I grew up sitting on the intersections and kicked the statistics that said I wouldn't succeed in the ass.
I was born in the late 70s in the San Francisco Bay Area and raised by a community of Texan and Louisianan transplants. The crack epidemic of the 1990s rocked my town, robbing us of parents, uncles, cousins, and friends (think Straight Out of Compton).Yet, my community surrounded all of its children in love and service and Afrocentricity. It was instilled in us that we are our brothers and sisters keepers, and we walked the streets knowing that we descended from Kings and Queens. While my utilities were cut off at home and my peers were bussed out to high schools 20 miles away because we didn't have our own school (Dangerous Minds was based off us), I had the privilege of attending a private, exclusive, all-girls boarding school as a day student.
I continued my education in New York City, earning two Ivy League degrees. In 2000 she graduated with a Bachelors in Sociology from Barnard College, the women’s college of Columbia University and in 2009, she earned her Masters in Educational Policy and Social Analysis from Teachers College, also of Columbia University. I overcame the odds that said I would be a teenage mother, gunned down in the streets, a high school dropout, or addicted to drugs. It took me longer to learn, however, that "success" was more than one's resume and salary.
As I approached my 30s, I thought "having it all" included marriage, children, home ownership, and a pension. That was the American Dream, right? I wasn't prepared for the multiple miscarriages. I had no idea what it meant to be in a healthy, supportive, nurturing relationship. Foreclosing on my first home devastated me, and I didn't anticipate being so unfulfilled in my 18 year career as an educator. Life had a lot to teach me.
Going through those experiences allowed me to tap into my relationship with the Divine and recreate a vision for my life that brought unspeakable joy on my own terms. Through that journey, I was able to understand the true nature of healing and forgiveness. I was able to understand my heart's desires and purpose. I was empowered to use my voice and skills to change the lives of women around me.
Today, I hold space and give voice to women like you-- in a place where the box you've been put in is too tight and there's no air; women ready to step into their full power and greatness, women ready to light shit up.
Aleia McDaniel resides in Dallas, Texas with her wife, daughter, and two yappy dogs.
For more information about how you can book Aleia McDaniel for workshops and speaking engagements, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. She currently has a waiting list for her next Master Class series, Alchemy to Love.