Beginning my work with the Partnership for Southern Equity in January, has offered more than I once imagined. Through the direct tutelage of Ms. Arlene, but also encounters of many of leadership and colleagues alike, I have been able to partner, serve and learn with some of the most brilliant minds and people, in the state and across the American South. I must admit, that my idea of Health Equity has been altered since assuming my associate role with the PSE Just Health special project. I hope this experience is the same for as many people as we have fought to better inform, converse and build relationships with, through our trainings and workshops, webinars, summits, and other scopes of work.
When I once thought of Health Equity, I did think of a final destination- a place of achievement. Needless to say, anyone who has been privileged with someone from PSE’s time, soon learns that equity (in any form) is a way. Equity is love in action. Equity is doing the work of building trust and developing relationships so that everyone not has only a voice, but a say, in their life’s determinants and outcomes. Learning this distinction, and having my work being grounded in this distinction, continues to be the most fulfilling and humbling experience that I believe I could ask for professionally. At times, I cannot imagine how I lived in Atlanta, (first behind the gates of Spelman) and thereafter, Brookhaven, yet still not understood the gravity of which there are not only Two Georgias (our initiative), but two Atlantas also. I am aware now of the opportunity to not only have been enlightened, but to pay this all forward.
As a Queens, NY native myself, I have been equally pushed to further stretch my mindset and commitment to impact beyond where I currently live and am, but where I am from. What would equity mean in Queens, and would it be the same for those who live within any of the five boroughs of NYC, versus those we refer to as from “upstate”? What would equity mean in the cities of Jamaica and Haiti, West Indies, where my families are from, versus those often referred to as from the “country or mountains”? More importantly, how am I challenging others to develop their own leadership questions of equity in their own lives, considering who and whose they are in my day to day life- beyond with PSE? I would like to think that the inspiration I have received from my PSE family has contributed to my recently released children’s book, Take Opportunity, my professional writing services business, and remaining adamant about supporting all black entrepreneurs, creatives and professionals in any way that I possibly can consistently. I thank all of PSE for their elevation and encourage you all to PRESS ON!