The short version
1. I love cheese but its proven to not love me back. I also love stories. Why? They are the most powerful tools on the planet for connection and change. 65% of all daily communication is story.
2. My story starts with my family being part of the Great Migration from the South and landing in Utah, my childhood through teenage years home (questions about Mormons, being black in a place where about 3 other black people live, and the merits of Jello, are expected). My childhood of being an outsider religiously, politically, and racially taught me how powerful story can be for influencing how we treat one another.
3. I’ve used story to manage teams creating social movements in the non-profit world that inspired 300,000 young people to volunteer on various causes, and to connect brands to the communities they care about, helping secure 6.5M in profits for the companies and teams I've worked with and for along the way. I now teach the science and power of storytelling as a tool for creating deeper connection between people and creating influence and buy-in for bold ideas.
4. My mission is to flip the status-quo on leadership through story. Leadership isn’t an elitist and built-in trait — it’s the ability to inspire and move other people through your vision and the lessons you’ve gained across your life experiences. The New Quo is creating a new communication paradigm for a new generation of leadership, unleashing your potential to deeply connect, influence, and inspire others through your stories of change.
We will build stronger senses of self, create better products, service wider audiences, and solve seemingly insurmountable problems when we stand in our truths and share them authentically across diverse social lines.
Welcome. Grab a tea. Relax. Ponder. Meditate. Do a jig. Sing in your head (or maybe out loud). Read on if you're curious for more:
The Long Version (damn, you really DO like me!)
STORY OF MY ANCESTORS
My story starts before I was born, on the poor side of Memphis, Tennessee where my grandma and her four siblings grew up. They ate mac and cheese that sticks to your ribs, played word games that made them sharp and witty while passing the time, attended segregated schools and lived segregated lives, and experienced humble existences rich in community, creativity, and survival regardless of the circumstances. In an effort to seek hope in a time of turmoil, they went west as teenagers with their mother and settled in Utah. I come from a long line women courageous enough to leave behind what they know, to rewrite their stories with hopefully better endings in an unknown place: our adversities can be some of the greatest lessons and creative inspirations we have.
STORY OF WORTH
I spent my childhood-teenage years as an extreme “other” a.k.a minority in Utah. As a black, female, liberal, and at the time baptist (I’m no longer apart of organized religion, but am deeply spiritual), these differences with my local community put me in direct line with racism, bigotry, and misunderstandings. They also became a gift, forcing me to stand in and respect my own truth without shame. This taught me how to cherish understanding universal similarities that binds us, while celebrating the differences that define us. I grew up in a broke yet creative single parent home with my mom and two younger sisters and started working at the age of 16 (from working in an airbag facility to shilling infomercial products, I hustled!) until I was accepted at Cornell University. In my free time I wrote, sang, and created as a past time with no thought about these hobbies becoming a central part of my life or a tool for change.
STORY OF BEHAVIOR CHANGE
I needed a job before I left the enriching bubble of Cornell, no questions asked. I had no safety net. There was an artist in me, but pursuing that felt fickle with the sacrifices my family made to send this first generation college student out East. I was introduced to the corporate world through landing a job at a very prestigious law firm. There I learned titles were more important than talent. Competition was valued more than collaboration. Conformity was celebrated over ingenuity and creativity. I then pivoted to the non-profit world, seeking reciprocity in my values and a different bottom line. That’s when I first discovered the transformative power of a narrative and story with a purpose. I collaborated with some incredible young professionals to craft messages and stories, sending them to hundreds of thousands of young people through their emails, cell phones, and social media, in the hope they would be inspired to take action - and it worked. We moved over 300,000 young people to take action on issues ranging from discrimination and poverty, to health and women's rights. From that moment forward, I was hooked on storytelling as a tool for powerful change.
STORY OF THE CATALYST
I then made the transition into marketing, creating content and campaigns for non-profits, political organizations, and major brands to help them tell authentic stories to reach communities they care about, while helping the companies I worked for bring in a collective 6.5M dollars in profits. Although I was able to achieve incredible things early on in my work life, something felt like it was missing at each part of my professional journey. I’d watch my colleagues adopt masks of who they felt they must be to succeed, stifling their own truths, opinions, and talents for fear of failure and judgement. I’d see organizations desperately strive for goals motivated by fear and scarcity, losing any clear sense of values, culture, and integrity. I’d discover the tactical, emotionless, and at times manipulative ways we tried to communicate with one another internally and externally with the audiences and people we were trying to serve. I realized how often we only celebrated creativity and innovation when it came from a non-melanated, male source. My personal life also took many dips and winding turns as well with tragic, life altering accidents and deaths in my family, relationships lost, health struggles, and weight troubles.
I felt creatively blocked and underutilized. I felt inauthentic to what I believe, what impacts I want to make, and how I attain purpose, community, and fulfillment. I believed there had to be a better way than the conventional path of success and achievement. And I knew that any change had to start from within.
OWNING THE STORY
Those realizations began a many year journey of personal development and difficult growth. I went to therapy. I read self help books ranging from nutrition to mental health and creativity. I began to write on this platform, sharing what I learned along the way, using my own life experiences and the overlooked perspectives of others to showcase creative wisdom, striving to elevate a more diverse perspective on the deeper questions of life. I struggled with how to define this thing I was striving for, this deeper purpose and behavior change I felt like every person was capable of exploring. But major shifts began to happen. Every time I began to shift my own narratives and beliefs about myself, my work, and my life and shared that with others, dramatic growth and change occurred. I won $10,000 on a reality TV show competition for entrepreneurial women. I was given opportunities to speak and lead professionally. I gained 1.3MM social media impressions of TNQ content, leveraging my knowledge of paid media and powerful storytelling with a purpose to hit that milestone. I’d share my stories of change, the biggest moments that shaped my life and created my point of view, in public forums on a whim, and immediately get inquiries for how much I charge and how I could help them with their particular communications struggle. My story became my vehicle of powerful change and purpose, and yours can too.
The stories we tell are powerful -- powerful personally in terms of how we feel about ourselves, and socially by how they define how others see us. The ultimate goal of this platform is to help creators, innovators, and status quo breakers see the power and beauty of their personal experiences and the stories they tell about them to move their people with purpose, to
I am a storyteller and always have been - as a singer, writer, and content creator. I’ve seen the power new media typically gives muted voices in defining their own stories and seeking affirmation of their worth. I have experienced many adversities as so many of us do, yet I know they do not define who I am or my story, they simply shape the larger narrative. And they can for you too.