It has been one heck of month if you ask me! With the new President in office, women marching all over the world, and a heartfelt immigration ban I feel even more determined to continue spreading the message of Hope. Positivity and Unity amongst our communities! I know we are living our lives working HARD every day and we some times tend to forget these things so I figured I'll ask some beauties for their advice. I asked all of these women ONE simple question: What advice would you give the world for the next four years and boy did they give us GEMS 💣!! We here at Zinzabell.com hope this encourages you to spread awareness!
P.S. Please feel free to write your advice in the comment box below! You never know the impact your words may have one someone! Love is Love!
Name: Anabel Gonzalez
Occupation: Zinzabell's Mom
My advice as a mother is to be your children's confidant. Be friends with your kids so they feel comfortable coming to you and talking to you about how they are feeling. It all starts at home. Handle all of your issues/problems at home before you step into the outside world.
Name: Samantha Lucky
Occupation: Dean of Students, First Amistad Elementary School New Haven, CT
Origins: Queens, NY
The advice I would give women for the next four years is to always seek to do what is right and make it happen. There are so many stereotypes about women and what we can and cannot do. We actually can do so much more than we are given credit for. However, sometimes we do not go hard enough and instead of coming together we bring each other down. Encourage the women around you to be great. Most importantly be the example of greatness that others will want to emulate. Do not settle for less and always uphold a standard. Assign yourself 3 core values that you live by no matter the circumstance and no matter how you may feel at a specific moment. Feelings are indicators of where you are mentally and emotionally. Go past your feelings. Be your absolute best self daily. Finally, remember that we must be an example to all women especially the young ladies who are looking to break the stereotypes that are so often assigned to them. We are not what they say where are...we are so much more. Be the more that you want others around you to be and be it CONSISTENTLY.
Name: Diana Girhotra
Occupation: Quality Coordinator, DOH
In terms of the administration, the fact that we had international support for a protest against the current administration shows that we should have faith in humanity. Trump is one man. Though he is president, the current democracy is set up so that one branch does not have more power than the other two. We may face some drawbacks but we must have faith in the system and continue to make our voices heard when we see injustices. People support us. Other countries support us. We must stick together and organize. Trump either has to shape up or keep moving. He has to listen to the people or things will get very hard for him. He first has to understand and respect democracy. We should have faith in that.
Name: Neeahsha W. (Ms. Mercy)
Occupation: SR. Medical Secretary / Media Personality
Origins: African American
Take advantage of all the opportunities thrown your way, and stay passionate about whatever it is you want to do.
Name: Kyara Gray-Uqdah
Occupation: Real Estate Investor
Origins: Lincoln Univ, PA
My advice to minorities and women this year would be stay informed, get involved and take consistent action. My hope is that the unpredictability of our political system will inspire minorities and women to get more involved in political office while those of us who are creatives, business owners, etc., find ways to collaborate and build. As long as we stay informed (but not distracted) by the world around us, we can better make this year a huge win for the community.
Name: Chanel Titus
Occupation: Automation Engineer, LivePerson Inc.
Origins: Panamanian- American
Love yourself. Make sure you remember to take care of yourself. Health plays a huge part, and can be a distraction when you're not physically able to perform your best when working towards your goals. Take care of yourself first. Love yourself at every stage of your life even when you're not where you want to be.
When it comes to reaching goals sometimes you have to take opportunities or detours to get to that point. It's not mandatory that this happens, just be mindful that this is a possibility. It may not be what you want but you have to see how it can benefit you in some way.
Failure brings experience and strength.
Failure brings experience and strength.
Also focusing on discipline a sense of self building, will get you closer to your goals. Whether it's practicing waking up early, eating a healthy diet, or working out etc. Being discipline, is daily practice to working towards something you want.
As a woman and of color, you have to know your worth. When it comes to career decisions and negotiations you have to know how to negotiate what you deserve. Do your research and be confident. Believe it or not, it is true that women get paid lower then men in some cases. You are worth the same. If you don't speak up, companies will think you're happy and will not take it upon themselves to increase your pay. Some companies do take note of your hard work others goes unnoticed.
