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Black Queens Rising


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.

Jean

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