Ashley Christopher of HBCU Week says her existence is a superpower

It is the CEO’s mission to advise Black students on the benefits of attending Black colleges and universities

Ashley Christopher of HBCU Week says her existence is a superpower

Ashley Christopher is the founder and CEO of the HBCU Week Foundation, which encourages Black students to select a Black college or university for their post-secondary education. The organization also focuses on providing scholarship dollars for matriculation and sustaining a pipeline of employment from college to corporate America.

As a double HBCU alum, Christopher promotes the benefits of Black students attending a Black college or university.

As a Black woman, what do you consider your superpower to be?  

My existence. In a world where people who look like me are told to be everything but themselves; I’m here, I’m thriving, and I’m creating a space for students who look like me to succeed.

What thoughtful or encouraging piece of advice would you give to your younger self? 

First, you are enough. The second is a quote from Jay-Z that says “Every human being has genius-level talent. There are no chosen ones. You just have to find what you are good at and tap into it.” There is no shortage of talent among Black students, there is a shortage of access to opportunity. I’m grateful to be able to provide a space for Black students to tap into those talents in an environment where they are accepted and not tolerated, and without the burden of student debt.

Why is it important for women of color to work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities? 

Historically speaking, Black women have collectively saved democracy through their words and actions. That said, there is no better demographic to have at the helm of any decision-making process. Additionally, the world is becoming more diverse by the day and decision-makers should look similar to and relate to those who will be affected by said decisions.

If you could thank any Black woman for her contributions to history and society, who would it be and why?  

I’m not really into celebrity culture, so I have to give a nod to my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. My lineage means everything to me because, without them, there is no me. The women in my family taught me how to love, how to fight, how to overcome, persevere, and how to stand 10 toes down on the promises of God despite any adversity I’m facing. I owe them everything.

As a successful woman in business, what is your greatest or proudest achievement? 

Despite my business success, my greatest accomplishment is my son. His existence and assignment to my care are proof that God favors me.

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