Black & Bold: Perspectives on Leadership

“Though slavery was legally abolished in the United States in 1865, the conditions that existed under slavery continue to persist today. Black women continue to be at a severe disadvantage in many aspects of our democracy and our economy. Whether one examines Black women’s access to health care, Black women’s earnings, or Black women’s access to much needed social supports like childcare and eldercare, Black women are getting the short end of the stick — despite having contributed so much to the building of this nation.”

– Alicia Garza, Foreword, The Status of Black Women in the United States (June 2017)

We live in a country founded on white supremacy and are complicit in upholding it. From centuries of inhaling air filled with racism (and other social toxins), we have become conditioned to accept the status quo, rather than disrupt it. Racial disparities that exist in health, wealth, access to leadership, and other domains are the result of our country’s bias toward whiteness.

Black & Bold: Perspectives on Leadership is a rejection of the status quo and a resistance to the fallacy of white supremacy. This blog series seeks to amplify the voices of Black women, presenting examples and proof points of the diverse pathways they have forged in a world that wasn’t created for them. Each interview will explore Black female identity, finding one’s voice, negotiating values tensions, and developing as a leader in the social sector.

You might be asking yourself how La Piana Consulting, a predominantly white management consulting firm, has credibility to launch this series dedicated to Black female identity and leadership. We don’t. Frankly, we have work to do to better live out our values related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Where we do have credibility is with the thousands of organizations we have supported through strategy and planning, strategic restructuring, and leadership and board development over the last two decades. This gives us a platform and a network that can serve to connect people who are curious about the shared experiences of others.

Black & Bold is an effort to affirm, promote, and elevate the experiences of Black women who are their ancestors’ wildest dreams. Interviews will be posted bimonthly and are conducted by Makiyah Moody, Senior Consultant. Makiyah is committed to a world where Black lives matter.

Interviews posted to date:

An Interview with Amanda Misiko Andere, CEO, Funders Together to End Homelessness (posted 6/1/20)

An Interview with Akilah Massey, Vice President of Programs, GEO (posted 5/7/20)

An Interview with Gislaine Ngounou, Vice President, Strategy and Programs, Nellie Mae Education Foundation (posted 4/9/20)

An Interview With Jeanné L. Lewis, VP and Chief Engagement Officer, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) (posted 3/24/20)

An Interview With Lucretia Murphy, Senior Director, Jobs for the Future (JFF) (posted 3/11/20)

An Interview with Sheri A. Brady, Associate Director, Strategic Partnerships, Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions (posted 2/27/20)

An Interview with Caroline McCoy, Program Officer, Robert R. McCormick Foundation (posted 2/21/20)

An Interview with Andrea Johnson, Executive Director, Courageous Conversation Global Foundation (posted 2/6/20)

Amber Hikes, Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer, ACLU (posted 1/30/20)

Gabrielle Sims, Project Associate, Shah Family Foundation (posted 1/22/20)

Jara Dean-Coffey, Founder, Luminare Group (posted 1/9/20)

Melanie Roussell Newman, SVP, Communications, PPFA (posted 12/18/19)

Jhmira Alexander, President, Public Narrative (posted 11/27/19)

LaTida Smith, President & CEO, Moses Taylor Foundation (posted 11/14/19)

Kiesha Davis, Director, Partnership and Capacity Building, Deaconess Foundation (posted 10/23/19)

Luella Provenza, Chief Impact Officer, Second Harvest Food Bank (posted 10/9/19)

Lindsay A. Powell, MPP, Asst. Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor, Pittsburgh (posted 9/25/19)

Regina Malveaux, J.D., CEO, YWCA Spokane (posted 9/11/19)

Shaya Gregory Poku, Director, Center for Social Justice, Wheaton College (posted 8/27/19)

Dr. Catherine Cushinberry, Vice-President/Executive Director, City Year Memphis (posted 8/14/19)

Wylecia Wiggs Harris, CEO, AHIMA (posted 7/24/19)

Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder, Chicago Theological Seminary (posted 7/9/19) 

Alicia Sanchez Gill, Collective Action for Safe Spaces (posted 6/26/19)

