“I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed. Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge. Ida B. Wells was a bridge. Madame C. J Walker was a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge.” – Oprah Winfrey
In the struggle of hierarchy, regardless of what aspect you assess, having competitors is inevitable. However, these competitions can be either motivating or draining. In most cases, when each competing party is able to come together to form an alliance—especially with collaborative effort—there is bound to be a massive positive outcome and a higher measure for camaraderie.
In our present world, women often see themselves as competitors, whether it is in the beauty industry, the social media world, or the business industry. This has often led to ambivalence between members of this demographic, as well as lack of collaboration and support, even for collective societal issues. Just imagining Black women competing in a world that is already not so favorable to them—in the midst of dealing with frequent societal backlash, and racial and gender inequality as well—is such a disservice. However, there will not be any changes in this phenomenon as of yet, because there is not enough of a collective voice or a sense of collaboration within the community of Black women.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Black women are the most educated segment of the U.S. population. Also, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, Black women are six times more likely to start up their own business, unlike other groups. But, despite all of this progress, it still doesn't end up being enough. Most young Black women are caught up dealing with student loans, and most Black-owned companies have not experienced nearly the same level of financial success as other demographics typically do. There is still a long way to go toward decreasing the racial wealth gap and eventually achieving success.
Key to Success
In our quest for success and achievement, Black women need to trust and look out for each other. Success does not depend on your strength alone, but on the strengths of those around you, too. We, as Black people, often only have each other. Hence, working as a team will not only fuel individual growth, but our growth as a collective as well. It's necessary to join forces, especially in tackling societal problems and the racial wealth gap. Through collaboration, Black women can find the missing pieces they need to solve their problems. And in order for collaboration to be effective, there has to be honesty and a sense of togetherness. Following that guideline, motivated and inspiring Black women in different fields have come together to form strong initiatives and collective organizational bodies.
The Prosp(a)rity Project Collaboration Scheme.
The Prosp(a)rity Project is one of the many organizations that has been established to help Black women deal with student loan debt by providing resources for financial, professional, and holistic success—and also to educate them on the world of financial literacy. This is one huge step toward closing up the wealth gap and promoting success in the Black community. It is a non-competitive but collaborative space, constructed on the belief that Black girls and women deserve the opportunity to live accomplished and abundant lives. With the support of many esteemed Black women who became leaders, stakeholders, and changemakers through their service and abundant generosity, the goal of the organization falls in line with the quest for Black success, racial wealth, companionship, and financial liberation—especially from student debt.
One of the most innovative programs created by The Prosp(a)rity Project is the 35*2 Free Financial Empowerment Conference. It is an annual, massive collaboration opportunity for the Black community and other interested parties, packed with panels, keynotes, and activities centered on cultivating financial literacy. The program initiative is structured to support, educate, and form partnership amongst Black girls and women regardless of their status quo; however, it is applicable to those of all races, genders, and backgrounds. It is the coming together of collective-minded people in a quest to achieve a better financial world and support young Black girls and women. The topic of collaboration and companionship is very present in the course of this networking experience. This year's conference was held on the 19th of May, and the conference is held annually.
For more information, Visit The Prosp(a)rity Project is the 35*2 Free Financial Empowerment Conference
The Black community has achieved and progressed a lot, but there is still more to be done. The bonding and collaborative effort needs to be strengthened and the notion of this world being one man’s world needs to be eradicated because, while individually you can make a small noise, together we can make a mighty roar. One strong bonding program is the Exhale retreat app launched by Katara MCcarty. This retreat program is primarily designed for advocating for and providing emotional well-being resources for BIWOC, giving them a sanctuary for reflection and recovery. It has been a collaborative support for these women and a safe space for bonding.
Being collaborators is far more rewarding than being competitors. Too often, we lose sight of what got us where we are. We forget that we didn’t get here by doing anything alone, and we won’t get further by pretending that we did.
Donna Kelley et.al, Black Women Are More Likely to Start a Business than White Men.
Martha Cooper-Hudson, Collaboration Is Key To Success For Black Women Entrepreneurs.