Leading with Love, Meditating with Compassion, Circling with Courage
We come from the womb realizing our oneness through the power of love, a pure power that resonates from our souls. But we diffuse it in the natural, the material, physical appearances that also teach us how to co-create in the flesh. We have erroneously believed that there is lack and that we can survive only by marginalizing or even destroying someone or something else. The ability to welcome someone without reservations to our heart, to our privilege, to our community does not rob us of anything. Instead, we improve through our shared experience.
We no longer need to expend our energy running from the attack of animals in fright or defending ourselves from the harsh elements of the climate in fear. We have done an amazing job of co-creating comforts that make us feel safe and secure. So we can now see beyond most of the physical to build an inner safe space of compassion, care and creativity.
Cecilia B. Loving
I am glad my mother, who studied sewing with Rosa Parks, never really learned to sew but knew about civil rights and demanded, as soon as we entered the world, that we learn our history.
Not having an overabundance of material things gave me more bandwidth to feel and to uplift others, provided me with a compassionate lens through which to view the world. My eco-system had a sense of purpose derived from the suffering of my ancestors on whose shoulders I rose. We were expected to be proud of our ethnicity. We were expected to be generous in supporting one another. We were expected to be strong, work hard and put forth more than mere effort. We were expected to continue the struggle of bringing others to the table, supporting them once they got there, and giving them the opportunities that we never had with the deep heart of divine welcome.
I was ordained while a lawyer, and I had no idea what my calling into the ministry would entail. I spent ten years leading a church each Sunday with very few people. But I was obedient because it what was what I believed I was called to do. I was ordained to bring spirituality to the workplace. After I began working in diversity and inclusion, however, I knew that was my true calling, and I realized that everything I had done for church had prepared me for the work that I needed to accomplish in the diversity and inclusion space. My mandate was to create a positive and holistic work environment, which is my true calling.
My mother’s bedtime stories included the details of Kent State uprisings. My brothers and I read books about enslaved Africans and watched on television as dogs and hoses attacked those striving for equality. Our library at home provided life-altering lessons in the fight that we were born to continue: books by W.E.B. DuBois, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Eldridge Cleaver, Franz Fanon, Dick Gregory, Ann Petry, Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, and Ralph Ellison, to name a few who taught us the importance of bodies that we were born in. My mother would take us to the best museums and libraries, which were free, and then give us the choice of bus fare or whatever goodies those coins could buy. I learned that our celebration of ourselves, community and culture are free.
My values align with my leadership philosophy, spelling the word INCLUSIVE:
I – INCLUSIVE – welcoming others
N – NETWORK – nurturing community
C – CREATIVITY – innovating improvement
L – LOVE – giving service
U – UNWAVERING – remaining determined
S – SAFETY – supporting without shame
I – INTEGRITY – staying honest
V – VICTORIOUS – using challenges
E – EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE – aware/regulate
Fire Department of NYC
Diversity and inclusion (D/I) thought leader, creating and deploying D/I strategy, improving the infrastructure to support the strategy, and ensuring that inclusiveness and diversity are integral to all of its internal and external policies, work and practices. Closely collaborating with stakeholders to leverage initiatives.
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
Supervised complex commercial litigation trial teams and large-scale discovery, as well as served on the Diversity Committee and organized the Patterson Attorneys of Color and other initiatives to promote diversity in the firm and the legal profession, while overseeing mentoring, educational and messaging initiatives for law students of color.
NYC Commission on Human Rights
Investigated, mediated and litigated employment discrimination, LGBT, gender, racial and other bias harassment, and other claims under the NYC Human Rights Law by coordinating with key stakeholders at other city agencies to address complaints of injustice in all five NYC boroughs.
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel
Litigated high profile cases, including white collar criminal, complex commercial, real estate, ERISA, negligence, fraud, and bankruptcy matters, with significant responsibility for depositions, document production, and trial preparation, while leading the Practicing Attorneys for Law Students, Inc., the first diversity and inclusion not-for-profit for law students of color.