Leadership is an expression of the truest form of ourselves. It is what happens when we shed the incompatible expectations of others and find the strength to live in true authenticity.
As part of our series about ‘5 Steps, We Must Take To Truly Create An Inclusive, Representative, and Equitable Society’ I had the pleasure to interview Dr. Pamela Larde.
Dr. Pamela Larde is an associate professor of qualitative research and higher education at Mercer University, a fellow and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion council member for Harvard’s Institute of Coaching, and the founder/president of the Academy of Creative Coaching. Her research focuses on interpersonal relationships, self-motivation, inspiration, resilience, and post-traumatic growth. Additionally, she has written three books, has contributed chapters to scholarly publications, and presents her research extensively for national and international audiences.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?
I am a California girl. My parents were a part of the great migration of African Americans who headed to the west coast from Alabama and Mississippi in the 70s. They started small. My dad was only making $2 per hour when they first arrived, but they managed to build from there, so I grew up in the suburbs of Southern California with a household of four — me, my younger brother and my parents. I will probably never know the struggles my parents faced while I was growing up because they always shielded my brother and I from their hardships. We were a close, happy church-going family. My parents were very strict but supported all of my many interests — my writing, my sports, and my childhood business ventures. They constantly affirmed me and told me that I was smart, pretty, and talented. And I believed them!
But then came the plot twist… When I was 18, I got pregnant and became a single mom on the heels of an abusive relationship. My parents and I became estranged for a few years and I had to figure out life on my own. I found myself in a world that was very different from the one that I grew up in, but even through the divide between my parents and I during that time, their positive affirmations of who I was lived deep within me and I used those affirmations to push through bouts of homelessness, juggling three jobs, and attending college full time. In time, I managed to graduate, secure a corporate public relations job, and buy my first house when my son was just four years old. The foundation of my childhood made all the difference for the trajectory of the rest of my life.
Read more at: https://medium.com/authority-magazine/dr-pamela-larde-of-academy-of-creative-coaching-c3dcd13736d