On Sunday evening THRIVE SS’ Executive Director, Larry Walker, was the featured speaker at The Silver Lining Project’s bimonthly National “Oba’s Roundtable.” Larry’s talk covered various aspects and approaches to leadership, with the overarching point that “there is not one dominant or superlative type of leader.” Today’s blog post will focus on three ways to own your space as a Black Queer/SGL leader.
As a leader, owning your space is crucial for projecting confidence and authority in the workplace. However, for Black queer individuals, navigating the predominantly white and cisheteronormative corporate world can be a challenge. In order to build confidence and power, it is important to draw inspiration from the rich history of Black and Black queer leaders who have come before us.
One way to do this is by educating ourselves on the contributions and accomplishments of Black and Black queer historical figures. From Harriet Tubman and James Baldwin to Bayard Rustin and Angela Davis, these leaders have overcome immense obstacles to make significant impact in their fields and society as a whole. By learning about their experiences and strategies, we can gain insight into how to navigate and resist systems of oppression in our own lives and careers.
Another way to own your space as a Black queer leader is to actively seek out and build community with other individuals who share your identity. Whether through professional organizations, affinity groups, or informal networks, connecting with others who understand the unique challenges you face can provide both support and inspiration.
Additionally, it is important to embrace and celebrate your identity, rather than trying to assimilate or downplay it. By being true to yourself and your experiences, you demonstrate the value of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace and beyond.
In conclusion, as a Black queer leader, owning your space requires both an understanding and acknowledgement of the historical context that shapes our experiences and a willingness to embrace and celebrate our unique identities. By drawing inspiration from historical figures, building community, and embracing our identities, we can build confidence and power as leaders.