Women Who Create is a mentorship program for women of color in the creative industry and an event platform.
I grew up in a single parent household with no brothers or sisters. My mom and biological father dropped out of school early in high school. My mom was working as a waitress at Pizza Hut. And I wanted to be an artist.
I had no one to look up to. I was inside the bubble of Dearborn, Michigan, completely unaware of what my potential was, and what was possible outside of my upbringing. Discovering a pamphlet one day in my photography class, I learned about advertising and the advertising design major offered by a local art school. And then I found myself graduating from said art school, and equipped with an internship opportunity in NYC! Unheard of.
I had no idea what I was doing. I took in what I could from the internship, and then I landed a job (what!?!) and I had no one to reach out to, no one to look up to, and zero support system at home. I somehow made it past the first few years of being in NYC alone, and I was like damn. I had learned so much, and I wanted to strive for something greater than writing banners for dog food and emails for vitamins.
I enrolled in a self development program that took you through the process of starting a passion project, and Women Who Create was born. I wanted the main principle to be mentorship because I felt like I wanted to give back to the young women of color entering this industry who don’t have family who understand, who may be first or second generation Americans, and who have questions but have no one they can trust for answers. Additionally, going through MAIP (multicultural advertising intern program), I realized how important having community was and bonding with people who look like you and are striving for the same things.
Shortly after the inception of the idea, Ash Ramirez and I connected and our program grew to include women of color from all creative areas, and continues to grow with the abundant need for mentorship from our community.
When we hear responses and testimonials about how having connections and guidance changed people’s lives, how they were privy to internships, job opportunities, or just a sounding board, it gives us purpose and meaning to this sometimes robotic advertising life. This is part of who we are. And there’s no stopping us anytime soon.