Inspiration Nation: 5 Women of Color That Inspire Me
Over the course of my life, I've created several vision boards. The motivational collage often helps one to refocus on his/her goals - and even to achieve them. But since new years mean new things - I'm switching things up. I've created a "virtual" vision board that showcases the amazing women who are my role models. May the readers of this article continue to find inspiration in his/her own personal journeys. women of color Tamron Hall is definitely at the top of my list when it comes to inspiration, as we both share a passion for journalism. Hall is the jack of three trades: she is the first black cohost of the TODAY Show, an anchor on MSNBC, and host of “Deadline Crime” on the Investigation Discovery channel. On October 16, 2015, she was unanimously voted in as the newest member on the board of trustees at Temple University. Hall told Essence magazine that her late father would show her Lola Johnson (first Black anchor for WFAA -TV in Dallas) and tell her "That could be you." Coincidentally, my mother would also tell me those same exact words when I was younger. Perseverance, combined with self belief has taken Tamron far in life, and I know it will take me far too.
 women of color Thato Kgatlhanye is the founder of Rethaka Repurpose Schoolbags, which designs and manufactures school bags from recycled plastic bags in Rustenberg, South Africa. A recent brand management graduate, Kgatlhanye and her team recognized an issue in their community and took a DIY approach to resolve it, employing many women in the process. Solar panels on the bags charge in the sunlight and transform into solar lanterns, so that kids can to study for up to 12 hours. If children are out in the dark, a reflective material makes them instantly visible to drivers. On the RRS website lies a mantra that I love: "[To possess] a compassionate, bold and tenacious kind of creativity. It’s having the audacity to uplift communities with amazing ideas.And uplifting communities is exactly what Kgatlhanye does, as she doubles as an author and motivational speaker. women of color Not only was Jewel Burks one of Forbes' 600 brightest young entrepreneurs, but she also snagged a feature in their 30 under 30 article. While working at McMaster-Carr, Burks was surprised by the difficulty of finding replacement pieces. Her solution? Confounding a company that has raised up to 1.5 million dollars: Partpic. When users take a picture of a part, Partpic matches the user generated image with a part and associated specifications. In a recent interview with Forbes, Burks offered this simple advice for those pursuing a career in business: "Your ability to execute will be tied to your ability to build a great team. Choose wisely, and don’t be afraid to fire when you’ve made a selection mistake." women of color Quitting your job is a risk that many are not willing to take, but Desiree Verdejo decided to take a leap of faith. The former lawyer opened a boutique that focused on diversity, and the rest was history. One of the great things about Vivrant Beauty is that they sell curated skin and hair products for all shades, and all hair textures. Over 40 product lines - like independent companies Mischo Beauty and Eden Bodyworks - line the shelves of Vivrant Beauty. I love how willing Verdejo is to support independent businesses such as Mischo Beauty and Eden Bodyworks. If Harlem happens to be in your vicinity, make your way to 220 St. Nicholas Ave, or visit their online boutique. 

women of colorI've had the pleasure of seeing Peniel Enchill's illustrations on my social media timelines, and I think you should too. Enchill is an award winning fashion illustrator who utilizes her talent to portray women of color in a positive light. Currently pursuing her PHD, the Ghanian native has her work featured on phone cases, greeting cards, and calendars. But no matter how hard life gets, giving up is not an option for Peniel. She recently told that "[she] can’t imagine myself going through life not doing what [she] loves. Nothing good comes easy, so if you’re really willing to work for it, trust God and keep at it." 
 A lover of travel, culture, and the art of story telling, Naidine Escoffery is a freelance journalist. Currently evolving as an undergraduate student, her life experiences allow her to adapt to any situation. Through her news website (, Naidine hopes to share current events from her worlds (West Africa and England) with the world.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id="default-sidebar"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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