Tyrabia Womble is the strategy, evaluation and learning associate for Keecha Harris and Associates, Inc. In this KHA Q&A she shares why racial equity is pivotal to her own ability to thrive.
KHA: What was your path to KHA?
TW: I graduated from the University of Virginia (Uva) with a B.A. in African American and African Studies and a MPH in Public Health Policy, Law, and Ethics. During my tenure at the University of Virginia, I conducted two major research projects that furthered my interests in pursuing a career that focuses on addressing health disparities, using a racial equity/racial justice lens, to drive communal health solutions for vulnerable populations.
After learning about the various programs and initiatives at KHA that center racial equity, I knew it was a great fit for me. Specifically, the work KHA does within philanthropic organizations to make grant-making more equitable aligned with my interest in improving the health of minority communities through resource allocation.
And I love the fact that the organization is owned by a Black woman and has a majority staff of women.
KHA: What’s been the most rewarding part of your work here?
TW: The most rewarding part of my work as the Strategy, Evaluation, and Learning Associate is collaborating with the KHA team to create and evaluate materials and initiatives that help foundations become more inclusive and intentional in their grant-making practices.
KHA: Why should organizations care about racial equity?
TW: I think organizations need to care about racial equity because it is pivotal in the success of any company. Often internal policies that are dedicated to recruiting and maintaining a racially diverse staff will increase the knowledge and depth of the institution.
I think organizations really need to do the work to revise the impact of practices, policies, and processes that promote racial inequities, directly or indirectly.
KHA: Why do you care about racial equity?
TW: I care about racial equity because my survival and the survival of so many people who look like me has been and continues to be dependent upon it. As a Black woman from an educated working-class home, being provided with the resources to combat many of the institutional barriers that exists at the intersections of race, gender, and socioeconomic status has been and will continue to be vital to my success.
I center racial equity in my work because it is the means by which I and so many of my loved ones can attain a good quality of life.
KHA: If you could recommend one book, related to your work, what would it be and why?
TW: I would recommend The Color of the Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America. This book was pivotal in grounding my understanding of racial inequity and its implications on society through various case studies involving codified laws. I think this book did an excellent job in showing how laws and policies were used to underdevelop the Black community, and it provided me with the context to understand and make sense of the observable remnants from these legal legacies.
KHA: What’s something about you people might be surprised to know?
TW: I think people would be surprised to know that I am a published writer and that I am a regular contributor for a Black-owned digital magazine called My Sister’s Magazine.