As Senior Director of Executives’ Alliance (EA), now housed within The Moriah Group, Ericka facilitates a network of philanthropic and field leaders to collectively dismantle the systems and narratives that traumatize young people of color. Her expertise spans education, philanthropy, health, community development, and direct service in nonprofit leadership. She is also deeply passionate about uplifting, empowering, and healing communities of color.
Learn more about Ericka in this Q&A, and say hello at email@example.com.
Tell us about yourself.
I am the daughter of Renee, granddaughter of Juanita, great-granddaughter of Addie Lou, and great-great-granddaughter of Georgianna. I was raised in Washington, D.C., primarily by my grandmother, so I embody the old school values of fairness, community, service, hard work, integrity, and family. Because of this grounding, I am a truth seeker and lifelong advocate of justice and equity. My education at Howard University (proud Bison for life!) incubated me—fortifying a deep understanding of my history and my gifts. As a mother of two daughters and a son, it is my personal responsibility to use those gifts to make this world better for them and for future generations. The spiritual and emotional health of our communities is also important to me. I am a Reiki Master and avid learner of various healing modalities. And I love live music, a great movie or book, and time near any body of water.
Describe some of the previous experiences that bring you to this work.
I have spent the past 25 years in service-centered roles and leadership positions working with both national grasstops and local, grassroots community members. This includes serving on various boards such as the D5 Coalition—a five-year initiative aimed at advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy. My expertise spans organizational development and governance; to building and strengthening leaders; to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB). In my professional career, I have often been the only woman, the only person of color, or both at many tables. I know firsthand how it feels to be invisible, labeled, overlooked, and oppressed. I also know about the brilliance that is ignored and untapped in communities of color. In recognition of my advocacy for equitable opportunities for women, children, and communities, I was a 2021 recipient of the YWCA of Greater Charleston’s “What Women Bring” Award.
What are you passionate about?
I am a student of social justice and a staunch believer that those living through complex societal and systemic inequalities should be the architects of the solutions that will improve their futures. They deserve a seat at the table and their voices deserve to be heard. I am also passionate about coaching and inspiring individuals to reclaim their power and embrace their personal and professional potential.
What inspires you about EA?
I am deeply inspired by the potential for youth of color to thrive as they see fit. Through the EA model, national philanthropic, advocacy, and nonprofit leaders will collaborate to set the stage for thriving by dismantling the systems and narratives that oppress communities of color. And I am excited about the opportunity to fuse my personal values, lived experiences, and professional expertise to drive systems change and liberation for communities of color.
What does thriving mean to you?
The ability to thrive is a basic right that allows individuals to lead secure and prosperous lives as they define it. Thriving means that—throughout their lives—people have equitable access to supports such as affordable and quality healthcare, housing, education, safe neighborhoods, and careers where they are paid based on knowledge rather than gender. These types of supports allow individuals, families, and communities to thrive emotionally, economically, physically, spiritually, and mentally.