Occupation: Founder and CEO of Play Like a Girl
What did you want to be when you were a little girl?
I wanted to be Oprah! I studied broadcasting at Xavier University and wanted to get my own TV show.
What are some different jobs you’ve had in your life?
I was a public health and hospital social worker in pediatrics at Tulane University and a University of Georgia professor. I hold a Ph.D., a Masters degree in Public Health and Social Work, and I worked as a national health adviser for the Centers for Disease Control specializing in heart disease and HIV prevention education.
What do you work toward in your spare time?
Today is much different than 6 weeks ago, when I had a stroke. My goal is finding quiet time where my mind is not working. This is my biggest struggle. My mind is never quiet. Peace of mind is what I ultimately strive for.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I am a morning person. I accomplish the most during the morning hours.
What are you most proud of?
My children. My definition of family. The four of us and everything else is an extension of that. My sons are 15 and 16, and I am so proud of the young men they have become.
What are you known for?
I am known for exquisite taste and accomplishing it on a shoestring budget. I love people. Such a core part of who I am is in being of service to other people. Every dollar that we raise goes back to serve those girls. There is no paid staff. I built my home with that in mind. I didn’t have overhead for an office space, so I built my home to create a space that I can bring people in to help raise money.
What inspires you?
This has evolved over time. Right now, Oprah’s interview with Michelle Obama. This interview is ripe perfect timing for this generation of women who need to hear her message right now. Tenacity, rebellion, stick-with-it-ness inspires me to keep going and try harder. Going into the new year with opportunities. My stroke represents starting over. New beginnings. Fresh starts.
Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.
I’m a quasi-introvert. I can now say no to things in order to give myself that still, quiet space that is needed.
Why did you apply to be an O Mag Insider?
I love everything Oprah! From the mid-80 until now, I’ve been a fan. I was the first non-celebrity OWN Ambassador that Oprah followed on Twitter. As a black woman from Mississippi, I knew that I had to help the brand succeed.
How do you live your best life?
I live in a place of grace, love, and forgiveness because I know that by extending the same to others, I reap the benefit. I’m an imperfect person having a physical experience but am very spiritually-minded. Every day, I get a second chance. That’s how I become I more of who I was called to be, not what I was called to do.
What are you reading now?
Becoming by Michelle Obama and Homebody by Joanna Gaines.
What’s a day in your life like?
On Mondays and Fridays, I don’t have office hours. Tuesday through Thursday are when I have office hours. Sometimes I start working between 1-3am and finish by 10am, doing a full day’s work. I don’t schedule anything before 10am. Tuesday through Thursday I finish by 2pm, so I can be available to my boys after school. They both have golf and swim. We get home by 6pm and have dinner. My husband is amazing with the boys and is a true partner. I go to bed by 8pm.
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This is part of an ongoing series, introducing you to the dynamic individuals who make up O, The Oprah Magazine’s Brand Ambassadors known as the O Mag Insiders. For more information on the program or to apply, click HERE.