Passionate About Equality and Change
More about myself, I am the second youngest of 7 kids in my family. Like many kids who grew up within the inner city, I did not have a lot direction growing up. My parents owned two restaurants in Gary, Indiana which did not leave much time for me with them during the work week. Roseland, my neighborhood growing up in Chicago, was dangerous but my parents did their best to shelter and protect us from the surrounding violence. As I look back, it was my parents who instilled my work ethic at an early age. I come from humble beginnings and never forget my roots and the origins of my story.
I would love to share with you my "aha moment." I was 14 years old, now living in the Northside of Chicago in the Logan Square neighborhood. I stayed late in school one day to finish up a group project. It was about 5pm so I decided to take the train as it was faster than the bus. I got on the Damen blue line stop (in Wicker Park). When I enter the cart, I quickly realized people were coming from work in the downtown area. I noticed the train was littered with white young professionals in sharp business attire, carrying fancy briefcases and purses. I vividly remember looking around trying to find a suit and tied Latino or person of color, but couldn't. I thought to myself that seemed odd. I ponded the question "why isn't there someone that looks like me?" I had no clue what profession these people were in or what they did. But, I knew instantly that I wanted to grow up and wear a suit to work too. This was a very impactful moment for me because it was a window of who and what I wanted to become.
Below are some of my favorite quotes from inspiring Leaders in the fight for equality.
"If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there's no progress. If you pull it all the way out that's not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. And they haven't even pulled the knife out much less heal the wound."
- Malcolm X
“Everyone thinks women should be thrilled when we get crumbs, and I want women to have the cake, the icing, and the cherry on top, too.”
- Billy Jean King
When I'm sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court] and I say, 'When there are nine,' people are shocked. But there'd been nine men, and nobody's ever raised a question about that."
"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."
- James Baldwin
"Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America."
- John Lewis