Donna C. Watson

Attorney - Estate and Trust Administration

Where were you born and raised?
Kansas City, Missouri.

What is your occupation?
Attorney - Estate and Trust Administration.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
Singing at Crown Center during the holidays with my school choir. Canvassing for Alvin Ailey with my grade school classmates.

What does Black History Month mean to you?
Celebrating the accomplishments and achievements of my ancestors and Reflecting on the contributions they made to society. Black History Month allows me to celebrate unsung heroes of my community.

What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing the Black community?
The distribution of income and distribution of wealth which creates a wealth gap between white Americans and people of color.

When did you realize you were Black in America and what has that meant for your life?
I knew at an early age. My faith community was steeped in cultural history. I worshiped at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, just two blocks north of the historical 18th and Vine District. My spiritual mentors were trailblazers in the community and included J.D. Williams, Garnett Wilson, Florence Hall-Gray, and John “Buck” O’Neil. They taught me about my heritage and encouraged me to be unapologetically black. They modeled pride and excellence.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration to push for change?
My mother died and I had to administer her estate. During that process, I learned so many lessons that I now share with audiences around the world. Her life was a model for me about financial and estate planning. Because of her, I speak about estate planning, wrote a book, created a podcast, and practice in estate and trust administration. I found my purpose through her death.

How have you supported or contributed to the local Black community?
I speak throughout the community about estate planning. I have been a repeated guest at The Kansas City Library series, KKFI 90.1 FM, The Kansas City Estate Planning Society, and numerous webinars and panels.

Your home for the Tokyo Olympics!