Power to The People: There’s Liberation in Amplifying Stories
Three years ago Hummingbird Humanity was founded in response to a myriad of changes facing our world: from a global pandemic, racial violence, to a pervasive feeling of uncertainty, the year 2019 and beyond radically changed our definition of “normal” forever.
Companies grappled to make sense of adjusting to a new way of working. Restaurants, bars, and hotels shut down due to mandatory quarantines. Board rooms that were once teeming with people moved to Zoom.
Schools across the globe pivoted to virtual and hybrid learning which revealed ever-present disparities facing educational systems. All the while, teachers, students, and school communities who reimagined what it would mean to create high quality learning bloomed in the change.
Essential workers received a newfound appreciation in almost every sector: healthcare workers were thanked for their work, food service delivery drivers received “we appreciate you” notes in addition to tips, and the long line in the grocery store didn’t seem so bad after all because humanity leaned into a deeper level of empathy and self-compassion to what, at first, we’d considered a major inconvenience later shifted to seeing all interactions as “what a miracle”.
Living, surviving, and navigating the COVID-19 pandemic was (and for many still is) challenging: many of us have gained, lost, shifted, and navigated changes in our own lives. What stands out to me the most in these stories is the resilience of people behind the headlines and the intersections that make the human spirit so powerful.
When we peel back the layers of the individual human experience from then to now, it’s been through Hummingbird Humanity that there’s been intentional room carved out for stories just like ours to be shared, celebrated, and acknowledged in the stitches that create the fabric of our society. When I think of Brian’s envisioning and co-creation of Hummingbird Humanity, as a Black Queer woman of faith from the South, Hummingbird Humanity has been a safe space where my wings can soar. Rather than my wings being clipped for the intersections of my identity, it’s these very intersections that have allowed me to show up in my truth and bring people to a front row seat of my lived experiences to bolster others to do the same.
From collaborating with other Hummingbird Humanity staff on panels celebrating Pride & Juneteenth, to supporting with creating LGBTQIA+ training for organizations, I’ve witnessed both the intentionality, care, and self-reflection of the Hummingbird Team to ensure that we’re all given a seat at the table (and microphone to speak!)
The power of this work that we do in DEIB+, consulting, and speaking lies within the diversity and intersections of individuals at the table. There are many identities to be considered in this work: race, ethnicity, languages, customs, faith, spirituality, and the list goes on. Rather than these identities being diminished, Hummingbird Humanity enlists a collective of professionals who can speak to a variety of these experiences firsthand.
This is what inclusion and visibility looks like.
These are the stories and experiences that are deemed worth telling and I’m so grateful for the incredible work done to create these spaces and amplify these voices.
When I take a look at Hummingbird Speaks & Hummingbird Consulting for example, if you click around and read the biographies of these incredible humans, you’ll quickly notice that these are people we experience in every sector: from the boardroom to the baseball game, everyday we encounter people with unique lived experiences that oftentimes are erased, completely ignored, or forgotten.
What I celebrate the most about Hummingbird Humanity’s 3-year anniversary is that, since its inception, Hummingbird Humanity has continued to fulfill its promise to amplify the voices of the unheard while also making room to position voices that are routinely diminished in space to shine.
As Hummingbird celebrates 3 years with a focus on amplifying the voices of the unheard, I invite us to continue to keep the spirit of empathy, open-mindedness, and compassion to share, listen, and use the power of storytelling as a tool to widen our perspectives.
Looking for a speaker to lead your next event? Need support with an inclusive organization strategy? There’s a person ready to amplify their expertise and wisdom with you and your organization that can make a difference: we can’t wait to see you there!
Brittany (she / her) is a Black Queer womxn of faith from the South.
Brittany Dawson (she/they) is a Denver based Speaker, Executive Coach, and Founder of Brittany Dawson Coaching LLC who’s passionate about empowering organizations and the incredible people who work within them to thrive in life & career. From coaching C-suite executives on organizational strategy, to hosting workshops and keynote speeches on DEIB to inspire people to inclusive action, Brittany’s superpower is centering storytelling, authenticity, and joy to inspire people to move closer to their goals. When she’s not coaching you can find her ordering sushi on UberEats, listening to Drake, and going for hikes!
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