It is no accident that so many business, civic, and political leaders are attorneys by trade. In this series, we will highlight dynamic leaders who are using the tools they gained through law school to impact the world and show you the inherent value of learning to think like a lawyer.
What is Camelback Ventures’ mission and what do you?
Camelback Ventures aims to address the inequities of entrepreneurship by providing coaching, capital, and connections to people of color and women. We work with our social impact innovators through our Fellowship with the ultimate goal of creating great schools and livable communities for all families.
What inspires you to do this work?
I believe that genius is distributed equally, but opportunity is not. That reality is what drives me every day. Some days, this drive comes in a serious, heavy way – my heart broke again this past week with news about Jordan Edwards, and it has broken many times this way. I know that we must keep working harder, to fundamentally change the way communities of color are treated in this country. Other days, the inspiration is based in joy and appreciation. Because of Camelback’s Fellowship, I get to work with passionate untapped founders who are so full of love and dedication that it is impossible not to feel energized by them. We recently wrapped on a Summit in New Orleans for our Fellows, and I was reminded how important it is to continue to facilitate spaces for our collective growth.
How did your legal training and/or law school experience prepare you to tackle the significant issues Camelback Ventures is tackling?
After law school, I practiced for a few years. Because of the work, you get used to having to switch between looking at the big picture and the tiny details. In the law, you must keep your eyes on the prize, but you also have to figure out the balance between being distracted and empowered by little facts. Thinking critically about that balance is a skill that I find incredibly helpful in the social impact space. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote about how everything is interconnected in A Letter from a Birmingham Jail, and that understanding is something I had to have as a lawyer and utilize again now while working in social impact. When we want to change communities, we can’t just think of an isolated student experience – it is their school, their teachers, their healthcare, their parents’ jobs, their friends, their society’s systemic inequities that determine their experience. It’s about being able to stay grounded in the work, and prioritizing what needs your focus at any given moment.
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