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BWAC 12: Shijuade Kadree - A Meditation on Identity & Impact with Shijuade Kadree

In this episode, I have an energetic dialogue with Shijuade Kadree, Chief Advocacy Officer for The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (The Center). An alumna of Emory University, Shijuade graduated with a joint degree from the Schools of Law and Public Health. A former defense attorney with Brooklyn Defender Services, Shijuade has significant government relations, policy, strategic planning, and stakeholder cultivation and engagement experience. 

Early in the episode, you will be taken by Shijuade's story of how she turned curiosity about disparities she saw into discovery and discovery into a rich and varied career path serving communities in need.

Shijuade talks in great detail about how race is a powerful lens through which to examine many disparities in our world- not least those within the LGBTQA+ community. Most revelatory was her retelling of the moment she realized the painful irony that leadership at the highest echelons of the LGBTQA+ advocacy space often failed to reflect the diversity of the people who powered the movement. Within this same vein, Shijuade excavates the duality of significance and impact of the Marriage Equality Act, which on one hand marked a hugely positive shift in our nation’s recognition of the LGBTQA+ community's right to marry- and on the other hand, was driven by a largely homogenous power structure.

Shijuade struck a nerve when she enumerated the impacts of the tacit invisibility black women experience in the workplace. We then get into seeming perpetual power of divisive rhetoric and how we can help move the public from cynicism to apathy, and from apathy to action. 

Later, we get a sobering lesson about the tragic after-effects of the black community’s miseducation about trans women and how many trans women of color are dying at the hands of black male partners. Shijuade talks about the work she's doing now to help heal with dialogue, education, and relationship building. Shijuade helps us gain a vital understanding of the distinctions between sexual identity and gender identity and how the synergies they share also surface some tensions within the LGBTQA space; especially when members of the trans community are seen as a part of a monolith- their needs going unrecognized and unmet. 

She ends with an assertion that we need to reconceptualize our notions of what it means to be a nonprofit professional. Shijuade firmly believes that a career in this broad field is often a selection into a life of struggle- but this setting can change once non-profits at all levels embrace a philosophy of abundance.

This episode is sure to leave you feeling challenged, incredibly well informed, and invigorated! Many thanks to Shijuade Kadree for joining me on the podcast!

Please check out Shijuade's consulting firm- Comp Strat Consulting 

Comp Strat Consulting

Book recommendations: 

The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table by Minda Harts

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