What is your favorite Apollo memory?
My first time at the Dining with the Divas luncheon in 2015. I walked in, and I was totally struck by the energy of having over 300 amazing women who were open, friendly, dynamic, dressed to impress, and looked like me. Those moments are rare. I really felt like I had found my tribe, which was important for me at that time, having moved from the UK.
What was your first encounter with the Apollo Theater?
It was watching Showtime at The Apollo or other shows at the Apollo on TV when I was growing up in London - distant but powerful; and then watching them in real life when I came to Divas.
Why does the Apollo matter to you? Why now in particular?
It matters because it is an institution and a legacy. It has a powerful history that must keep going and must be passed on to the future generation. It gives a voice to the voiceless and the often unseen. It matters to be able to put on productions like the amazing Between the World and Me, to be in the heart of Harlem as gentrification moves in, and to be able to give training to young people who struggle to get access to these opportunities. It is important and critical work to bring festivals like WOW to NYC and to represent communities of color and marginalized communities in various ways. Art speaks to so many and says so much. The Apollo will always matter.
Why do you give to the Apollo and how do you feel when you give a gift?
I give because of the reasons I mentioned above and because I believe in the important work of the Apollo youth program. I also get so much from it. The relationship is important to me. I have met some wonderful women friends through the Apollo as well as guests for my She’s Got Drive podcast. All of it feeds my soul, and giving back is a core value of mine.
As a member EmpowHer, what empowers you?
My work empowers me. I have amazing clients, and it’s a complete privilege to be a coach and consultant. I’m empowered by my relationship with my husband Dan and my children. Being a Mum is one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of me and gives me life. My She’s Got Drive Podcast. When I get feedback on the difference it is making, it empowers me to keep going. My faith, my friends, mentors, and coaches. I take my support and development very seriously. I am always looking for what can help me help myself.