Diana's Feature in Women of Toledo's Black History Month Celebration!

Women of Toledo

Why do you think black history is so important:

White people in America have greatly benefited from black people's strength, intelligence, creativity, perseverance, ingenuity, work ethic, and resilience, with little to no respect, representation, and visibility.

I never learned about black history when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s in elementary, middle and high school. How tragic!

Dedicating 30 days to highlighting and showcasing the many men and women who've made these amazing contributions in American history is  the absolute least we can do, and it is a critical narrative to add to our American culture and history for several reasons. One very important reason is so that young black boys and girls can see themselves in American history - that black people were a part of something revolutionary in America. Also, so that American history can reflect the true "right side" of history, that involves a very rich, bold and blessed black history.

Advice to black women and women of color:

Spend time learning about yourself. Discover that gifts that you were given at birth. Understand your self-worth. Stop apologizing for who you are and stand in your truth. If you don't know what your truth is, it's time you find it. Research your family history and learn of your family legacy. Collect photos and memorabilia of your family legacy and keep it close - these are the shoulders that you stand upon.

If your family struggled with trauma, understand what it was and work on developing a plan to uproot it from your life. Delight in the fact that you can make your family proud by being a difference maker. Learn whether you personally endured any Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and take steps to reduce the effects of the immediate trauma in your life. Read books that help you increase your emotional intelligence, discover your strengths, rewire your brain, multiply your positive thoughts, develop a practice of self-care, increase your mental and physical wellness, build financial wealth, and incorporate methods to acquire a tribe of people in your life that will help spur you on and upward toward reaching your bold, audacious, and world-changing goals! After all, you are a reflection of the five people that you hang around most.

Read the poems Still I Rise by Maya Angelou, Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson - PLASTER them on your wall and READ them often.

Be sure to follow me on social media to stay inspired and motivated to GET AT IT.

The WORLD needs you to get up, RISE UP, and do what God has appointed you to do.

You can be afraid and brave at the same time.

Let's GO!

How do you stay empowered:

I have a daily practice of self-awareness that involves yoga, meditation, journaling, reading, conscious breathing, prayer, visualization exercises, reading God's word and TONS of books that keeps me focused on my spiritual practice of connecting with God, repeating daily positive affirmations, and rewiring my brain to maintain positive thoughts.

I keep my brother, Damon, who died at 21 after taking his life, and my sister, Andrea, who died at 58, as guardian angels in my life, and my other four living sisters at the center of my mind when I feel like my work is hard. I recognize that it is my obligation and duty to do my work. I feel a sense of accountability and responsibility to fulfill my dreams, vision and my passion for the work that I do. My family’s life growing up was so challenging that I don’t want others to have to endure all that we endured. No one was there for us, and so I stay empowered knowing that I can be there for others. I am also blessed to have an amazing husband of 22 years, two college-aged children, a wonderful mom, and a tribe of family and friends who keep me inspired and empowered to do my work.

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