Where were you born and raised?
Raytown and Kansas City, Missouri.
What is your occupation?
What is your favorite childhood memory?
Christmas time with my family. Both sets of grandparents lived in Independence, Mo., and we would go over to their houses and visit with family, My mom was the seventh of ten kids and my dad was the oldest of seven, so it was a blast hanging with all my cousins. The next day, we’d listen to Motown Christmas and open presents and have so much fun together. My parents made that season magical for my sister and me.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
It’s a time when the rest of the country has a reality check about the many, many historical moments, inventions, and discoveries made by African-Americans.
What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing the Black community?
Healthcare disparity. The pandemic rekindled the fire of racial injustice in healthcare. Now it’s up to those of us in the system to help change this for good.
When did you realize you were Black in America and what has that meant for your life?
I knew I was Black in kindergarten. I remember getting on the bus and two girls had room for me to sit with them and they said they couldn’t let me sit by them because I was Black. I was shocked. Another kid saw what happened and quickly told me to sit with them. She said they’re stupid. I said I know they won’t get to be my friend now.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration to push for change?
My biggest inspiration has been watching the many women and men in my life who have had the courage to pivot and change their life projection. My parents always taught me that at the end of the day, no matter what I do, I have to be happy with my choices.
How have you supported or contributed to the local Black community?
During this pandemic, I realized that my voice had power and that I could educate my community on, not only this virus, but promoting preventive health, one health initiatives, breast cancer awareness, stroke/heart disease prevention. I’ve been blessed to have opportunities to share with our local community and thanks to social media the world.