Black Women Leading the Way in Equity and Decolonization

At the height of one of the biggest racial justice movements of our time, Black women are boldly and unapologetically leading the important work of fighting for equity and social justice nationwide. Organizations globally are looking at their equity practices, examining the structures that perpetuate racial injustices and are rooted in patriarchism and colonization. They are outsourcing facilitation and consultation of this work. 

At Sistahbiz, we often get calls from heads of organizations seeking out firms to support their equity projects. Check out these Black women-owned firms (and Sistahbiz members!) in the field of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, who are doing the work to create a better world for generations to come.  


Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler is the Chief Catalyst and Founder of The Equity Project, LLC, an organization designed to support organizations and communities in building diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies. She is the former Senior Vice President and Chief Inclusion Officer for Children’s Hospital Colorado–the first African American woman to hold that position in the organization’s 100+ year history. She is also the former Executive Director of the Office of Human Resources for the City and County of Denver–the first African American woman to hold that position in the 63+ year history of the agency. Dr. Mosby Tyler, a consultant, accredited by the Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence, is nationally recognized for her equity work with non-profit, community, government, and for-profit organizations.

In her work, Dr. Mosby-Tyler specializes in the development and delivery of leadership, equity, diversity, cultural responsiveness, and inclusiveness training programs and strategies. 


Emily Shamsid-Deen, MNM is the Owner and Principal of ESD Consulting, which provides facilitation and consultation services to help organizations create equity-based, values-driven change through transformational leadership practices. ESD Consulting works with organizations that are interested in going beyond the status quo and reimagining how they lead, how they engage, and who they center. To move racial equity work forward, organizations need to advance personal and organizational knowledge, have a plan to do the work, and support to help them navigate the process. ESD Consulting provides guidance, support, honest and transparent communication while utilizing best practices to help companies meet their desired goals. ESD Consulting is rooted in values of justice, compassion, and courage. 


Dianne Myles saw a need for a creative content agency that is able to connect to underrepresented demographics and help organizations engage with the communities that they serve and understand what is needed to build relationships that are culturally responsive and respectful. So she decided to combine her vision for the “Dope Mom Life” vlog with the work of her video production company “Dope Life Media.” It is in this way that Dope Mom Life was reborn with a newfound mission, which is to cultivate relationships between organizations and multicultural communities through digital and video content. Dope Mom Life uses its unique expertise and life experience in digital video, cultural responsiveness, community, relationship building, and influence to put a company’s message in front of diverse audiences. They consider themselves bridge-builders, bringing organizations and the resources, services, and opportunities they offer to the communities they want to reach.


Dr. Darlene Sampson has maintained a space of social justice and cultural humility as she works across the education and social work fields as an administrator, leader, equity specialist, and counselor. Dr. Sampson joined the Equity Assistance Centers after working as a Clinical Field Faculty in the Department of Social Work at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her experiences as a Black woman assist her in infusing empathy for others, particularly around the intersectional spaces of gender and race. Dr. Sampson’s professional goals are to infuse culturally responsive consciousness, promote inclusive pedagogy, integrate equity infusions, and promote systemic change for all. Equity Assistance Centers specializes in supporting individuals, schools, organizations, non-profits, and businesses in developing an individualized diversity trajectory to address issues of race, national origin, culture, language, and community. 


Vernita Mayfield, Ph.D., began her career teaching elementary school. As a teacher, Mayfield found her first love of serving and supporting students who have been historically marginalized. Since then, she has continued to do so through numerous positions of service, including secondary school principal, researcher and lecturer, and educational consultant at state and national levels. In 2012, she founded Leadervation Learning to support organizations seeking to build leadership capacity, particularly in marginalized communities. The company evolved into a vehicle supporting leaders at all levels to understand and dismantle inequitable systems and organizations by building the cultural competency of staff. 


Shalelia Dillard is a Denver native and Daniels Fund Scholar who graduated from South High School in 2003. Shalelia taught high school math, preschool, sixth and eighth-grade science, and private school. While attending Hampton her sophomore year, she envisioned a program to enrich students with their culture while improving their academia. From this concept, the SCD Enrichment Program was born. As a teacher for eleven years, her number one focus was to significantly impact her students by sharing her real-life circumstances while instilling pride and confidence.  The SCD Enrichment program is designed to recruit and mentor students of color (specifically Black) into AP, IB, and accelerated coursework.


Analise Harris was working at a junior high school in Denver, Colorado, and noticed a troubling trend. Young women of color were wearing bandanas or hoodies–despite the dress code that prohibited them–and they were getting into trouble. In one case, a student was suspended.  Realizing that a lot of times, the girls were wearing hoodies or bandanas because they were having bad hair days,  Harris organized an event called Curls on the Block (COTB) to help combat self-esteem issues linked to those bad hair days. COTB was part educational (what is hair porosity, what is your curl type, what kinds of hair products you should use), part support, and all about empowerment and acceptance. Curls on the Block now is an enrichment program for girls of all curls and colors to embrace, explore and empower their natural selves while working to increase engagement, investment, and commitment to careers in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). 


Rev. Dr. Dawn Riley is a Co-Founder and the Executive Director of Soul 2 Soul Sisters. Rev. Dr. Dawn honors, studies, and practices Afro-Indigenous rituals. A professionally eclectic leader, she has 15-years of experience as a community organizer and facilitator in the areas of reproductive justice, ending anti-Black racism/violence, and Black voter engagement. She co-created Soul 2 Soul Sisters to be a Black Womxn-led, faith-based response to anti-Black violence in the United States of America. Today, the organization is evolving and thriving as they work to honor and protect Black Womxn’s lives, loves, decisions, families, communities, and futures.


Zee Clarke is a mindfulness coach and founder of Reclaiming Flow.   She spent over 20 years leading teams at Fortune 500 companies and tech startups in Silicon Valley.  After experiencing a number of challenges in the workplace, from microaggressions from colleagues to disparate treatment around salary and promotions,  she decided that rather than waiting for the work environment to change, she would take the time to learn tools and methodologies to help her find a sense of grounding and balance so that her performance would not be impacted. 

Trained in India, Zee has studied various holistic healing modalities, including meditation, breathwork, reiki, yoga, ayurveda, and much more. Typically the only Black person in these healing spaces, she recognized that Black women could benefit from these tools, and there were not many resources tailored for people like her. Reclaiming Flow’s mission is to help Black women and people of color in the workplace feel and perform at their best.  She teaches mindfulness workshops focused on the specific challenges that we face, and companies like Google, Facebook, and Visa are supporting their communities with these tools.



Kalea Wright

Kalea is a social media marketing specialist. She is a true social media lover and online community builder. Kalea thrives on collaboration, organization, and good relationships.

1 Comment

  1. Darlene Sampson on August 18, 2021 at 6:56 am

    Just saw this….Thank you for acknowledging diversity work. So many of us are out there pushing & pulling in often treacherous spaces. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion work is so important. I just keep remembering my late mother’s words…”keep on keepin on!”

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