Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew
Founder & CEO, Soulstice Consultancy Specializing as a Partnership Broker and Leadership Expert for companies and organizations to thrive with measurable and meaningful impact. She also is the VP of Community Affairs and Strategic Alliances for the State Fair of Texas. She is well-regarded by national and international audiences and served as a workshop presenter at the United Nations on Access to Power.
How has the pandemic affected you?
When the pandemic started, I was initially panicked. Since so much of my work involves community engagement, I was not sure how that was possible. Within a week, I found myself connecting many of the nonprofits I work with to resources. I started convening them virtually to coordinate and share resources.
Professionally, the pandemic opened the opportunity for innovation. Even in my business, opportunities to speak virtually increased.
On a personal level, it was challenging. I am a people person and despite the increase of Zoom meetings that kept me connected, I also missed being in the presence of people. I think that was something I took for granted until it was no longer an option. When 2020 began, I was excited about celebrating my 50th birthday with all my friends. Instead of a big party on a rooftop as I planned, it was a wonderful Zoom party. I had breakout rooms so that my friends could meet one another along with games and music. The pandemic was also challenging with family. My mother is a senior citizen who lives in Louisiana. She spent a lot of time alone and as I noticed the loneliness she was experiencing, I had to bring her to Texas because I could not afford to witness her decline.
Dealing with my college-aged daughter was also interesting. Whereas many college students came home to their parent’s house, my daughter was living in an off-campus apartment with a friend. Several of her friends were irresponsible and I was always worried about her health, especially in the early days of the virus. There were so many mixed messages that only the elderly were sick. Many college students, thrived on social interaction and did not stop hanging out with friends. Several of her friends had COVID and she tried so hard to make sure she was being safe to protect us which limited her visits. So despite some of the professional and personal highs, there was a lot of apprehension and fear. One of my dear friends lost her son and walking with her through Chris’ hospitalization until his death at 22 was heartbreaking. So many people died from COVID in my childhood city and even at my church in Dallas. It was a lot to absorb in trying to deal with your own fear and the many losses experienced.
How have you contributed to Covid-19 management at the personal, professional, mental, emotional, or physical level?
I started writing more. What started off as a weekly note to encourage friends turned into a weekly column in three local papers? Several of my articles have been picked up by other papers around the country. During this time, I finished my fourth book, and Baylor University Press is publishing it! I also started a podcast in August 2020 that is now on hundreds of platforms and heard in over 100+ countries. I used this time to create and make some dreams a reality.
Message for IWD
The message is that women have dealt with obstacles since the beginning of time and for women of color, those issues are compounded. As much as we are aware of those obstacles, I think this is a time that many women are examining what they want both personally and professionally. We spend so much time talking about getting access to tables to which we are not invited. I think in this season if we do not receive access to the table, we can use our talent and creativity to create not only new tables but even decide which rooms we want to be in. One of the things that I tell my daughter is to ask for what she wants because a man in a suit and tie just did.
Achieving an equal future for women is about using our voices and recognizing that with our gifts and talents, we can create spaces that are inclusive and affirming of who we are. We do not have to wait on others to open the door to living out our purpose.
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