A Note from Erin,
This month is Black History Month and we want to celebrate with all of the women in Women Who Succeed the Black Americans that have contributed to the fabric of the United States. Please watch our panel interview featuring members Alyssha Dairsow, Kassandra Cruz, Sui Lang Panoke, Ally Isom, Michelle Love-Day, and Jennifer Bean discussing dreams, challenges, opportunities, and perspectives about the future for Black Americans. A special thank you to Kat Falcone, from Spin Off, for all her efforts in securing the filming of our ladies.
Black History Month
By Member Michelle Love-Day, Consultant at Jordan School District and Owner and Founder of Love-Day Educational Consulting and RISE Virtual Academy.
Taking a month out of the year to celebrate and recognize Black History, does not mean it’s not important the other 11 months of the year. February is given to us to truly reach out and learn something new that we hadn’t known before. American and World history is so vast that as Dr. John Henrik Clarke states, “What we call Black history truly is the missing pages of world history.” The fact that many countries celebrate Black History demonstrates the many perspectives that should be honored when sharing pieces of the story in the History books. I always find myself in the habit of reading a historical story and wondering, “I wonder what was happening with the rest of the country during this time? What were the families from other cultures doing during that time? People suddenly don’t disappear when the Great Depression happened, but the schoolbooks certainly omitted a lot of people.”
Black History Month isn’t just for Black People to learn and engage with information. It’s for everyone. Half of the things we interact daily with were and are created by Black People: gas masks, protective mailboxes, the stop light, automatic elevator doors, blood banks, home security systems, refrigerated trucks, the super soaker, tissue holders, clothes dryer, folding chairs, golf tea…. I could go on, google can help you finish this exhaustive list. Because of that fact, everyone should take the time to learn about the people and culture behind the inventions.
The one thing I do each year is find an area that I want to learn more about surrounding Black History. The information is so vast, and I always received the Civil Rights information in school that I wanted to learn more beyond the struggle of gaining our alienable rights that were already bestowed upon Americans. Each year, I find a focus: famous Black poets, Black entrepreneurs, eras like the Harlem Renaissance or Motown.. each time I learn something new. I challenge everyone to do this. What do you not know too much about? With the amount of information on Google and YouTube, the possibilities are endless. If it still overwhelms you, simply go through the National Museum of African American History and Cultures website. This national treasure that is seated in DC has a plethora of information. Learn, grow, and know Black History is American History.
Reverend Lynn Miller Jackson
The Reverend Lynn Miller Jackson has been in ministry with the Mountain Sky Conference of the United Methodist Church since 2014. In her initial appointment, Pastor Lynn became the first female Senior Pastor of Scott United Methodist Church in Denver, Colorado. She served Scott UMC-Denver for five (5) years bringing forth more collaborative ministry for deeper engagement and greater impact in the congregation and community. This included embracing experimentation and partnering with community organizations to educate, equip and empower all people. Pastor Lynn was twice nominated for the Denver Urban Spectrum African Americans Who Make A Difference Award.
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Alyssha Dairsow-Garfield is a visionary and builder doing vital work for black girls and young women in an unlikely place: Utah. Her non-profit organization, Curly Me! is on a mission to educate, empower and encourage girls from 5-14 years old to be their best selves through community events and mentoring.
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Rachel Weaver is in her final year at Brigham Young University. In her high school years, she gained a passion for social justice and women’s issues. From beginning to learn about the marginalization of people of color in ethnic studies classes to participating in organized protests against improper school funding and even being a founding member of her high school’s first gender equality club, AGE (Acting for Gender Equality). This passion for equality was the main push behind her choice to study sociology in her undergrad, along with her minor in global women’s studies.
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Your Dollars Have Impact
Women Who Succeed was proud to announce in January that we are hosting Dr. Bernice King to the stage at Eccles Theater on April 21, 2022. We are working closely with our NAACP branches, the Black Chamber of Commerce, educational institutions, ecclesiastical entities, governments, private corporations, and stakeholders to provide Dr. King a warm welcome and bring much-needed awareness to our community.
A big thank you to the following corporate sponsors who have committed their support:
Ken Garff Automotive, Mountain America Credit Union, Zions Bank, O.C. Tanner, BDO, Keller Investment Properties, Two Ferry, University of Utah, Nicole & Peter Mouskondis, and Progressive Leasing
- Dr. Bernice King Event Sponsorship: If diversity, equity, and inclusion in Utah is a priority for your company join the above community partners as a sponsor of this important event! Please review our opportunities here and reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Annual Membership Renewal & Recruitment: March 2022 marks the beginning of Year 2 for Women Who Succeed! We will be reaching out to renew your membership and request your suggested member donation of $1000 during the first week of March. This is also a wonderful opportunity to refer potential new members who help us expand our diverse and dynamic network of women.
- Ken Garff Hole in One Challenge Sponsorship: $3000 is all you’ll need to hold your spot at our first-ever Women’s Only flight at the Ken Garff tournament held at Thanksgiving Point in May 2022. Golfers mark your calendars and perfect your swing! If you are ready to register now, please click https://forms.gle/KqdFfyNbsDYeYy94A.
