Sometimes, good things can come out of life’s most tragic events. We are experiencing trying times that are making all of us rethink how we operate and how we carry out our daily lives. The fallout of COVID-19 has touched both our personal and professional lives. Some have lost jobs, some are wondering if they will lose their homes, and some have even lost loved ones. Day-to-day operations as basic as how our children will receive the education they deserve, or how we can show compassion to someone who is suffering are all being questioned and challenged, but that does not mean the need stops. Life and work continue.
It has been said that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. A few months ago, several grassroots women leaders in the greater Los Angeles area were brought together by Kandee Lewis. Each of us cares about our communities and lead organizations that meet the various needs of the people we serve. The rollcall consists of Janette Robinson-Flint from Black Women For Wellness; Sonya Young Aadam from California Black Women’s Health Project; Tera K. Hilliard from Forgotten Children, Inc.; Gloria J. Davis from Girls Club of Los Angeles; Lorna Little from St. Anne’s; Karen Glenn from Transitions 2 Success; Leah Sayles from United Voices of Literacy; Kelly Redmond from Impact Media; Arnetta Mack from Mack Enterprises Unlimited; Shaunelle Curry from Media Done Responsibly; Kandee Lewis from Positive Results Center; Janet Kelly from Sanctuary of Hope; and myself from Forgiving For Living, Inc.
From this group of ladies who are committed to making a difference, Black Women Leaders of Los Angeles (#BWLLA) was born. When we first started meeting (via zoom) a few months ago we wanted to respond to the cries of people such as George Floyd who used his last breath to call out for his mother. We wanted to make sure we could help those who were suffering from both COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Women and mothers are the heart of the community. Most of us in the group were already familiar with each other’s work and we understand the power in numbers. #BWLLA’s mission is to uplift the voices of Black women, children and families; providing, protecting, educating and advocating for their health, wellness, safety and financial empowerment. It is also our vision through collaboration and shared leadership to support the growth, development and empowerment of Black women, children, families, and businesses to strengthen Black communities.
We know there are others who are touching and doing great work in the community and it is our goal to walk side by side to provide support where we are planted. Caring about our mental health, wellness, and providing resources to Black women, girls, and children experiencing trauma during these trying times is our goal. We also believe it is important for us to not only have a seat at the table but to also have a voice that is heard and acted upon. To keep small businesses and small nonprofits alive they must have funding and be part of the decision-making process to positively impact our communities.
John Lewis said, “We may not have chosen the time, but the time has chosen us.” It is imperative that we make sure the work and sacrifices of what is happening today, as well as the work and sacrifices of our ancestors, are fulfilled and not in vain. #blm #bwlla
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Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.