University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, March 2018

It was so wonderful to be back at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  I have so many wonderful memories of amazing colleagues and friends who made my life blessed in so many ways. I will always have a loyalty and fondness for Illinois as the place that created the opportunity to spend time with my mother and as the space where I was able to grieve her loss through the writing of her journey.  I am grateful that so many came out to hear A Black Woman’s Journey. My incredible friends in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access reminded me of the importance of persistence in the work of diversity and inclusion.  My colleagues in African-American Studies remind me of the importance of understanding our history.  I am grateful for Professor Karen Flynn who took time to have a conversation with me about the book and connect it to her work involving Black women nurses in Canada.  I’m encouraged each time I share my mother’s journey that her life journey can make a difference for other and that it can be a source of hope, inspiration, love, knowledge, empowerment, and ultimately an example of triumph over almost insurmountable obstacles.



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