We intended to highlight the 20/20 Visionaries-to-Watch featuring Marcelle Lashley-Kaboré much earlier in 2020, but we found it wise to hold her story until it felt right to release.
When you think of the word vision, you almost immediately associate that word with sight, your sensory ability. It is something required to turn a thought into innovation. To have vision doesn’t specifically mean the ability to see something physically, but rather an intention or inclination to create change.
At the beginning of 2020, OBVIOUS had intentions of using our vision to create new stories, highlight new outlooks, and continue offering the cutting edge content that our viewers have grown to love over the years.
What started out as a promising new decade quickly turned into a dark age of disorder as COVID-19 became a global threat that altered all of our realities.
Amid the pandemic, the masks of American “justice” started to show themselves more clearly than ever before as an uprising from the Black Lives Matter movements called out the wrongful murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others at the hands of police brutality.
One thing was sure: It clouded our vision.
There needed to be some refocusing of what matters and what messaging #TeamOBVIOUS could provide to its audience that would resonate with something optimistic and hopeful.
The world has now spent more than half of the year enduring the stress of these trying times, yet we can still look towards the people making a difference as a means of inspiration.
There’s no doubt that the individuals selected in this article showcase a tenacity and touch of creativity that has shown the potential for greatness in their lives and for others.
They’ve used their heart and motivation to strive for change and create space for new generations to learn from them.
It is with great honor that OBVIOUS Magazine presents: The 2020 Visionaries To Watch.
20/20 Visionaries: Marcelle Lashley-Kaboré at Girls With Knowledge, Inc. and running for NY City Council District 29.
What benefits will the world see by implementing tools of social activism within the youth? How will you carry this mission into your candidacy and leadership?
Marcelle Lashley-Kaboré: When young people ignite their inner activist, it becomes personal. They have voice, agency and can reflect and consolidate their positions on the issues. Most importantly, they take action and become the catalyst for change that their communities need.
When I was growing up, the sentiments were, “children are to be seen and not heard.” While this was not a practice my parents subscribed to, I believe this silencing mindset has caused great harm to our society and played a significant part in keeping my generation quiet for so many years.
Historically, young people have been at the forefront of the social justice movement from the Civil Rights Movement to the Soweto Uprisings. Today, technology is a powerful tool that sets 21st Century youth and adults apart. It equips us to impact change instantaneously on a local, national, and international level.
Our predecessors did this with much less. Yet, through the power of social media, we now have a multigenerational awakening of activism empowering our youth to do so much more.
The passionate and compelling voice of unrelenting youth motivates my mission to ensure that my district’s youth are fully empowered to use their voice to demand change.
How will your candidacy and leadership in the city council contribute to cultivating future female global leaders?
Marcelle Lashley-Kaboré: Queens, NY, embodies the long history of women stepping up. I am proud to live in District 29, where women have historically held our city council seat and borough leadership.
I am inspired by their leadership and intend to enhance it by adding a global business perspective, diversity, and representation for all those who have been historically underserved. Often in politics, female leaders are tapped by the establishment to run for office.
This invitation can very easily come at a compromising cost. I stand boldly and confidently, knowing that my candidacy is community-driven.
I did not await an invitation, nor did I ask permission. I am stepping up to be the change that I know our community needs. This is not about politics; it ‘sits about the people.
Our community needs intentional advocacy from leaders who will actively listen and engage with its members to achieve our goals.
Since the beginning of time, women have been proven leaders – there just hasn’t been sufficient recognition, position, and compensation. The tide is beginning to turn slowly as we begin to understand our worth and fight for equity. I intend to leave a legacy of strength and integrity that the next generation of leaders will be proud to build upon.
What words of encouragement would you give to the next generation that will follow in your footsteps?
Marcelle Lashley-Kaboré: As a disruptor, my true desire for the next generation is not to follow in my footsteps, but to take the torch from me and stand on my shoulders as I stand on the shoulders of the fearless leaders that came before me.
I encourage them to be courageous enough to forge their continuous disruption paths until real equity and DEMAND JUSTICE FOR BREONNA TAYLOR!
What strategy would you suggest to anyone and their ventures directly impacted because of COVID-19?
Marcelle Lashley-Kaboré: In these COVID times, be open to embracing a new way of thinking! It’sIt’s not about returning to the old. It ‘sits about creating a new normal. This pandemic has forced people to build new habits and consume products and services differently.
Now is the time to think outside the box to create solutions to the world’s challenges. But at the heart of it all, remember Humanity. This is a traumatic period that everyone is reacting to differently.
Remember the people you serve and the people who work to serve your vision. Encourage your employees to stay home if they are not feeling well or live with someone that may have been exposed.
During these uncertain times, it’s critical to communicate with your customers openly and with transparency about your operations’ status. Display signage that communicates you’ve implemented protective measures and how they (as customers) will be protected.
Finally, the most important thing you can do right now is listen to medical experts and take care of each other. Keep yourself and your loved ones healthy. Wear a mask, practice social distancing, and keep at-risk populations protected.
Photo Credit: Davey King
View the entire 20/20 Visionaries List here.