“If you’re afraid to use your voice, give up your seat at the table.” Michelle Obama

Full disclosure, I was once a person afraid to speak up. Afraid to use my voice, fearful of what may happen. Fearful I would be thought of as an “angry” Black woman, or worse, an “ambitious” Black woman. What would people think? What would they say about me? I was in my head, undermining my own worth, dismissing my value, buying into fear, believing rumors meant more than truth, thinking I did not matter – I was wrong. Silence did not serve me, nor anyone I thought it would protect. Silence does not shield, silence shatters, splintering into shards of shame. Do not be afraid. Be true. Speak up.

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