Nikki McGruder, regional manager for Diversity Awareness Partnership and director of the Journey towards Inclusive Excellence, Columbia, MO (originally from Peoria, IL.)
I'm am often asked about how I can do the work that I do
in diversity and inclusion without being affected. The
reality is that there is no way to do this work and not be
impacted. Especially being a woman of color and all the
intersections that make me who I am.
I respect all beliefs, but I personally believe in the power
of prayer and I know that God helps me keep it together.
I often share my story of growing up as a little Black girl
in a small community and what those experiences of
often times being the "only" in the room felt like.
It wasn't until I was in my adulthood that I realized how
internally oppressed I was and how that oppression
controlled me. I had bought into the narrative that
society provided for me about who I was and used many
of my lived experiences to validate that oppression.
Not anymore. I can do this work because this work needs
to be done. Not only that"¦I am raising children in this
world. My children"¦Our children should not have to
inherit a world where they have to dim their lights to
make others feel comfortable. They will be their
authentic selves walking in their truths all day every day.
For that reason"¦I persist.