Black History month is wrapping up, and I wanted to write about some women of color who have inspired me in different ways. These women are crushing it in all sorts of areas of life: financially, spiritually, intellectually, or just through sharing their joy and making people laugh. In no particular order, here are some women who have taught me some things in the last few years.
Tiffany Aliche-The Budgetnista and Personal Finance Guru
Tiffany was a great resource when I was learning how to set up my finances on my own. I mostly engaged with her content through podcast episodes, and she was especially inspiring to me because of her story. Tiffany is a former teacher that got herself out of a tough financial situation (crazy debt and having to move back in with her parents), and then went on to build her own business and brand all about personal finance. Her success story, and the advice that she gives that comes from a place of knowing financial hardship made me feel that she was trustworthy. It was so comforting to know that if she could get herself out of that experience, I could surely establish my own financial footing as an adult. She also has a new book out that I want to read!
Aja Barber-all things sustainable fashion and anti-consumerism
Aja isn’t shy about speaking out about the harms of fast fashion, and has really made me think twice about what clothes I add to my wardrobe and where it comes from. She passes on great information about waste and where all the unwanted clothes really goes, talks about how companies greenwash to make it look like they are following sustainable practices, fights for fair wages for garment workers, and explores how we can be more intentional with our purchases. She recently came out with a book Consumed, which I cannot wait to read. Aja has educated me about an area that I didn’t know a lot about, and challenged me to be intentional and thoughtful about what I purchase, instead of following every impulse.
Moe Motivate- black joy and some great knowledge on anti-racism work
This woman is important to follow for several reasons. She is not afraid to call you out (and by you, I mean white people), and make you uncomfortable, but being uncomfortable is important, and it’s good to consider why what she is saying is making you feel a certain way. I was uncomfortable because what she was saying WAS TRUE. Monique will push you to ENGAGE and support her in her work, not just to scroll past on instagram. One of her podcast episodes was especially powerful to me because she specifically talks about the harm that comes from white women of faith. (Listen: Why I Don’t Have Many White Friends). I also just signed up for her Shine Class: Black Liberation on her website, which you can access here. Lastly, Monique also believes in spreading and sharing black joy, so you will catch glimpses of her painting, feeling confident in her new clothes, or gently poking fun of white girls in the club. Next on my list is her podcast about why she left Christianity.
Rachel Cargle- writer, activist, and bookstore owner
Rachel is a queer black writer and entrepreneur who opened up her own bookstore in Akron, Ohio, which I think is so badass. She also started an organization called The Loveland Foundation, which helps provide therapy to women of color, and to which I donate on a monthly basis. I love her writing, her vision for her community, and how much she loves books.
Kyrah Malika Daniels- academic extraordinaire
And last but certainly not least is my friend from high school, Dr. Kyrah Daniels, who has her undergrad from Stanford, her Master’s and PhD from from Harvard (no big deal), and currently teaches at Boston College. I vividly remember meeting Kyrah in high school in Mr. Gleason’s art classroom during passing period. She went on to be one of my closest friends in high school, helping me through AP World and US History and generally getting through all the BS that is high school and adolescence with me. She pushed me academically, made me laugh, and was a huge part of opening my eyes to issues of race to which I was oblivious. Although we have lost touch, she continues to inspire and educate me and I am so proud of her.
I would encourage you to consider giving to many of the causes that these women support. Buy their books (from an independent bookstore if you can). Enroll in their courses! Support their small businesses, or listen to their podcasts and leave a review. And let me know the women of color who inspire you!