call transferred*.

There’s depth to be explored around the micro-aggressions that come up in a space predominantly occupied by women (says the woman with only women supervisors) and also unique experiences of entrepreneurs of color. Instead of solely focusing on the obstacles, Forward 40 intends to elevate our collective success.

What’s your favorite tea?

My mother’s. She brews up the real deal. It can’t be duplicated. Hidden treasure.

I invite you to journey with us. Sip Sis...Selah...Share & Serve