NanaEfua B. Afoh-Manin, Shared Harvest Fund (posted 6/11/19)

Holly Delany Cole, The Haas Leadership Initiatives (posted 5/29/19)

Kerrien Suarez, Equity in the Center (posted 5/7/19)

Darlene Slaughter, March of Dimes (posted 4/24/19)

Misha Charles, Organizational Effectiveness and Impact, Education Sector (posted 4/9/19)

Candice C. Jones, Public Welfare Foundation (posted 3/27/19)

Christal Jackson, Mosaic Genius (posted 3/12/19)

Soenda Howell, Charter School Growth Fund (posted 2/25/19)

Sherri Young, African-American Shakespeare Co. (posted 1/16/19) 

Lisa J. Nutter, Sidecar Social Finance (posted 1/10/19)

Nicole Brisbane, NY Democrats for Education Reform (posted 1/1/19)

Ashley Allison, The Leadership Conference (posted 12/27/18)

Kenya Bradshaw, The New Teacher Project (TNTP) (posted 12/20/18)

Jacqueline Greer, DC Urban Teachers (posted 12/17/18)

Rhonda Broussard, Beloved Community (posted 12/4/18)

Khairah L. Walker, tiLTFEST (posted 11/20/18)

Jennifer Jones Austin, FPWA (posted 11/8/18)

Charnella Derry, Beacon Hill Preparatory Institute (posted 10/25/18)

Elizabeth Whittaker-Walker, Raymond Whittaker Design (posted 10/17/18)

Eva Paterson, Equal Justice Society (posted 10/10/18)

Lauren Casteel, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado (posted 10/1/18)

Camille Cyprian, Minnesota Council on Foundations (posted 9/26/18)

Alli Myatt, COO, Teaching Trust (posted 9/18/18)

Lucy Castillo, Chief Governance and Equity Officer, Charter Board Partners (posted 9/12/18)

Catasha Davis, PhD, Researcher, FrameWorks Institute (posted 9/5/18)

Linda Caradine-Poinsett, MJ, MBA, PhD, American College of Prosthodontists (posted 8/29/18)

Alicia Robinson, Senior Managing Director, Talent and Equity, Flamboyan Foundation (posted 8/22/18)

Raël Nelson James, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Bridgespan (posted 8/15/18)

Indira Henard, Executive Director, DC Rape Crisis Center (posted 8/10/18)

Black & Bold: Lessons on how black women survive double jeopardy in the workplace, by Makiyah Moody, Senior Consultant, Stanford Social Innovation Review, August 3, 2018

Shereen Williams, Charter Board Partners (posted 7/31/18)

Aimée Eubanks Davis, CEO, Braven (posted 7/25/18)

Akaya Windwood, Rockwood Leadership Institute (posted 7/18/18)

Miecha Forbes, Vice President, Koya Leadership Partners (posted 7/10/18)

Crystal German, Prosperity Labs (posted 6/25/18)

Michell Speight, Race Forward (posted 6/19/18)

Idrissa Simmonds-Nastili, Pahara Institute (posted 6/13/18)

Michele Mason, Newark Charter School Fund (posted 5/29/18)

Keisha Smith, MEd, PhD, The Data Center (posted 5/16/18)

Monica Sylvain, PhD, EVP, Chief Diversity Officer, IBERIABANK (posted 5/2/18)

Wanda Speight, SVP, Senior Credit Officer, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (posted 4/18/18)

Sherece West-Scantlebury, President and CEO, The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (posted 4/4/18)

Natalie S. Burke, President and CEO, CommonHealth ACTION (posted 3/28/18)

Dr. Mahalia Hines, President, Common Ground Foundation (posted 3/20/18)

Tulaine Montgomery, Managing Partner, New Profit (posted 3/14/18)

Vernetta Walker, Vice President of Programs and Chief Governance Officer, BoardSource (posted 3/7/18)

Ify Walker, Founder and Chief Talent Matchmaker, Offor Walker Group (posted 2/27/18)

Tenicka Boyd (posted 2/21/18)

Tyra Mariani, Executive Vice President, New America (posted 2/14/18)