Strategic Community Partners is proud to be a women-led organization and is committed to empowering and celebrating the women on our staff. As Women’s History Month begins, we asked a few members of our team to reflect on their identities in this work.
Chanel Hampton, Founder and President
If you would have asked me what the most salient part of my identity was four years ago, I would have said my race. After launching Strategic Community Partners nearly three years ago and since then, I will hands down say that my gender is the most salient part of my identity. Furthermore, as a woman of color, I do not take it lightly and am constantly reminded of my power, my resilience, and how far we have to go as a society. It means the world to me that my students, my younger relatives, and beyond can see a woman in power--because for far too long, this wasn’t the case; and even today, we still often see limited female leadership. It is also critical to me that I foster an organizational culture which uplifts, empowers, and celebrates women. I am both proud and humbled to be the founder and president of an organization that is known not only in my hometown of Detroit and home state of Michigan, yet in our nation’s capital (where our second Strategic Community Partners office is located), and across the country.
Maya Angelou put it perfectly:
"Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Alaina Dague, Manager, Partnerships
For 2018, the National Women’s History Month theme is “Nevertheless, she persisted: Honoring women who fight all forms of discrimination against women.” As many of us in this work know, this refers to remarks made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell when, despite his objection, Sen. Elizabeth Warren continued to read a letter from civil rights leader Coretta Scott King condemning then-Sen. Jeff Sessions as the Senate debated Sessions' nomination to become U.S. Attorney General. This brief comment -- “Nevertheless, she persisted.” -- sparked a movement celebrating the tenacity and determination of women throughout history and across the world.
As I reflect on this theme, I am especially proud to be working at a woman-owned and women-led organization; at an company where women are intentionally developed and supported; and at an organization where my voice as a woman and as a professional is deeply respected. At Strategic Community Partners, we have lived out our commitment to inclusivity, representation, and excellence in building a team of phenomenal women leaders. I am honored to work among, and be one, of these women.
Tirrea Billings, Media Coordinator
I knew I wanted to change the world and make an impact in my community at a young age. It is important to me to be doing mission-driven work as a woman - a black woman - and to be a catalyst for change and equality.
In film and media, the industry is largely dominated by white men. So, being able to work in an organization that consists of women doing the same work that I am committed to doing is nothing short of inspirational. Working at a women-led organization not only gives me hope that more women are taking on leadership roles in their organizations and communities, but also reminds me that we are working endlessly to have a seat at the table in order for our voices to be heard. To me, that is what Women’s History Month means. It is a reflection of those who came before us, those in the present, and those who will come after us that have, are, and will do the work necessary to ensure equity and inclusivity in our society. As a filmmaker, videographer, and the Media Coordinator for Strategic Community Partners, I aim to leave my mark on the world through film, telling stories of social justice, human rights, and the experiences of people of color. In that, I advocate for more women, especially women of color, to be included in the industry. Our stories matter, and I aim to tell them not just during Women’s History Month, but even after as well.