Summer in Chicago is a time to relax, enjoy great outdoor events and mingle with amazing people. Meet Allison Jordan, she has co-produced a number of Chicago’s most notable events. From Real Men Cook to the African Fest, Jordan is definitely the go-to woman for outdoor Chicago fun.
Rolling out had the chance to speak with Jordan about the role models in her life that drive her success.
Why is it important for Black women to lead and work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?
The importance of our voice, our demonstration of respect and acknowledgment is crucial. When we lead, we have an opportunity to uplift each other, when we are the decision makers, we have the opportunity to change the trajectory of purpose for each other. I will continue to ensure opportunities for anyone who demonstrates the passion, the determination and authentic desire to step out and do a job, it’s not always the resume or degree, but a proven track record that shows dedication and truth. I often allow my spirit to lead me, I have been known to give people a role that they never knew they were called to do, or even have on paper the qualifications and the end result for them is life-changing.
What are your thoughts on taking risks?
I love this question because I base my whole purpose in business on risks. Back in 1989, I read the book The Road Less Traveled by Dr. M. Scott Peck and when I read this statement: “Growth as human beings is being assisted by a force other than our conscious will,” I knew right then that my life would be transformed by the notion of taking risks. From that moment on, risks created a new path, it helps you overcome fear, allows us to arrive at things unforeseen, risks allowed me to spiritually evolve. I got out of my own way and allowed my spirit to lead me, your spiritual journey will always lead you to risks.
What about making mistakes?
If I do not make mistakes how can I serve others in power? … If we are exempt from mistakes we are either not being honest or not taking any risks!!
What inspires you to show up at work every day?
Three years ago I got sick, I always tell people that everything was wrong with me, and nothing at all was wrong with me. I allowed stress to overcome me, that turned into an illness that was only attributed to my mind, I had shut down my ability to understand my purpose. When I realized that this sickness gave me a chance to literally lay down and be still, I was moved to start a path of clearing out the clutter, I resigned from positions that had overworked me, and undervalued me, I was creating others’ dreams to flourish and in doing so had my dreams deferred. I made a decision that everything I do must move forward, will have me: inspire, leave a legacy, have fun and change the world, if it does not fall into these core values I was not standing in my truth and because of these principles I show up, I am inspired every day knowing I am being authentic and I am remembering a promise I made to myself to live in this new way.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My chicken legs!!! … I am changing the way I start my day, I am going deeper in prayer and meditation before making decisions, consulting with mentors and trusting in God’s direction over my life.
Name three successful female role models and explain why you admire them?
My mother, Pastor Jeanette B. Jordan, founder and pastor of Journey to The Cross Ministries, because she showed true love to my father who she has been married to for 55 years. While he was in medical School she worked jobs to support the family and many years later she was called to start her ministry, she demonstrated patience and faith, and having the respect in doing things decent and in order, so now she can do God’s work without distraction and change the many lives God is bringing into her ministry and purpose.
Beverly Cashen, she was one of the first producers in TV, she was my boss on the hit show “Amen” in the 90s and even though she never showed that she was watching me or that she even liked me during the seasons, when the show was canceled, she had a job waiting for me on the hit show “Roc.”
Lastly is Susan Peters, she may not even know the impact she has had on my life, she recently retired as the manager of Community Relations for the Office of Community Affairs for University Of Chicago, her eye to detail made me watch closer to how I deliver in my festival activation, her accolades for me, gave me confidence and confirmation for my own passion, her support of everything I do, her critiques were done with love and to make me better and her trusting me by supporting my events confirmed that humility and listening to role models will make you successful and propel anyone on a journey to everything that is possible.