At Strategic Community Partners, we are committed to empowering and celebrating women--women on our team; women we partner with; women we serve; women in general. Today, on International Women's Day, we asked a few members of our team to reflect on their experience engaging in mission-driven work at a women-led organization.
Chanel Hampton, Founder and President
Mission-driven work is my life’s calling--I’ve known that since I was a child when, at the age of seven, I boldly declared I would be a civil rights attorney. Fast forward 12 years to when I was a senior at the University of Michigan and was on my way to law school. Working for a social justice and advocacy organization, the American Friends Service Committee, as a free legal advocate for those incarcerated in Michigan prisons, I decided I did not want to study in law school, but rather wanted to prevent cases by engaging with youth and helping them understand and walk in their greatness. This was deeply personal to me, as it was also a preventive strategy to ensure my community, and so many other marginalized communities, weren’t getting caught in the system. My family and my mother ingrained mission-driven values in my DNA--and I’ve been fighting the good fight ever since.
As for the intersection of gender and work--if you’d asked me before starting my company what the most salient part of my identity was, I would have told you: my race. Three years ago, I launched Strategic Community Partners (formerly Hampton Consulting)--and since then, my answer to that same question is: my gender. For all of it’s glory, I am a woman. Our power, our resilience, our passion...I am a proud woman. Furthermore, I am the proud, humble, and grateful Founder and President of Strategic Community Partners--a national organization committed to collaborating with mission-driven organizations to lead strategy and provide capacity-building. For me, this experience has been a wonderful professional whirlwind and a powerful experience in my personal life. For our amazing SCP team and our partners, I do not take it lightly what I represent and who I represent. For my team and partners to be able to see a strong Black woman leading an organization that has rapidly grown and has a strong brand and reputation, I look at this an opportunity to pay homage to those whose shoulders I stand upon, as well as continue to build a legacy of phenomenal women. We each have pieces of our identity that are core to who we are and why we do what we do. Being a Black woman is core to who I am; and through this wonderful, deep, rich identity, I am blessed to lead in this work and do this work each day.
Alaina Dague, Manager, Partnerships
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day -- Press For Progress -- deeply resonates with me. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report last year found that gender parity in income, employment, education, health, and political engagement is still more than 200 years away. Especially now, I am humbled and honored to work at a mission-driven organization so deeply committed to promoting gender inclusion and equity. At Strategic Community Partners we proudly lift up and support women leaders, both within our organization and throughout the greater community.
My commitment to relentlessly #PressForProgress on this issue will remain unwavering throughout all that I do. This dedication is further bolstered by the knowledge that I am working in concert with the phenomenal women of SCP, the women leaders who we partner with and serve, and women in this work who I have yet to even meet. I am hopeful that the greater social movement in pursuit of gender parity only continues to grow, until all women have access to and are empowered to pursue their dreams.
Tirrea Billings, Media Coordinator
Today, there are so many black women in mainstream media that young black girls can look up to. That makes me so happy because growing up, I didn’t have that. I didn’t have a Michelle Obama, a Viola Davis, or an Ava DuVernay. That being said, representation truly matters, and I aim to represent people of color -- especially women of color -- through film. I am blessed to be doing this work at such an amazing women-led company that caters to mission-driven clientele, helping them achieve their goals by pairing strategy with community and cultural context. Being the Media Coordinator at Strategic Community Partners has already opened so many doors for me, both career-wise and on a creatively. As a black woman, I love being able to capture the diverse voices of our core staff and our partners, and to meet so many inspiring women doing mission-driven work to better their communities. It’s beyond inspiring to work at a company like SCP that uplifts women, diverse voices and stories, and serves as the representation that I wish I had growing up as a woman of color.