"As a black girl, you have to work twice...
"As a black girl, you have to work twice as hard to get half as far"
I was 5 years old when my mother told me this, and while her words were meant to protect me, I didn't fully understand the meaning then.
In the '60s she was one of many black children who were bused to predominately white schools which were better funded. There, she was spat on, taunted and physically harmed regularly, as even the teachers turned a blind eye.
That is what she was trying to protect me from. She knew that even as times changed, there would still be people and places that would try to make me feel small. She believed that instilling me with work ethic and drive was the best way to ensure I never had to go through what she did.
But, working twice as hard hasn't simply been about what I do for a living. The work has been in overcoming the pain, frustration and isolation that come with working in spaces where I'm the only or 1 of few black people included.
This is not simply my personal journey. It's what many Black folk in tech and in sales experience every day.
This is not a sob story.
This is a celebration of circumstances overcome.
This is about strength in #community.
If this speaks to you, come celebrate excellence.
Come to The Cookout.