How has your story motivated you on days when there seems to be nothing to keep you going?

Being born into a poverty-stricken neighborhood with drug-addicted parents, I FOUGHT to succeed. Now, as an award-winning activist and entrepreneur, I’m inspired by those who find strength in my work. Their stories fuel me when I need a boost.


In what ways, if any, did you have to pivot to ensure your vision was well executed?

I had to shift from hosting a traditional 3-hour event to organizing a full-day festival. This decision required a leap of faith as it involved expanding the scope and scale of the event to create a more immersive and impactful experience for attendees.  Moreover, this pivot provided me with the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded partners and reach a broader audience, ultimately leading to more profitable ventures.


How do you showcase the empowerment of Women’s History Month every day?

It is my aim to wake up every day and embody the spirit of women supporting women through my collaborations, amplify the voices of others through my SPEAK apparel brand, and exude a balance of confidence and grace in business, fashion, legacy-leaving projects, art, and the power of my voice.


Who are some lesser-known female entrepreneurs from history that you admire and believe deserve more recognition?

Maggie L. Walker, the first woman of any race to charter a bank, established the St. Luke Penny Savings Trust, which she significantly expanded during her tenure as president. The bank served as a potent symbol of self-help within the Black community.  If it hasn’t this should have solidified Walker’s legacy as a pioneer in the Black economic empowerment movement.


Reflecting on your own experiences, what are some effective ways that male allies have supported you in your career journey?

When I think of male allies, four distinct gentlemen come to mind, including Laterras Whitfield and Jerry Walker who have been instrumental in delivering high-quality visual storytelling to my artistic projects despite budget constraints. Additionally, Armando Banchs and the late Bishop Omar Jahwar, who played crucial roles in realizing the vision of Civilized Fest. At various times, all of these men have expressed, “I see what you’re doing, I admire your values as a young woman, and I want to support you.” I’m deeply grateful for their encouragement and assistance. We definitely need more allies like them.


How do you strike a balance between ambition and self-care as a woman in a demanding business environment?

My online mentor once said, “I AUTOMATE EVERYTHING” when asked how she manages it all. I’m all in on streamlining processes in my business to free up time for self-care and creativity. I’m so passionate about it that I plan to establish a consultancy in the future, dedicated to helping creatives build efficient enterprises.


Bio: ShySpeaks, is a hip-hop & spoken word artist, speaker, and host from Dallas, TX. Her soulful voice, thoughtful lyrics, and DYNAMIC stage presence, converts audiences into instant fans! She is hailed as having one of the most interchangeable voices of her generation. As a 5x Spoken Word Awardee and a Grammy & Dove Award-winning music artist, it is impossible to not be empowered after an experience with ShySpeaks!

Photo Credits: Kauwuane Burton Studios