Friday, March 6

Invisible No More: Empowering Young Black Women and Girls to Rise-Up as Leaders by Dr. Raye Mitchell

Invisible No More: Empowering Young
Black Women and Girls to Rise-Up as Leaders
by Dr. Raye Mitchell

From Raye Mitchell, Esq., a Harvard Law School trained attorney, award-winning activist, humanitarian, fierce advocate for young Black women and girls, and founder of the G.U.R.L.S. Rock and G.U.R.L.S. Lead Global Leadership programs, comes a compelling book designed to assist those striving to support young Black women and girls as they rise up as global leaders.

For so many, the passion to empower our girls to become leaders is personal, and we continually seek practical and innovative insights into how to help achieve the vision of equality and inclusion for Black women and girls at the leadership table in all sectors. With information that is comprehensive and all in one place yet quick and easy to read and digest, this book delivers a plan of action, not just a description of the status quo. 

From the schoolroom to the boardroom, there is a national crisis of invisibility for Black women and girls. While highly visible, in general, millions of Black women and girls are virtually invisible at the leadership table in America. The number of African-American chief executive officers is so low that we are losing the race to achieve real diversity in the traditional and the newly forming notions of the C-suite. Invisible No More.

Empowering Young Black Women and Girls To Rise Up as Leaders is intended to inspire and provoke action to address the leadership crisis facing corporate and non-corporate America related to the urgent need for diversity, the inclusion of Black women in leadership, and a substantial pipeline of leaders that puts Black girls in line to move forward. Included in the book is a preview of a leadership book written by Black girls delivering thoughtful peer-to-peer leadership insights. The work, entitled #I Lead Like a Girl, is a testament to the strength, creative genius, ambition, and can-do attitude embodied in all Black girls when they are empowered to lead and effect change.

All sales proceeds fund leadership and C-suite training boot camps for young Black women and girls.


Big picture
Chapter Excerpt Invisible No More
Author’s Note -  “We See You”

“This is for all the women, women of color, and colorful people whose stories, ideas, thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important. But I want you to know that I see you. We see you.” -- Tracee Ellis Ross, 2017 Golden Globe winner for her role in ABC’s Blackish

On October 4, 2017, Sgt. La David Johnson, along with three other U.S. soldiers, was killed in action in West Africa when Islamic State militants attacked them in Niger. His body was flown back to the United States on Tuesday, October 17. Sgt. Johnson was a Black man who left behind a young widow with two young children and a third on the way. His widow, Myeshia Johnson, was only twenty-four years of age. Not so soon thereafter, the forty-fifth President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, called her. 

Rather than deliver culturally responsive condolences to the young widow of a fallen solider killed in the line of service, Trump utilized the power of his office to disrespect the Black woman and her family. Mrs. Johnson found the tone and content of the condolence call from the commander-in-chief to be disrespectful. She felt unheard and disregarded. In response to sharing her account of events surrounding the ill-fated call, Trump, again utilizing the power of the U.S. presidency, effectively called the widow a liar in public.

This lack of cultural humility, sensitivity, and civility is astounding yet sadly unsurprising. Make no mistake! Young Black women and girls are invisible and under siege in all sectors of society. It seems there are few safe spaces for young Black women to be heard or validated.

We, as Black women and girls, are being silenced, and we are losing inter-generational connections, intra-generational connectivity, as well as our visibility. The general gender uprising, which calls for more women to advance in leadership and gain access to the C-suite, is not about increasing the number of Black women or women of color in leadership positions. The fight for gender equality is not about us as Black women. We are only supplemental to the conversation, and for the most part, our perspectives are, at best, left out of core leadership decisions .

National Crisis
These observations are not merely an academic, ‘feel good’ moment. Corporate and non-corporate America faces a national crisis today. The number of African-American chief executive officers (CEO) is so low that we are losing the race to achieve true diversity at the leadership table and in the C-suite. Shockingly but unsurprisingly, no Black women have run Fortune 500 companies since Ursula Burns retired as Xerox’s CEO in January 2017. None. After American Express’s Kenneth Chenault retires in February 2018, there will be only three Black CEOs running Fortune 500 companies: Ken Frazier of Merck, Roger Ferguson of TIAA, and Marvin Ellison of J. C. Penney.    

The lack of Black women at the C-suite level indicates a persistent problem in how we develop and groom future leaders. Corporate America is a microcosm of America itself. Structural barriers assign certain values to preferred groups and disadvantage and exclude Black women and people of color not included or invited in the group on the rise. This book captures and documents the reality of the insidious systemic, structural, and institutional barriers firmly entrenched in our system of leadership preparation. 

Misperceptions about Black people abound, and race and gender discrimination are well documented in a country founded on the premise of White female power, privilege, and preference, leading to the suppression of Black women and girls and perpetuating myths of delegitimization.

