In the spirit of Sankofa which expresses the importance of reaching back to the knowledge we gained in the past to bring into the present in order to make positive progress and change in the future. We at Collabovate thank the Akan people of Ghana, for this important teaching that allows us to operate under this premise.
Everyones past experiences and learning teach us many things, if we pay attention we can find inspiration in not only the joys but the failures as well. Collabovate was born as a result of both the success and challenges that I faced in my life. Starting out believing that I was going to be the baddest business woman on the planet, I decided to pursue a degree in Business Management and what a ride that was, learning and running business operations for Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, colleges and using some of that savvy to start a non profit gave me a lot of business education. As part of this learning I had highs and lows, being forced out of positions due to race, being overlooked for positions because of my gender, getting positions because of my race and genderbut also getting promotions because I'm ethical, effective, efficient and absolutely phenomenal at any job I do. Then a pre-midlife crisis occurred and I decided to pursue a degree in education, not only due to the crisis but also due to what I was experiencing with my children in their educational experiences with race and culture. Combining this business experience with education really allowed me to marry two very different worlds and work with adults in meaningful ways. From keynote speaking to coaching, developing and facilitating learning, my path and world was beginning to change and in 2011, I began consulting on a small scale and with each year that followed that scale grew and grew. I love a play on words and as I was creating a learning seminar for a conference in 2018, I started thinking about my purpose. I really believe that collaborating is not only foundational but fun and then considering that in order to make any meaningful change you have to elevate people's thinking, and BAM (just like Emril) the name of my company COLLABOVATE was born, although the work I had been doing was my side hustle, I never imagined it would be my whole hustle!
Even though it is 2021, 2020 and its havoc that caused a global-wide pandemic, is still quite present considering COVID19 is “up in here, up in here, (RIP DMX)” it's only fitting that I share a little bit about the “Poetic Chaos” that 2020 brought into my life. Racial equity and inclusion work has been at the center of what I have been doing over the last decade and considering the impacts of the pandemic, layered with the world witnessing the death of George Floyd which caused a surge of interest in “what do I/we do” took shape in 2020. Being laid off from my job in March of 2020 I found myself like many people across the globe coping with the loss of life, losing and maintaining a livelihood, and mental health struggles. This my friends, was my chaos. The poetry took shape when my partner encouraged me to fully launch and focus on Collabovate. Taking his great advice I poured into myself considering all of my learning and experience from business, education, and racial strategy, I developed what I believe to be the best approach in taking a personal-first approach to transform organizations to be more inclusive and racially accountable. Our clients who are across industries and organizational sizes are making great gains and building knowledge around the concepts of racial equity and inclusion. They are embracing the challenges, building cohesion and understanding, and investing the necessary time. Today I have terrific long-term partnerships and continue to build our business knowledge as a council member in the National Small Business Association.
There is so much wonderful work to do with folks who are just as engaged in the work as we are! Collabovates' growth has been steadily increasing and we are ever-evolving. We are on track to add staff, incorporate learning technology and develop various levels of engagement through a series of seminars and conferences. Holding to our name and mission we want to continue to grow and Collabovate and just like Sankofa to make positive progress and change in the future.