Featured, Roddenberry Fellowship
The Hood Incubator
Where is home currently? Oakland, CA
What is your hometown? Buffalo, NY
Tell us about your project, The Hood Incubator!
The Hood Incubator works to build economic power for Black communities through the legal cannabis industry
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself to trust the process of personal growth and development. I had big ambitions for myself coming out of undergrad, and while that ambition has definitely helped me get to where I am today in my life, but I also know I was very hard on myself, to the point when I would work myself into a mental frenzy when things don’t always go according to my plan. Looking back though, every so-called failure or disappointment has been an integral part of my path to get where I am now. I remind myself of this during the times when I’m tempted to be extra hard on myself now. Yes, work hard and keep my vision for my life alive, but TRUST THE PROCESS too. I am constantly making progress even in the times when it doesn’t really feel that way.
What is the legacy you want to leave?
I just want to leave a legacy of having achieved the highest level of self-actualization I can for myself, reaching the fullest potential I can in my life. For me, that includes leaving a legacy of having done all I can to support healing for Black communities that have been discriminated against, oppressed, and harmed for many many generations. I want my work and contribution to be part of the story of healing for Black communities.
How can people get involved in the work that you are doing? How can they help you and your project?
Start a conversation with the people close to you about the legacy of the drug war and the real harms it has caused Black communities. Also, talk about the different ways economic gains from the legal cannabis industry can be utilized to right the wrongs of the drug war- economically, politically, and culturally.
Also, become a monthly donor so that The Hood Incubator can continue to carry out our work! If monthly doesn’t work for you, one-time donations of any amount also go a long way to support our work. https://www.flipcause.com/secure/cause_pdetails/MTk5NjY=
If you weren’t working in the area you’re in, is there another issue area you would be in?
If I weren’t working in the cannabis space, I’d still be doing racial justice work on behalf of Black communities. MY main motivation is to build economic power for my community given all the ways that this power has been denied to us for so many generations.
Most vivid childhood memory?
There are many vivid memories. One that stands out is the time I did Kids Voting and found out that my vote didn’t actually count. I was upset and decided to write them a letter telling them that I think my vote deserved to be counted. This was during the ‘96 presidential election. I was about 8 years old at the time. Of course, my vote still wasn’t counted, but the Kids Voting org did send me a reply letter and a t-shirt. I wasn’t fully satisfied, but that experience taught me about taking action when something doesn’t sit right or make sense to me.