For a long time, we’ve thought of interviewing the people that make up our philanthropic/ business worlds. From clients to those we work with via B2B partnerships.
Latoya Francis happens to be one of those we do supply. She is the founder of Let Me Live, a nonprofit organization that is based out of The Cayman Islands and Jamaica. We supply some of the merchandise that is sold through Dhamiri-i, an initiative under Let Me Live.
I met Latoya at a pop-up on campus (where I was selling our designs) and she happened to be the first girl of color that won an East Africa Ambassadorship Program that a few of us set up while attending college in Anderson, Indiana.
Last year, an opportunity presented itself via our Alma Mater. I heard of all Latoya had achieved and I just wanted a way to celebrate her. Side note: Do you ever think about all the beautiful fireflies (people) that end up losing their light simply because they do not have a village around them? I’ve worked with Latoya for more than a few years now and we’ve met each other broken and when we are almost whole. We’ve had ups and downs and still, we persist on as business partners, sisters and friends and so I just knew it was time to start sharing these stories.
Now, I am NOT a stickler for permanence. Permanence doesn’t make sense to me because everything in life is constantly changing. The one thing that seems to be constant in life, is change. This means, her interview happened through our Alma Mater but the rest of the interviews might happen through other means. Here is one from Kitty O: Tomorrows Without Them.
I just want to celebrate and share the stories of those I bump into because I am certain I happen to meet some of the most amazing humans, living everyday lives and their stories can help others make sense of their own paths.
When you hear from celebrities, it sometimes takes the humanity out of it. What I mean is everyone doesn’t have access to big names, and big stars etc. We are just living our everyday lives and so sometimes when you’re looking for courage, you need to know or hear about someone else, that’s as ordinary as you. Even if that person is ordinary though, they are doing it. It helps you sing that lovely song, I Think I Can, from The Little Engine That Could, through your own life struggles and achievements
I also know for a fact that I am the connection a lot of people have to diversity. I am sometimes their closest Black, expatriate, African etc connection. So, I wanted a way to share my world with others in a way that allows immersion to take place and The Single Story they might have about those that differ from them, replaced with more factual information.
I don’t have to retell the stories personally if I choose to utilize tech. People can tell their own stories with their own accents and from their own countries. OURS, as an organization, is to share those stories across social media.
The other thing that came to mind, as I heard of all Latoya was accomplishing is, I feel that we don’t celebrate our successes as everyday people enough. Latoya was trying to do that. She wanted to keep it quiet and my heart was like sis, nah! That’s not what we are doing because I’ve had a front row seat and I’ve watched you work so hard to get to where you are. So no. I was going to find a way for us to highlight this young lady.
We need to do this more often.
We need to cheer each other on and surround each other so our humble, or perhaps gargantuan, goals can come to life. So, this is the conversation I had with Latoya and Trent Palmer.
PS: Again Trent Palmer, shukran, shukran, shukran for making this possible. I came to you with what felt like a strange request and you were like, I know how we can celebrate her. So, thank you for making room. Here is the podcast. Enjoy!!