Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
I have been blessed to have inspirational people all around me. I consider myself so lucky to have ambitious, intelligent and caring friends and family members that have a genuine desire to see me succeed. I also draw inspiration from the extraordinary women who have touched countless lives and achieved amazing feats on the grandest scales. As a black woman it’s hard not to be inspired by other incredible black women, including Vice President Kamala Harris, Dr. Kissmekia Corbett, and Michelle Obama. I cannot say enough about the magic that is seeing someone who looks like you achieve. However, arguably just as important as representation is a foundational belief in yourself and your ability to accomplish your goals. Self-confidence is the bridge between your goals and accomplishments; and, for that, my dad is my biggest inspiration. He taught me from a very young age that whatever I choose to do, I should strive for greatness. And in order to be great, you must put in the work that being great requires. He instilled in me a sense of resilience and an understanding that not all circumstances will be in my control. Life is not always fair, however the only real way to lose, is to give up or not even try. It was my dad who believed in me, when I had yet to believe in myself. It is one of life’s greatest gifts and assets to have someone in your corner. My dad has always been in mine.
What inspired you to become a lawyer?
My dream of being a lawyer was born the way so many childhood dreams are — through the magic of books and TV. It was in sixth grade when I wrote about Atticus Finch from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Shortly thereafter, I realized that what I really wanted to be was a difference maker. And, while though it’s true that you can make a difference in almost any profession if you apply yourself to that goal, it was in the role of lawyer that I felt uniquely equipped with the tools and training to not only help individuals, groups, and businesses who have been injured, but also equipped to really affect change in my community. I have always enjoyed learning about the law, but my greatest inspiration to become a lawyer was my desire to make an impact, and my belief that being a lawyer was my way to accomplish this.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
For me, celebrating black history is a year-long affair. From the music, books and movies we enjoy, to many of the techniques and feats of mathematics and science that make the world we live in today possible. Black history is American history and America could not be where it is today without the contributions of African Americans. I believe black history month is a time to celebrate those contributions, and to celebrate the stories of those who paved the way for us. It’s a time to remember and to celebrate the richness of our shared history, and celebrate the achievements of those who overcame insurmountable odds to bring us here. For me personally, it’s a time to recognize that my own successes could only have been made by standing on the shoulders of those who came before me.