By Diana LaMorie • June 05, 2020•Issues, Other Issues
I am continuing this week of inspiration stemming from the #amplifymelanatedvoices hashtag movement, which is trying to amplify the voices of Black creators and small businesses owners. One small step we can take to join in is by highlighting and supporting some of our favorite black-owned businesses, which I am doing here on Ms. JD’s blog.
I started yesterday with retail brands to check out and today I am sharing black-owned service providers worthy of your attention. Once again, I invite you to share and promote your favorites in the comments, and on your own blog post or other social media channels. While there are so many individuals and businesses worthy of our attention and patronage, I am sharing a few that I have either direct experience with or have been watching attentively and admiring online. I hope you will get to know their work and keep them top of mind when the opportunity presents itself.
1. Vicki Clark (Non-Profit Consultant)
Vicki’s bread-and-butter specialty is helping non-profit organizations improve, strategize and grow. We have had the privilege of working with her for some of our very own Ms. JD board meetings and I have enjoyed every minute of time spent with her. Vicki’s client sheet is so long that I cannot wrap my head around how one person can help so many companies (with aplomb). In a word, remarkable. Her sense of humor has me holding back tears of laughter while we are getting important work done. She possesses the rare gift that one would look for in a facilitator: that is, empowering group productivity and effective communication while making the hard work fun. I hope I speak for everyone coming away from our shared experiences with Vicki when I say that her sessions leave us spiritually refreshed and uplifted, motivated to keep on fighting the good fight.
2. Ugo Ugeh, Esq. (Immigration Attorney)
Ugo has been cultivating his passion for protecting immigrants’ rights throughout his legal career (even during law school). I met Ugo on Day 1 at Brooklyn Law School and we have been friends ever since. I have always admired the braveness of starting your own firm to practice your dedicated craft. We are now 10 years post-JD and he is still going strong with his firm, Ugeh Law. Beyond that, I can sincerely say that if anyone in my personal or professional network ever ask me for an affordable, experienced attorney specializing in immigration matters, I do not hesitate to send them to Ugo. It also happens to be the case that we both came to the U.S. from other countries, so the empathy runs deep on this front (Ugo is from Nigeria), which I am sure helps him deliver a better client experience.
3. Paula Edgar, Esq. (Diversity & Inclusion Consultant)
Another personal and Ms. JD favorite is revered Diversity & Inclusion consultant Paula Edgar, founder of Inclusion Strategy Solutions. We have been blessed to have her generously contribute her time and expertise to Ms. JD’s conferences, webinars, etc. Our constituents are served all the better for having Paula be one of Ms. JD’s high-profile champions. Beyond helping companies with their D&I initiatives (does yours walk the walk?), she helps individuals with personal branding, networking, and professional advancement considerations. Start by subscribing to her content and reap the benefits. Recommend her to your company if they fall short in this space. Paula is one to watch (and listen to).
4. Angela Solomon (Recruiter & Coach)
Angela is the proprietor of her own diversity recruiting and coaching firm. I am connected with her on LinkedIn. While I have been happily employed at the same place for almost seven years, if you have read my blog you will see that I extol the virtues of connecting with recruiters at any phase of your career (see e.g., this post). If you or your organization are hiring (and care about adding diverse candidates and service providers to your roster) or you are searching for a new job opportunity, please consider Angela to serve as your recruiter. At a minimum, check out her website and connect on Linkedin in the meantime.
5. Quentin Vennie (Wellness Speaker)
Quentin is a wellness expert and motivational speaker who can reach anyone that has suffered adversity, anxiety, addiction, or any form of trauma. His words, message and experience-sharing move me even as a person who has not. I discovered him in a beautiful virtual conversation on Instagram between him and the owner of Strala Yoga, Tara Stiles. Quentin’s life turnaround story from hitting rockbottom to mental health optimization can help anyone in need of a boost in a more healthful direction, whether it be mental, emotional, spiritual or physical. He does speaking engagements, is active on social media where you can follow his work, and has a written memoir on his struggles that is sure to inspire any reader no matter their walk in life.