Broadening the Base. Building the Pipeline.
Invisible No More is intentionally focused on creating an engaging plan of action to change the game for our young Black women and girls. This book proposes asking and answering three questions, but first I must provide a word of caution—my thoughts are intended to be provocative and spark difficult follow-up conversations.

Invisible No More. Empowering Young Black Women and Girls Rise Up as Leaders does not merely analyze how and why the status quo persists but provides solutions for forward thinkers in corporate and non-corporate America to reverse these trends and champion young Black women and girls to not just lean in but rise up. Almost all competitive organizations in sports, arts, and other sectors employ talent scouts, who build and maintain pipeline programs, build early relationships, and nurture talent.

Invisible No More is a plan of action to usher in new thinking and new actions to build the pipeline of Black women leaders at the c-suite level.  This book speaks to the needs of Black women and girls who seek the traditional corporate c-suite path and as importantly, for those that do not seek the traditional corporate c-suite career path. These women instead elect to define their success based on their net social impact and contributions. In reality, the true "c-suite" for these women and girls is connected to another set of Cs—the ability to be competitive, confident, and competent, and contribute as change leaders and independent entrepreneurs in charge of their own futures. Regardless of the path chosen, the need is urgent now.

Purchase Invisible No More by Raye Mitchell, Esq.
Hardback  |   Nonfiction (Women’s Issues) 

When They Go Low, We Go High: How Women of Color Master the art of Persuasion to Win Big Battles by Raye Mitchell
When They Go Low, We Go High: How Women of Color Master the Art of Persuasion to Win Big Battles

Want to be a stronger influencer, negotiator, and dealmaker?  Black women influencers, you want to be at the top of your game and you know that mastering grace under fire is both skill and art.

When They Go Low, We Go High. How Woman of Color Master the Art of Persuasion to Win Big Battles is rich in detail, but a quick read-book for any one that wants to be at the top of her game and up her power and influence in all sectors. They know that mastering grace under fire is both skill and art. This book is about helping Black women beat the odds.

Yes, Black women are strong. Yes, Black women are warrior sistas that take care for others before we take care for ourselves. Yes, we are raised to resist and persist no matter how difficult the challenge and how big the threat. In this book, the author shares some of the secrets of what it takes to maintain integrity when locked in tough negotiations and critical battles we encounter every day in a wide range of power struggles to advance ourselves.

Applying lessons learned from leaders like Michelle Obama and addressing the needs of millions of women of color influencers and persuaders, this book is about cracking the code on how Black women master persuasion, influence, negotiations, and life in general. Our stories are personal, yet our challenges are shared. Without exception, it is a new day and it is our time to rise-up as leaders and claim our seats at the leadership table.

How do women master a plan to rise up and beat the odds in an age of workplace disruptions and corporate invisibility at the leadership table for Black women in all sectors? America is facing a leadership crisis of insufficient women in general and an absence of Black women in particular in the C-suite at major Fortune 500 companies. In addition, the #MeToo movement and the eruption of the #TimesUp initiative promise to shift the balance of power and forge new definitions of equality and inclusion for women in general. 

Now more than ever, women and Black women in particular need to hone their leadership, power, and influence skills in all sectors in order to beat the odds. This book is about women and Black women influencers who want to be at the top of their games and master the art of persuasion and know that leveraging grace under fire is both a skill and an art.

In this book, When They Go Low, We Go High. How Woman of Color Master the Art of Persuasion to Win Big Battles, Raye Mitchell, Esq., a Harvard Law Schooltrained attorney, speaker, negotiator, and power and influence expert, utilizes over 30 years of legal and business acumen in negotiation and persuasion to share some of the inside secrets of what it takes to maintain integrity when locked in the tough negotiations and critical battles we encounter every day as we engage in a wide range of power struggles to advance ourselves. In an age in which the emphasis is on outrageous behavior, the Trump presidency and its legacy demonstrate the urgent need for women to master their persuasion skills in order win big battles. 

While numerous books cover the subject of persuasion in general, few examine the subject matter through the perspectives of women and Black women, our experiences, and our journey to become highly effective persuaders and influences. Few of us could imagine getting away with the antics of Trump that emboldened his candidacy and have persisted into his tenure as President. This book is a quick read and primer that is part of the expanding How Women Master Series offered by Raye Mitchell. 

This series provides insights and an integrated journal all in one place. Focused on assisting women in general and Black women in particular, this book, the book series, and the interactive companion workbooks and courses help them beat the odds.

When They Go Low, We Go High and the companion courses help them beat the odds by deploying outside-the-box thinking, strategies, and a few lessons learned from a veteran fighter and advocate for change and disruption of the status quo. This book is for every Black woman who wants to be an effective influencer and make a difference in a noisy world of competing issues and opportunities. It is not only for lawyers.