Surround yourself with motivated people. It's like a recharge to get you consistently going. There's times you may feel unmotivated or feel as if you are moving at a slow pace. When you meet with ppl time to time it's a learning experience and also can be encouraging. Attending conferences always helps (i.e Women in Tech, Women Entrepreneurs. Women in Journalism. etc.). Be confident. But don't be afraid to ask questions. Never stop learning!
Name: Tiye Kinlow
Origins: Proud Native Washingtonian
Occupation: Attorney in the General Counsel's Office, DC's Juvenile Justice Agency
Do everything you can to protect your sanity, but also push yourself to get involved in the resistance. Self-care, education, and civic involvement is the name of the game. It's not gonna be an easy game. It's becoming apparent that Trump and his peeps are gonna gaslight the hell out of us all with "alternative facts." Don't let them make you question your sanity and throw your hands up in exasperation. Use this as an opportunity to educate yourself on what’s really happening and spread the gospel of real true information. Get involved in organizations that support things you care about (and remember that it is never too late to get involved!) If there aren't any organizations that represent what you stand for, find some like-minded people and start your own. Don't forget to make time to relax and recharge- burnout is a very real thing. Whatever you do, don't give up. We need you!
Name: Krysta Battersby
Occupation: Senior Project Manager, NYU
Origin: The Best Borough of Brooklyn :-). With blood from Trinidad!
1. Share what you learn- There is so much incorrect information/news/data going around these days that it can be hard to decide who/what to trust. If you learn something new that you find useful to your personal or professional life (from a source that you trust) share it! Women are in high demand these days, especially in STEAM fields. If you hear about an opportunity that can change someone’s life, make sure to let them know. We are all in different networks, and you may assume that someone else will find out the same way you did- but that is not always the case.
2. Do at least one thing for the betterment of your future everyday- Would you want to be with someone who was uninterested in working on making themselves the best person they could be? There are going to be some trying times throughout the next 4 years, but in order to help others, we have to take care of ourselves. Read an article in your field of interest, research a program you want to apply for, re-write your goals, make changes to your schedule to make your day run smoother, go to the gym, write a journal entry- whatever you decide is an action that makes you a better you.
3. Don't lose your sense of self- People are louder than ever because they feel their views and opinions are being attacked by the one person who is supposed to be "for the people." Do not forget your views, morals and values. Do not forget what you stand for- what your family fought for. Some people will try really hard to convince you otherwise in hopes of getting more people behind them and behind their movement. Just because it is televised, or 100 of your friends are doing it, does not mean it has to be for you. It is an ugly climate out there- do not get caught in it. If you feel yourself getting frustrated- take a step back, reevaluate and then go back with that renewed feeling that you will be okay. Because at the end of the day life will have its highs and lows- that is inevitable. But you will be okay.
4. Women are strong- we have proven that time and time again. And regardless of what is thrown at us we will be stronger in the end.
5. Help where and when you can- At some point over the next 4 years, we are all going to need help with something. Whether you're starting your own business, finishing a degree, trying to find a new doctor, or just planning an event. Remember that feeling when you needed help, and be willing to help others when they ask, or even better, before they ask. Everyone automatically assumes that helping means providing money. And most times it is the human interaction of lending your time that means more. Help someone set-up for a fundraiser, edits someone’s blog post, volunteer at your local school or non-profit. We are going to have to work together and the real change is going to start from the local/community level. Do not be afraid to be the first person to realize that something or someone needs assistance or help. We should be in the business of helping one another as opposed to breaking each other done, talking about one another, turning our backs and being selfish-which women get stigmatized for doing all the time. This will only hurt you and your brand more in the end.
Name: Stephanie Paul
Origins: African American
Occupation: Project Manager, OCV Architects
Remember that in the grand scheme of things, tough times are temporary and are meant to teach us something. Four years from now, we will be even stronger and wiser than we are now. Push through!
