Empowering Young Professionals of Color
Name: Desiree Adaway
Title: Founder and Principal
Contact: @DesireeAdaway, Desiree Adaway on FB, DesireeAdaway.com
Company: The Adaway Group
What They Do: Consults and coaches with organizations and individuals. She helps to create sustainable organizations and movements.
Originally From: South side of Chicago
College: A little hippie college in Northern California; a year in Mexico and then transferred to a school in Chicago (Concordia University)
Field of Study: International Development at first but changed to social work.
Listen in to the interview:
Motivation On The Go!: Download a FREE 5 minute Mp3 with highlights from Desiree’s interview.
Get Access To The Show Notes
Leave your name and email to get instant access to the show notes from Desiree's interview and get occasional updates sent directly to your inbox.
Awesome! Enjoy the show notes and updates.
A Few Notes From the Show:
- 95% of her clients are activists. They are in movements.
- Highlights and supports amazing leaders throughout this country and abroad.
- Activists are people who campaign for some kind of social change. They are involved in social or political movements.
- I quote Lupe in this episode, "Listening to Pac ain't gonna make it stop." "You'll never be a factor if you're not an actor."
- You can be active, out there fighting , doing. You can be a passive; agree with what's happening but not doing it. You can be neutral or on the fence. You can be passively opposing it; you don't agree with what is happening but you are not actively stopping it. You can be actively opposing it.
- What's that invitation to get others to become active?
- 16-18yrs old was in Europe by herself traveling and studying.
- Her original plan after college was to go dig wells in Africa and change the world.
- Saw a lot of issues in a place in Mexico where she was studying and it was the same issues she saw back in the South side of Chicago where she grew up.
- Came home with a lot of questions: "why am I in Mexico and why aren't I in the South side of Chicago?
- Transferred from a small "hippie" school in northern California to Concordia University in Chicago (when from a very liberal place where everyone thought like her to a very conservative place where no one thought like her).
- Was the first person in her family to get a passport when she decided to go to Europe.
- We spoke about what gave her the courage to leave the country by herself at 16.
- You have to hear her story about being in Northern Germany for 2 years; as she put it, "I was supposed to be going to school."
- She didn't come back to the U.S. until her mom asked her if she ever going to come back and graduate from high school.
- Her original plan was to just go and get a GED because she wouldn't have any grade from her time in Europe (she didn't go to school).
- She had a teacher who helped by asking, "tell me everything you did while in Europe." Desiree did and the teach did her "teacher magic," and she was graduating.
- She used to be a probation officer.
- She never thought she would work for herself.
- Shares her timeline with us.
- Ran summer camps
- Ran a girl scout camp
- Worked a community program in Milwaukee
- Then Marriage ended and went back to Chicago where she worked as a contractor for United Airlines
- Then as a contractor for IBM which became a full time opportunity
- Worked for herself for a bit for dot com companies.
- Went back to the private sector because she was a single mom. It was really tough to find secure work.
- Worked for Rotary Foundation
- Then Habitat For Humanity, Senior Director for volunteer mobilization globally for them.
- Then started her own company.
- You have to be a risk taker.
- Sometimes you have to take two steps back to go forward.
- You have to know what you are willing to sacrifice.
- She could have shrunk but she choose to expand.
- She calls total bullshit on being asked to simmer down.
- Powerful to show our work while we are in the middle of it.
- "Nothing of importance was ever created in isolation."
Love the show? Subscribe and get updates, podcast updates and articles designed to empower young professionals, just like you, sent directly to your inbox. SUBSCRIBE NOW
Ways to subscribe to the No More Reasonable Doubt podcast: