Born in Panama and raised in Brooklyn, Veronica is a journalist, editor, and author who believes that each of us has the capacity to make meaningful choices that impact our communities for good. She is the force behind the anthologies “The Meaning of Michelle,” and “Queen Bey: A Celebration of the Power and Creativity of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.”
Veronica, you’re new to Sadie Nash. How did you become involved and what attracted you to our mission?
Well, my background is peppered with people who invested in me, exposed me to a larger world beyond my neighborhood, simply because they felt deeply it was the right thing to do. I’m aware of that, and I’m passionate about people and places that do that for girls today. I’m excited to attend Joy and Liberation and introduce Sabrina Hersi Issa who’s receiving Sadie Nash’s Petticoat Award for her work at the intersection of technology and human rights. I have deep admiration for her work. She and I intersect in values, but we create in really different ways, and I appreciate that.
Speaking of your creations, we think your book “Resist” is a great tool for talking to kids about leadership in hard moments. Based on your time exploring the stories of the 35 people featured, what advice do you have for us about making choices in our daily lives?
Yes! With “Resist” I wanted to write about the moment before someone finds their courage. We often speed past that and lose the nuance of that moment. We lose the questions we ask ourselves like Can I? Should I? What about all the mistakes I’ve made before? When I was a kid, I was a scaredy-cat! I heard stories about bravery, and I thought, “That won’t be me.” And I never saw anything that contradicted that idea; every story I read was imbued with the glory of triumph, but nothing else, and I couldn't find my access point. So I wanted to write these stories in a way that a kid could see themselves in. It’s really about listening to your heart and trusting that the little choice in front of you might mean a lot to a lot of people.
Leadership is very much about the choices we make and how we approach those choices. Can you tell us more about what you consider the traits of a great leader?
When I think of leadership I think of the ways people lead families, communities, schools, and work teams. What I admire about the leaders around me, who are often women, is that they are highly empathetic and humble. They have a willingness to change. They know that leadership is a process of evolution and they ask how they can serve.
Why should others join us at Joy and Liberation?
Nights like this are a B-12 vitamin for your soul! Come see old friends, make new friends, and have an important intergenerational conversation. Right now there’s a lot of bad news and things that need fixing. It’s really nice to have a night to celebrate women who are visionaries and creatives— and to celebrate the Nashers they support. There’s no better ticket in town.