Name: Sayda Zelaya
Occupation: Research Associate, Koya Leadership Partners
The best piece of advice I can give to women of color, especially in the workforce, is to not wait for someone like your manager to give you the opportunity to lead. This was an incredibly difficult lesson for me to learn because growing up; other Latina women told me that being too "aggressive" can be a turn-off to people. I grew up with strong and determined women who were not afraid to speak up and put people in their place, but in the university and or work spaces, this type of behavior is disdained. Women of color especially are afraid to be labeled or viewed as the "fiery Latina" or "angry Black woman." These conflicting messages dampened my ability to take charge, specifically in the workplace. Many times I had great ideas or wanted to lead a project, but out of fear, I would stay quiet which only made me angrier at myself. For some reason, women especially have a difficult time asking for raises or promotions, and I completely understand that. We are always considering other people's feelings, but I think it’s time that we start thinking about our needs and communicating that in an assertive, yet respectful way. In short, my advice is this: think about what you want, get it even if its scares the living shit out of you and no matter what the outcome, repeat until you get what you want!
Name: Monique Allen
Occupation: Talent Acquisition Specialist Origins: Jamaican
Be Strong! We have to stick together to overcome the many obstacles we face every day. We need to show each other more love than we ever have to show that we support one another. I believe that Domestic violence and bullying has to come to an END. More and more women are being battered. Please find the strength to stand up for yourself. If you need help reach out!!! Don’t be afraid of anyone. Be Confident, Honest and remain HUMBLE. WE CAN DO IT!!!!
Name: YoGen Lee
Occupation: Children Disabilities Professional
Origins: Asian and Indigenous Pacific Islander
The next four years bring a great deal of "unknowns." Which means people will be under a lot of stress. It is important for people to practice the following:
a) active listening and be present so to learn, demonstrate respect for others, and communicate better,
b) take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually so that you can help others and be as strong as possible,
c) think before you act as much as possible,
d) follow your intuition-if something doesn't or does feel right-follow your gut,
e) remember to be true to yourself,
f) be truthful-people know when you have lied and they will not trust you,
g) don't let pride and ego influence your emotions and thoughts-this can be used against you,
h) be open to learning something new on a daily basis. It can be a new food or a new fact or a new concept. The more we learn about different things, the more we understand people, history, and cultures and become more open and respectful and less judgmental,
i) know that you count, that you matter and that you make a difference in the lives of people whether you know it or not. It can be little acts of kindness or bigger projects that you do for work, the important thing to remember is that you have a "ripple" effect on others, and they on you,
j) compete with yourself to be better. People are truly different from each other across multiple variables that it truly doesn't make sense to compete against others,
k) put your efforts toward those things you can change and impact, but don't waste your energies on those things you cannot control-life is too short and try to live with no regrets, and finally
l) one person can make a difference, but when a group of people with different skills and abilities come together to achieve a goal, it's can be something pretty wonderful!
Name: Chanel Benjamin
Occupation: Media Specialist
Origins: West Indian (Aruban/Jamaican)
Moving forward I think we all should unite instead of being separated by class, race, salary, religion or gender. We need to realize as a whole that no matter the difference in our skin color, intellect or upbringing we all coincide and occupy within the same space. We all cross paths, live amongst each other and can learn from the differences and develop a common bond that lie within our similarities. We all work to survive so why not exist and assist the next person. Think about it.
Name: Amanda A. Evans
Occupation: Community Relations Coordinator, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Origins: Dominican, Jamaican
Speak up and get involved, locally. At a time like this, it could be intimidating on what you can do to help, but there is so much to be done on the local level. Get involved in local non-profits, whether it’s through volunteering, serving on their Board, or putting together programming. Organizations are looking for millennials/young professionals to share their ideas. You'll be surprised at how open organizations, especially small ones, are to new faces and fresh ideas. Find an organization with a mission that resonates with you. When you are doing something that is in line with your values, the work doesn't feel like "work." Use your voice and be heard; trust me, when we work together, we're a force to be reckoned with.
