• Aubrei Hayes

Lift As We Climb: A Seat At The Table

Updated: Aug 18, 2020

As the beautiful Issa Rae once stated at the 2017 Emmy’s Red Carpet, “I’m rooting for everybody black”. That moment was transcended, from t-shirts to posters to all things meme-worthy, that was the new phrase of the black community. That phrase then became a rendition of lift as we climbed montra from that moment on.


In the midst of frustration and social justice revolution this means so much, now more than ever. I want to encourage us all to look to our ancestors, the epitome of resilience and dedication. They have paved the way for us to create these social justice revolutions and let our voice speak for our lived experiences. They sacrificed their lives for equality and equity in a world that didn't even consider them to be a full human.


When I hear of the marvelous things that were created by black men and women, my heart instantly flutters bringing out joy and light that have been locked away for so long. Without my ancestors and the educated, jubilant, amazing black community the world would not be what you perceive it to be. My ancestors built and created an entire nation that never acknowledged them, we raised their children and taught them compassion and empathy. We introduced them to vibrant culture belongings, creating meaningful meals out of scraps, and educating ourselves when no one else would. These continuous occurrences emphasize the idea that we can push on and we can create the change we want to see within ourselves with the help of us.


I reflect back to a quote Tyler Perry stated at the BET awards, he addressed the need of everyone constantly trying to build “a seat at the table” allowing for opportunities and a possibility to educate change in society’s industries. However, he stated that while many are trying to build seats for this table, he would be down in Atlanta building his own table and creating seats for his community. That statement alone brought me to tears as it encouraged me to build my own table and platform that can thus turn into an opportunity to uplift and see others succeed within my own success.


His words spoke volumes, as fate aligned itself and I was already in the process of creating my professional website for MAIP VEP. After personal reflection, I trashed my first website layout and began working on Diversity Diva. I wanted to create a place of education, activism, and positivity. I want to allow all who want to learn a place to learn, while creating and building my table within diversity and inclusion and it’s important within all industries but especially the advertising industry.


My table will include all of various sizes, gender, race, religion, background etc. I want to create a table representative of the shared experiences of the world, especially the various experiences shared within the black community and the complex nature of a black person in America. I hope you all will join me in the building of my table and creating seats for all. You cannot have societal conversation without all identities being present. Let’s take a stand to build our table and lift each other up as we climb.


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