On January 18th, the founder of Classtige and the founder of RICH & RIOT and us got together and hosted our first Women of Color Dinner. We partnered up with Women’s March Oakland as the dinner was just two days before the Women’s March.
The dinner came out of a discussion between myself, Kamilah Richardson and Christina Davis. We as women of color, in the entrepreneurial world, have faced similar obstacles, and endure similar insecurities.
We thought instead of silo ourselves and self-segregating in our groups, (Indian, Latin, and Black), why not bring those groups together.
So the night came for us to break bread at FIVE restaurants in the Hotel Shattuck in Berkeley. We waited for our guests to arrive. We were a bit nervous. What if no one comes? What if no one shares? But one by one, women started to come.
Our intimate dinner had women from Ethiopian, Colombian, Guam, Indian, and Mexican descent. As the waiter brought our appetizer of mac & cheese, carrot & ginger soup or salad, women were already shedding tears.
Our guests shared stories of what scared them living as a woman of color in the Trump era, stories of leaping in their career against family wishes, stories of finding internal peace and being open about it. Story after story, tear after tear, hug after hug, and “I love you” after “I love you” we all realized we created something beautiful here.
We invited two community leaders, Jennifer Fino and Jinal Sampat to lead our discussion. Jennifer is a life, and career coach led the finance discussion, and Jinal, the owner of Sampat Jewelers, led the life balance discussion.
As our dessert came, our guests were already asking when the next event was going to be. Christina, Kamilah and I realized that even though there are plenty of women groups, women especially women entrepreneurs need to have conversations. Conversations where they feel safe enough to share their truth.
Let’s end the self-integrations and break bread with one another, women. We are all in this together.