By Jules Lavallee
Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 3/23/2021 – Social justice public relations guru and publicist to Grammy Award-winning rapper, activist, and businessman Michael Render, aka Killer Mike, today announced the release of her sophomore book, “First and Only: A Black Woman’s Guide to Thriving at Work and in Life.” Published by Broadleaf Books, “First and Only” was released on Feb. 9. It honors the uniqueness of Black women and speaks to the racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia Black women often experience at work and in life.
You are the Founder of the social justice PR firm Spotlight PR LLC. Tell us about your firm. What are key areas that clients are seeking for your expertise?
Spotlight PR is committed to serving leaders and institutions committed to racial and social justice. Our clients come to us to assist them in telling their story, protecting their brand, and advancing their work. Some clients come to us to assist with securing media coverage for their work or preparing them to put their best foot forward during media interviews.
What are your strengths to help clients?
My strengths include having an extensive Rolodex, good judgment, and political experience. t I’m a public relations professional with a political background. I work at a campaign pace and think constantly about the immediate and long-term impact of various actions. I write exceptionally fast and clients who are pressed for time appreciate my ability to tell a story and do so at a record pace.
Share your background as a trainer and activist. I have worked in public relations for over 18 years and trained dozens of leaders and organizations. During my career, I have supported grassroots campaigns, political campaigns, political leaders, 527s, independent expenditure campaigns, organizing campaigns, and other efforts. I do this work because I care. I do this work because I believe that people committed to good, should have top-notch representation, a representation that comes from the community in which they work and serve.
Tell us about your new book, “First and Only: A Black Woman’s Guide to Thriving at Work and in Life. What led you to write this book?
I wrote “First and Only: A Black Woman’s Guide to Thriving at Work and in Life” to document the experiences of Black women who find themselves in the position of being the first and only, of being celebrated while navigating new terrain, and while being publicly honored for their achievement but internally held to unusual standards. I wrote the book because far too many leadership books were written by white men, and those books do not speak to the racism, sexism, and classism that Black women experience at work and in life. I wrote this book because if Black women choose from many of the leadership books on the market, thinking a book will help them navigate difficult situations and that book is missing a race, class, and gender lens, they will be sorely disappointed, and their needs will go unmet. Finally, I wrote “First and Only” because Black women must view and navigate every bit of leadership advice they experience through the lens of their unique experiences and identities.
What key areas does your guide focus on?
In First and Only: A Black Woman’s Guide to Thriving at Work and in Life, I focus on myths to resist, truths to embrace, paths to liberating, and other areas that will support Black women in their personal and professional life. I encourage Black women to do their own internal work, even as they push for community progress. I talk a lot about the importance of caring for our minds and bodies as much as we care about the campaigns in which we are involved.
Why is this book setting the stage as we begin 2021?
In 2020, there was a huge social justice awakening following the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. It was Black women leading the protests demanding ‘no justice, no peace.’ During the presidential election, it was Black women working behind the scenes, and at the forefront, ensuring elections were free, fair, and accessible. For decades, Black women have been showing up doing the work. This book asks the nation to see us and encourages Black women to celebrate their beauty and ingenuity.
Share your best advice from your book.
My best piece of advice is to know ‘what is in your house.’ To understand the beauty and genius you bring to any environment, to celebrate that and use it to your advantage. Do not underestimate who you are, what you bring, and what you have to offer. Your offering may not look like mine and mine yours, but your offering is valuable and needed nonetheless. Remember that. Know that. Live that.
You are the Founder of the Center for Social Justice Leadership, Share your initiatives for 2021.
This is the initial year for the Center for Social Justice Leadership and we’ll be supporting organizations and leaders committed to social good.
As the host of the award-winning United Methodist Women Faith Talks podcast, what are people’s concerns? How is your podcast helping others?
United Methodist Women’s “Faith Talks” podcast is a joy to host. The podcast is held twice a month and upwards of 500 women join per session. My audience wants to find ways to bridge their faith and their justice work. We have covered topics such as Uncertainty During Pandemic, Grief, Sustainability, my book, “First and Only,” and most recently ‘Soul Care.’
Please share your social media links.
I am on Twitter and Instagram as @PR_Whisperer. On Facebook, I’m at @prwhisperer or Jennifer R. Farmer. Your readers can also find me via my website jenniferrfarmer.org