Founder, Jambo Books
"Gratitude grounds us in the present moment. Gratitude for a full and rich life understands misfortune, but stands grateful in the present moment anyway."
More About Me
Tell us about your career journey and how you ended up here.
I went to law school because I wanted to be a civil rights attorney. I felt that equal opportunity rested on a 3 legged stool: where can you live, where can you work and where can you go to school. I focused on residential segregation and urban development in the early part of my career. I went to work for a large firm in NYC to learn real estate development and later moved to Atlanta to work as an affordable housing developer.
In Georgia, I became deeply involved in Democratic politics and worked to fashion mixed income development policies. I also spent years with a nonprofit purchasing, renovating and reselling foreclosed houses to lower income families.
After being a stay at home mother for a while, I decided to start a business sharing books that featured children of color with families that were looking for great fiction that didn't "other" children of color. I believe that we will create the the Beloved Community when we commit to having difficult conversations and remaining united until we get to the other side. I believe books are powerful medium for starting and sustaining the conversations that will free us.
Describe yourself in 5-7 words.
Dramatic. Empathetic. Curious. Cautious. Growing. Funny.
Tell us about a time when you thrived at work, and what you learned about yourself from that experience.
I really like to work hard. There have been times in my life, whether at school or at work, when all I have had time for is focused work and I find that I really like to work hard. Being able to carve out the time to work hard and also to be a good mother, wife, friend, and daughter is the most difficult challenge I face.
When I was a first year at my first legal job in a big law firm in NYC I was placed in charge of negotiating a contract that a fourth year heading out on vacation had been handling. It was the hardest I had ever worked with very little technical underpinning, but when we finally made it to closing, I was extremely proud of myself and how I overcame the challenges of a difficult work environment and my own lack of confidence.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Sharing fantastic books and receiving positive feedback from our members that their kids love the books and art on the boxes.
How about when you "turn off" and go home? Any hobbies or fun activities you are involved in?
I love theatre, singing and hanging out with my three daughters. One is only 7 weeks old, so she is getting to know us and we are getting to know her!
Any must-read, must-watch or must-follow recommendations?
So many must-reads! But my most recent favorites are Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai, Going Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams Garcia, Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson and As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds.
I have 2 must-watch recommendations: "Derry Girls" on Netflix and "Schitt's Creek" on the Pop network.
Anything else you want to share with the WIT Community?
WIT Community is a great group of people!