Job Title: Senior Consultant
Location: Houston, TX
What Are You Currently Reading: Feeding the Soul (Because It’s My Business) by Tabitha Brown
What drew you to 21/64 at this time?
Like many other people, I’ve done much soul-searching over the past two years. The pandemic, the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, the racial unrest, the political polarization of our country, caused me to self-reflect and self-critique who I was/am and how I was/am showing up in all areas of my life.
I asked myself, ‘Am I living my life according to what I say I value? Are my actions (or inactions) putting me on the side of history that I want to be on?’ While these are questions I ask in an ongoing way, as it’s a lifelong process, I took a step back and thought about questions that 21/64 poses to donors and professionals who we train: Are the values I hold, the actions I am taking, the legacy I want to leave being enacted in my life, including in my role at work? This evaluation of “self and role” led me to discover that I wasn’t bringing my whole self into my role at all and that was something that had to change.
Then, in 2021, 21/64 established the Certified Advisors of Color program. This program, now in its 2nd year, is a yearlong advancement program for BIPOC advisors. It includes 21/64 training on becoming a 21/64 Certified Advisor and adds the element of being in a cohort of your BIPOC peers. I’ve served on the 21/64 Advisory Committee since its inception, and it has been beneficial for me in being able to give voice to my identity and created a space where I began to better understand how I bring myself into my role. The creation of this program solidified for me that 21/64 is about walking its talk and not just checking boxes. I experienced that this was an organization that believes in addressing racial inequality, that is incredibly important to me in my personal life, and now I had a way to exercise that in my professional life. 21/64 has allowed me to align with my values and implement what I had learned in trainings and workshops. My self and role are coming into balance for me.
Which 21/64 tool is your favorite?
My favorite, my go-to is always the Motivational Values card deck. Not only is it accessible, but it lends itself to openness and helps to get at the “why” for people, especially in working with multi-generations. It’s also a great catalyst for discussion and a way for family members to see overlaps in what motivates each of them as opposed to only seeing where they diverge.
Clarifying what is important allows for the movement a family often needs to develop a mission and grantmaking strategy, as well as for the Next Gen to understand the foundation of their family’s philanthropy. Not unlike our clients, I occasionally struggle when choosing my top three values in the deck, but I always encourage folks to not overthink the process. What I have found in facilitating the exercise, is that wherever I am in my life, my top three values always end up being: Integrity; Faith; and Compassion. Okay, sometimes Empathy sneaks in and replaces Compassion. I start with these values, and Equity, Relationships, Courage, and Empathy also naturally intertwine within my being.
How do you describe your role at 21/64?
My role here is to facilitate family meetings, coach, and facilitate trainings and workshops. And my goals are informed by the familial, academic and professionals experiences I’ve had leading up until now.
My path has not been linear, as it rarely is for anyone. I led scholarship management for high-net-worth individuals and corporations at The Columbus Foundation and the Greater Houston Community Foundation. I served as a career counselor at a community college. I facilitated workshops at a nonprofit for women returning to school or work. And I recently served as a philanthropic advisor for high-net-worth individuals at Greater Houston Community Foundation.
I bring a unique perspective to this work. I grew up in a working-class family where I didn’t know the term “philanthropy.” Talent, Time, Treasure, and Ties all needed to remain in our family. What I discovered as I grew and became an adult, is that I have a strong yearning for helping people. I pursued and attained a degree in Counseling and am a Licensed Professional Counselor within the State of Texas. I’m big on emotions, y’all – the what and why people are feeling. My philanthropic professional career, along with my degree, have brought me to this place. This is how I help people.
At the end of the day, being here brings my self and role into alignment. And my goal here is to help others do the same: to identify their self and role, their values, their “why.” At the end of the day, I want to connect and help you find your why and hear how you are/are not able to express yourself fully in your role.
Let’s connect! Reach out to me at [email protected].