For more information about how you, or your company, can support our efforts with a financial donation do not hesitate to reach out to Jennifer Bean at email@example.com.
ShePlace & Women Who Succeed
We recently teamed up with ShePlace, an online platform and community that focuses on helping women+ develop a healthier relationship with their financial resources. This platform enables you to network and share events, opportunities, experiences, and ideas. Most of all, it empowers you to support and learn from other women in our community.
Opportunity Alert! SheTech
Help high school girls discover their path in tech! If you know a girl in 9-12th grade who is trying to figure out what educational or career path she should pursue, send her to SheTech Explorer Day to get hands-on experience with STEM fields, work together with inspiring mentors, interact with the technology community, and be inspired about all she can achieve. This is a free, unforgettable career exploration day with the tech community that will help her discover her destiny and give her the tools to get started. Register now at www.shetechexplorer.com.
We HEAR Her Podcast
Our Women Who Succeed have been busy sharing their stories, insights, and lessons learned in our We HEAR Her Podcast Series. Listen here and subscribe to our weekly episodes released on the following platforms:
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Reverend Lynn Miller Jackson cont.
As an ordained elder, Pastor Lynn embraces the itinerant nature of her role and will go where God calls her to serve. On July 1, 2019, Pastor Lynn became the first African American and first female Senior Pastor of Hilltop UMC in Sandy, UT. She continues to seek and support ecumenical and community partnerships; serves on the Crossroads Urban Center Board, the organizing committee for United Today Stronger Tomorrow, and supports the Coalition of Religious Communities projects, Family Promise, and Women Who Succeed.
In addition to the local church and community, Pastor Lynn serves on the Mountain Sky Conference Leadership Development Team; Racial Justice Ministries and Movement Taskforce; the Board of Ordained Ministry as liaison and Co-Chair of the Residency in Ministry Team and has been active on other special project teams. She has also served as a mentor to Master of Divinity and ordination candidates.
Prior to ministry, Pastor Lynn had a successful career in commercial property management. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, she managed a large portfolio of commercial real estate projects across the United States. She was also an active member of Cascade United Methodist Church and volunteered with various non-profit organizations engaging for local and global impact.
Pastor Lynn is married to Mark Jackson. They share a blended family of five adult children, four grandchildren, and a dog named Griffon. Originally from Atlanta, GA, Pastor Lynn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Mathematics from Emory University and a Master of Divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology with concentrations in Peace, Justice and Conflict Transformation, Christian Education, and Women, Theology and Ministry. She is a Fellow of the Engle Institute of Preaching at Princeton University. She enjoys purposeful world-wide travel, historic architecture, fly fishing, entrepreneurship, and life-long learning about everything.
Alyssha Dairsow-Garfield cont.
After growing up on the East Coast, Alyssha was drawn to the beehive state in 2013 in pursuit of graduate studies. New to the state, she quickly noticed the dearth of resources for black people in general, and specifically for black children. She emerged from a period of self-reflection with an idea and a trademarked logo. She began developing and hosting events such as Change the World with Her – where participants get in-person access to professionals like pilots, city planners, and news anchors to learn about different careers and ask questions. Other events, like High Tea with a Twist allow girls to wear their hair in twist-outs or plaits, get dressed up and be girly. Recently, they had a visit from Princess Tiana to remind every girl there that they can be a princess. In childhood, Alyssha came to understand the power of having available resources in the form of people who looked like her.
Inspired by this, and by her mother who herself founded and runs a successful non-profit back home, Alyssha finally realized her true purpose for being in Utah. Pivoting from graduate studies, she redirected her energy into finding and forming a strong team of the right people. In 2018, Curly Me! obtained its 501(c)(3) designation. Today the organization continues to be a valuable resource for young black girls and their families, throughout the state. Their events range from sleepovers to book clubs to excursions at the local Aviary, and everything in between.
Alyssha looks forward to the continued growth of Curly Me! and forging and nurturing connections with girls nation-wide and internationally. A group trip to visit African-American history museums while forging those connections is something she envisions. Outside of the organization, Alyssha enjoys spending time with her husband Meligha, traveling, karaoke and meeting new people.
Rachel Weaver cont.
While at BYU Rachel’s had the opportunity to work as a research assistant on three different projects for professors. Along with being a teacher’s assistant for a sociology class about race. Currently, she’s an intern for Vernon Hepri, an administrator who oversees The Student Success and Inclusion Office. This office’s main responsibility is being involved in on-campus invites surrounding inclusion. While also starting their own projects to help make the campus a safe place for all students and faculty no matter their race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or socioeconomic status.
Rachel hopes that her studies and experience can lead her to work in diversity, equity, and inclusion. She plans to get a master’s degree in human resources to have both social science and human capital knowledge. Which is needed in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusions.
This past year she spent a lot of her free time as the executive vice president of the BYU Black Student Union along with volunteering with the Diversity, Collaboration, Inclusion committee.
Even with her busy schedule, Rachel loves to make time for her family and friends- which includes lots of FaceTime calls with her sister who just had twin boys. She also loves nice walks while listening to podcasts. She has a passion for food, from trying new recipes to trying new restaurants.