Chapter Excerpt When They Go Low, We Go High

Winning Edge  

When my grandmother, Mrs. Louise Mitchell, born March 4, 1891 in Galveston, TX, first talked about how her childhood was disrupted when the church and the school for Negro children was burnt down by a midnight terror run of the local Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and by their repeated efforts to sexually exploit, de­mean, and attack the Black women and girls, she always said, “if it’s not one thing, it’s another and a girl child always needs to know how to take care of herself.” She lived into her 100th year of life and left us on August 29, 1989. By the age of almost 100, Grandmamma had outlived all her siblings, her one and only husband, her earthly friends, all of her children except one, my mother Dorothy Mitchell, and most of her grandchildren, except for about five or six of us.

Grandmamma rarely talked about her life experiences when we were younger, but near her final years before her departure, she stopped talking to others all together, but in the middle of the night, she often held long and very coherent conversations with me about life, her life and her spiritual journey. In listening to her stories, I gained a new sense of strength, insight into being a Black woman, and without knowing, I re-learned my first lessons in what it meant to have a winning edge, even when not always winning. 

I saw the world through her eyes, and I saw that she was a survivor of and a victor over the circumstances of her life.  Grandmamma, a small framed Black woman with medium toned brown skin and dark blue eyes, managed to achieve a fourth-grade education in rural Texas until, “the white folks” burned down the church where the school was also housed. Later in life, Grandmamma quietly persisted in her quest to protect the women and girls of her family and would start her own church and school as a place for women and girls to thrive, but it never seemed to take root as they tried to “burn her out again”, she said, “if it’s not one thing, it’s another.”

Despite these circumstances, Grandmother as the matriarch that raised us all, rarely lingered on her past, and simply said times were hard, and while it was hard to keep a smile on your face, she always tried. A spiritual woman, she was never bitter, angry, or dejected. She only mentioned the KKK terror when talking about the need for me to go to school, but her real fear was harm to me in a world that was hard on a “black girl child.” She mentioned staying safe when she described my deceased grandfather, Will Mitchell. 

I never met him. I was the inquisitor in the family and the two females, who were also the bookends of the seven children, were both the strongest and yet the most vulnerable of the six living children respectively. Aunt Willie Mae was the oldest child closest to Grandmother and much an-in-control-take-charge person. Aunt Willie Mae was strong in will, firm in stature, and determined as the protector of her mother and her role as the oldest child and oldest female child. Aunt Willie Mae and Grandmother were a fierce leadership team of the Mitchell women and the few Mitchell family men that lived past tragedy after tragedy. Some were lost to violence. Some were lost to crime. Some were lost to alcoholism and drugs. Some were just lost.

My Grandmother, Aunt Willie Mae, and my mother have long since passed on and have concluded their physical presence in my life. However, together, the endearing spirits of these three very different women shape my life experiences to this day. They were all not simply survivors of worldly violence, and domestic violence, they were survivors of all forms of violence hurdled against them as Black women, undereducated women, unskilled laborers, yet spiritually strong women who always found a way to make a way out of no-way.

My family was poor and in fact, based on history, statistics and the odds, I was destined to be trapped in poverty through crime, domestic violence, early pregnancy, absent men, segregated communities, poor school systems, dilapidated housing, and a poor inner city transportation system that left us isolated in low income communities with limited community resources. But that did not happen. Why?

While these women have left me, their lives demonstrated to me the meaningful difference between winning and having a winning edge. Few things in their lives could or would meet the traditional definition of winning. Every day was a challenge to just exist. Every day was a fight for existence, food, keeping the lights on, and keeping a place to live for the family. Thus, this book is really about the living and past spirits of different women of color who all found a way to make a way out of no way and of women of color who have found a winning edge despite not always being in the winning position based on life circumstances. In one-way or another, we all have a Louise Mitchell, an Aunt Willie Mae, or a Dorothy Mae Mitchell in our lives.

Purchase When They Go Low, We Go High by Raye Mitchell 
How Women of Color Master the Art of Persuasion to Win Big Battles 
Paperback  |   Nonfiction (management, leadership)

Books by Dr. Raye Mitchell

#CrownHoldersTransmedia, #BlackPearlsMagazine, #CrownHoldersLead, #WomenOfANewDay, #ThankBlackWomen, #BlackWomenAppreciationDay, #BlackHistory365, #BlackHistoryBlackLit365, #HerStoryHerVoice, #HerLifeHerTerms, #TheSisterhood, #StorytellersBookTour, #TheLitTakeOver, #TheMorningTea, #BetterElla, #GetLitWithElla, #UnWrappedLit, #SeducingThePen

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.