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Meet the 2020-21 Recipients of the Mejuri Empowerment Fund

March 1, 2021Fine Files

In June 2020, we announced our Empowerment Fund, which focuses on one simple idea: when women are empowered to lead, they empower everyone around them, promoting collaboration, fairness and equality. That’s why we chose to start with supporting higher education for women and non-binary people. Our mission is to empower the next generation of leaders to take on leadership (and the world) on their own terms.

We partnered with the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) in the United States and BBPA (Black Business Professional Association) in Canada, pledging $120,000 USD to scholarships for Black women and Black non-binary people. We are excited to share that twenty recipients have been selected from hundreds of incredible applications.


THE UNCF RECIPIENTS

Chyna Brodie

“I would define leadership as the ability to inspire, passion for conducting change, willingness to do the work, and the commitment towards making everyone feel seen.”

Jada Jones

“Every goal that I set for myself is rooted in growth, whether it's big or small. Every day I want to wake up and be able to say that I'm a better version of myself than the day before.”

Glory Okwori

“I admire and support the president of the Carnegie Foundation, Ernest Boyer’s paradigm of leadership as “one that not only promotes the scholarship of discovering knowledge, but also celebrates the scholarship of integrating knowledge, of communicating knowledge, and of applying knowledge through professional service.”

Ania Kerr 

“A leader is someone willing to not only vouch for their community but everyone. I am the type of leader who doesn’t say many words, but I make sure that my actions are impactful and purposeful.”

Jada Leonard

“The ability to inspire, encourage, and relate to our fellow human beings in a way that leads them to a common goal. I don't need to have some fancy job title or a PhD to my name to lead. The people that need leading are all around me and being here with them is how I can relate to them best.” 

Khatavia Franks

“Leadership is putting aside your selfishness to make sure the people around you are well enough to support themselves. I like to look out for others, not just myself.”

Laura Hairston

“Receiving this scholarship will not only help me pay for college, but It will help me achieve my goals for the future, pursue my dream, and ultimately become Dr. Laura Nicole Hairston.”

Mabel Sodeinde

“Strength and vulnerability. These two traits are necessary for ensuring that a community that relies on your guidance can trust you and give themselves grace when needed.”

Alexandria Scott

“I am a leader that believes in strong work ethic, communication, and teamwork. I aspire to be a leader that empowers others and speaks up to invoke change.”

Valentina Solci 

“I would consider myself to be a gracious and conscious leader who strives to motivate others positively, deeply connect with those I am leading, and always keep an open mind.”


THE BBPA RECIPIENTS

Amrita LaRose

“Being a leader and developing leadership qualities do not come easily or occur overnight. I believe that great leaders are made through a long process of self-evaluation, learning, training, and experience. I aspire to be a respected leader who can communicate well with others, be able to positively influence and empower others to grow as an individual.”

Barbara Brown “I believe leadership is the ability to recognize talents and potential in others and help them to nurture it, all the while working together towards a common goal; it is the ability to orchestrate the talents and potential of several people at once so that everyone moves together in synergy. This is the type of leader I am working towards becoming.”

Brianna Glanville-Forrest

“Currently, I am a leader who leads by example. I am a young Black woman living in the 21st century with the world as my oyster. The powerful statement "I am the dream and the hope of the slave" said by the late Maya Angelou are words that I live by. Though I may face challenges due to my race or gender, it inspires me to be resilient and prove to others that greatness can emerge from any community."

Connie Awuku-Darkoh

“I define leadership as being able to influence others in a positive manner. As I am often a woman of few words, I aspire to be a leader that not only leads by my actions but also uses my voice to speak up for others and important issues.”

Eki Okungbowa

“Taking the initiative to effect lasting change is at the heart of leadership. I strive to put this into practice in the work that I do. I aspire to stay true to these values. “

Taejah Noble

“I would define leadership through a poetic mantra: “Identify, exemplify, and multiply.” I am the type of leader who recognizes the strengths and capabilities of others for them to become leaders themselves. I aspire to be a leader that expands from what I have learned to mobilize, empower, collaborate, and initiate with others to create meaningful change in whatever way I can.”

Sonia Igboanugo

“Leadership to me is service. I carry this mindset in whatever leadership roles that I hold. I aspire to be a leader that nurtures potential and architects opportunities for that potential to be fulfilled. I consider it a privilege to serve others and hope to model integrity, compassion and selflessness, all of which I believe are pillars for effective leadership.”

Njoki Kamau

“Currently, I am a leader that advocates the political, economic and social empowerment of Canada’s Black youth, especially those between 18-30 years old. In the future, I hope to develop my advocacy and community-building on a broader scale by being a policy-maker that creates & developed equitable policies and initiatives that support Canada’s Black youth community.”

Savannah Gray

“I am a pace-setting leader. I lead by example, demonstrating hard work and perseverance, always encouraging others to be and do their best. I am also a leader who works to include everyone and ensure their ideas are heard. In the future, I want to continue to do so, while helping others to develop their skills. I want to be a fair leader that treats everyone equally and stays true to their word.”

Chelsea Richards James

“A leader is someone who can uplift others and encourage them to express the best parts of themselves. I aspire to help others discover what they’re passionate about and to continuously grow in many aspects including mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.”


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