Day 15 - 28 Love Letters to Black Women
This Black History Month, I am sharing 28 stories of Black women who shaped me and showed me the way towards liberation. Because Black women are often not cited for their ideas, I thought this would be one way to give flowers to those who influenced me.
On Day 15, I would like to honor the work of Nicole Cardoza. Nicole is the founder of several social ventures including Reclamation Ventures and Anti-Racism Daily. She is literally Black Girl Magic (https://www.blackgirlmagician.com/) - she’s a performing magician, who finds inspiration from Black magicians throughout history and uses magic and storytelling to celebrate Black history and Futures.
I first encountered Nicole’s work through Anti-Racism Daily (ARD), a free daily newsletter that shares stories and suggestions for everyday actions to fight racism. Nicole started ARD after getting inundated from people asking her what they should do after Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. Exhausted by the constant requests, Nicole decided to launch a daily newsletter in June 2020 to give concrete suggestions for dismantling white supremacy. Today, Anti-Racism Daily has over 300,000 subscribers and has raised over $3 million for social justice. (https://www.niemanlab.org/2020/09/anti-racism-daily-is-a-newsletter-that-helps-you-read-the-news-and-do-something-about-it/)
Nicole’s career is full of examples of her using her platform to inspire actions for justice. She founded a nonprofit called Yoga Foster in 2014, and was prominent in the wellness community. When the magazine Yoga Journal did a story on Nicole that was supposed to feature her on the cover of the magazine, the magazine got cold feet and worried that featuring a Black woman on the cover would keep them from selling magazines. So the magazine asked its social media community to vote on a cover - either Nicole or a white woman. In an Instagram post, Nicole shared how the poll made her feel - that her Black body wasn’t good enough. The outrage from the yoga community influenced the magazine to give Nicole back her cover, and for amends, Nicole asked that the magazine invest the proceeds from that issue in the venture fund she was launching to support wellness entrepreneurs of color. That post and the work Nicole did as a result of that experience sparked a major conversation about the wellness and yoga industries’ inclusion of Black bodies. (https://qz.com/quartzy/1723723/the-yoga-journal-cover-that-showed-me-the-wellness-industrys-racism)
Thank you, Nicole, for consistently using your platform and resources to advance justice and celebrate Black joy! #28LoveLetterstoBlackWomen #BlackHistoryMonth2023 #Day15
Photo by worldwide photographer Sanetra Longno
Image description: Nicole is standing against a dark purple background. She is wearing a white v-neck shirt with a gold lariat necklace.