The queen is the most powerful piece in the game of chess. Her prominence came with the rise of female monarchs in the 15th century and was solidified through the power of the printing press, invented at the same time.
In 2020 we saw the rise the Black queen, resilient Black women who have stepped forward to lead. Their prominence came through experiencing raw inequities, and is fueled by their tenacious responses to these inequities, often made visible by social media.
It is they, and their sisters who came before them, upon whose shoulders a new, just and equitable world will be built. Today, as we close out 2020, I pay homage to but a few of my Black sisters.
Breonna Taylor – medical worker killed by Louisville police
Kamala Harris – first woman Vice-President (elect) of the United States of America
Stacey Abrams - Georgia gubernatorial candidate & founder of Fair Fight Action
Maxine Waters – Congresswoman & Chair of the Financial Services Committee
Ilhan Omar – first Somali-American to be elected to Congress
Angela Lang - Director of Milwaukee’s BLOC (Black Leaders Organizing Communities)
Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza & Opal Tometi - founders of Black Lives Matter
Tarana Burke – 2006 founder of the #MeToo movement
Arisha Hatch – VP Chief of Campaigns, Color of Change
Mariya Russell - first Black woman chef to earn a Michelin Star
Misty Copeland - the first Black woman named principal dancer, American Ballet Theatre
Allyson Felix - decorated track and field Olympian & advocate for maternity protections
Janet Mock - champion of transgender representations in media
Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole - Director of the Smithsonian Museum of African Art
Dr. Marcia Chatelain – Georgetown Assistant Professor & launched #FergusonSyllabus
And to my advertising sisters, working in an industry that lags too far behind, I name again but a few.
Renetta McCann - Publicis Groupe DE&I Champion
Singleton Beato – Chief Diversity & Engagement Officer, McCann
Aliah Berman – Chief Diversity Officer, TBWA
Tiffany Warren – Founder/President of AdColor & EVP Chief Diversity Officer, Sony
And to the generations of Black women I have not named, I honor you too today.
2021 cannot come soon enough – for all of us.