Amsterdam Black Women Collective

I build.

The late, great (GOAT) Toni Morrison once said, “if there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Wherever I go I create community where there wasn’t one. I bring people together. I rally I mobilize I cultivate. My experiences have taught me how to get my hands dirty in order to get the job done and how to own an idea from conception to completion. We all have a role to play in creating the world we want to see.

Amsterdam Black Women Collective

Amsterdam Black Women Collective

In search of community when I moved to Amsterdam in 2013 I co-founded Amsterdam Black Woman, a thriving community of Black women from across the diaspora chasing their dreams through Europe. As one of the co-founders I helped conceptualize, build, and grow ABW from the ground up. We started out as just a Meetup group which meant monthly for brunch. The community really took off when we created the Facebook page in 2016. We currently nurture a growing membership of over 1200 and a rotating schedule of events. What I’m most proud of is the powerful relationships and connections the group facilitates - besties, lovers and collaborators are birthed at every event. Moreover, ABW serves as a lighthouse for Black women coming to Amsterdam - whether for just a weekend or permanently - ABW is a starting point for community and connection.

Amsterdam Babysitting Cooperative

Amsterdam Babysitting Cooperative

Something I really missed when I left Brooklyn was the babysitting cooperative I was a part of. I missed belonging to a community of mothers so I set out to build one. I put a call out for parents in Amsterdam and 30 parents signed up. I researched different models of babysitting cooperatives. I created a mailing list, bylaws, membership guidelines and processes. Though we managed to get it off the ground in the end, the cooperative didn’t last long. The lesson I learned from this failure was the importance of building trust and buy in before asking for commitment.

Brooklyn Movement Center

Brooklyn Movement Center

In 2011 I was hired as the first Communications Organizer and one of three employees of the Brooklyn Movement Center (BMC) - a Black-led, membership-based startup organization dedicated to building power and self-determination in the neighborhoods of Brooklyn. I developed and implemented the organizations communications strategy from scratch. I also engineered and executed their brand identity. I built engagement with interactive and visually appealing social media campaigns. Through BMC I learned how to use digital tools and multimedia to inform, activate and mobilize community members and policy makers to take action on ongoing community issues such as street harassment, police brutality and gentrification.

Square Rootz Collective

Square Rootz Collective

The first thing I ever built on the web was called Square Rootz back in 2007. My two best friends (Kat, Jess whatup!?) and I were tired of the same ole, mainstream depictions of Blackness. We were left of center, quirky, and dug stuff that weren’t mainstream. Square Rootz was an “online community space” back when we didn’t know what to call such things (blame the wood grain on the 2000s aright??). We created content highlighting “the goodies of the underworld” (lolz) for black and brown people living in Philadelphia and Brooklyn (I lived in Philly, they were in BK). We wrote and edited the blog, managed a team of freelance bloggers and organized events in both cities. Square Rootz was the first of many things I would build over the course of my career to fill the voids I saw in the world with something real and recognizable. Fun fact: Square Rootz is actually how I met my boo thang Qa’id Jacobs - we hired him to build the site!