Name: Choyce Miller
Occupation: Video Producer, Huffington Post
Origins: Brooklyn, New York
These next 4 years I encourage people remain woke when confronted with alternate facts and set a calendar alert now to vote during the midterm elections. It's just as important as the presidential election and where a third of the Senate, the entire House of Representatives, and state governors are up for re-election. Mark your calendars for November 6, 2018!
Name: Washcarina Martinez Alonzo, Esq. aka Washie
Occupation: Human Rights Attorney*
Origins: Bronx, NY by way of Dominican Republic
One thing is for certain, this moment in history is begging to know where you'll stand. So much of who we are has been fundamentally challenged by our historical pasts -- and it is challenging us now. I'm from the South Bronx; the place that after surviving being burned to the ground in the '70s gave you beautiful, intelligent, creative and capable women (big ups to you Z!). History taught me to be weary but to also be hopeful. It's almost as if our resilience is a historical fact. So in the spirit of spreading love and service, here's what advice I have for you for the next four years:
1. Stay healthy. Spiritually, emotionally, physically, and otherwise. It's hard to put that as a priority but Health is the forgotten friend of joy. Our good friend Krysta recently reminded me. (Shout out to Posse). Also, like my father often reminds me: “Después de la salud se tiene todo.”
2. Pay attention. Listen, if you haven't noticed: the very fabric of the idea of America is under attack. That should bother you. And if, you think I'm exaggerating, you bother me. Pay attention to what's changing and what you want to change. And remember the government works for you, not themselves. Black and Brown communities have reasons to mistrust government almost visibly in the disparities we experience daily. It sucks when you pay attention. Better stay woke than not, though.
3. Do something. Literally anything. Science shows that you'll be happier in life if you help others (seriously: http://www.livescience.com/4443-study-good-feel-good.html). An hour a month for service to a greater cause is an easy breezy start. It's free and it makes you feel happy. If you do it with a few friends it'll be like a boozy brunch that's free, and not boozy, but you catch my drift.
4. Pay it forward; you're blessed. You have the blessing of at least having access to internet. If you can't do an hour a month of your time, pay it forward. Maybe start by donating an hour of your time to a cause on the internet. (Ex: if you make $5 and hour, you can donate an hour of your time by donate $5.) I often do this by donating to causes I strongly believe in. You can always donate more of course but everyone has different circumstances, the great news is that MANY donation sites have tax deductions--you can look that up before you donate--and you can get your $ back in taxes. (You see what I'm telling you about being good for free?)
Shit will be rough in the next four years. And, for many communities of color, it's a "rough" we call life.
The next four years will be rough, but I believe in our collective ability to make it --just by passing on happiness and firmly standing by the principles we hold firm. Sometimes that might mean fighting for whatever principles it is you have. For me, it's helping give back to my hood what my hood gave to me – Grit n so much love.
Name: Alfonsina Hernandez
Occupation: Account Manager
My advice would be to remain positive, informed, and involved. We may not experience the change we crave for our generation but we can work to create a future.
Name: Melissa Rios
Occupation: Quality Assurance
My advice is "Focus". We can't control what's happening now, but what we can control is us. We can control planning for our future to make a positive impact in people's lives, our education and our joy. Continue dreaming and creating your own reality. No one has permission to move us but us. We have to use this as a motivation to find our purpose to make a difference for the better in this world. The only way to do that is by not allowing the outside noises to remove us from our "Focus".
Name: Crystal Huang
Occupation: Formerly in Finance; now I'm a stay at home mom
Enjoy life as much as you can. Focus and work very hard to get to your goals before you get marry or have kids B/c it will be much harder to do at the time. You have no clue how much time you had in your hands until you have a family! (LOL! Don't get me wrong, having a kid is great!)