Rozella Kennedy (she/her) has dedicated her work and life to uplifting issues of culture, belonging, authentic allyship, and intercultural celebration and solidarity. She is the creator of the Brave Sis Project and the Director of Impact and Equity for the global consulting firm Camber Collective. A native New Yorker, she now lives on the West Coast with her husband and their Caribbean Potcake dog, Pippa.
Inspired by her own foremothers’ legacies and the friendships formed throughout her life, Rozella Kennedy centers and celebrates the stories of 100 Black, Brown, Asian, and Indigenous women—both famous and little-known—who changed the course of US history.
We are very lucky to have moved to the PNW last fall and while we do have four seasons, here is a view from my dining room looking out to the backyard, at the height of summer!
I have a pile of about 20 books, many related to work matters (diversity, inclusion, belonging, equity) many more related to women in history and BIPOC women in particular. But I am also really happy to just read some things that have nothing to do with either parts of my work life! Right now, I’m loving Europa Editions’ “The Passenger” series because it’s a way to dive deep into a new place without traveling. I already read “Paris” (a city I know very well as I lived there seven years in my 20s), but also just finished “Brazil,” (where I went with my mother six years ago). India and Japan are up next; places I hope to someday visit.
In 2019 when I was thinking of creating a journal and day-planner, I had a visitation spirit come to my dreamscape on that Christmas morning saying “tell my story”. From there, I felt this foremother presence with me, inviting me to learn more, dig more, share more stories. It didn’t take long for me to amass over 500 portraits (and growing) in my collection; 100 of my favorite ones ended up in the book, but the others show up in social media, in the journals, and someday, another book.
Celebrating BIPOC she-roes.
My next area of focus is going to be writing about other amazing women of color from around the world. I can’t wait!
Many years ago, when I lived in Paris, I had this habit of making sure I finished the book before I saw the movie. I remember being in line at the theater to see “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” with Daniel Day Lewis and Juliette Binoche – and being with my friends in line and telling them not to talk to me as I only had six more pages to finish! (And I will add, I read it in French). I finished it just as we were taking our seats!
I would love to sing opera. My husband just finished a run conducting the Pulitzer-Prize-winning opera “Omar” at the San Francisco Opera. I love French and Italian bel canto (that surprises folks, as I also love Afro Beat and Reggaeton!) and I try to sing along with Maria Callas. No one is enthused.
In the beautiful pages of Our Brave Foremothers, discover an intergenerational, intercultural bouquet of Black, Brown, Asian, and Indigenous women lifted into the significance that they deserve. • From Etel Adnan to Mary Jones, Thelma Garcia Buchholdt to Pura Belpré to Zitkála-Šá, here are 100 women of color who left a lasting mark on United States history. Including both famous and little-known names, the thoughtful profiles and detailed portraits of these women herald their achievements and passions. • Following each entry is a prompt that asks you to connect your life to theirs, an inspiring way to understand their influence and the power of their stories. To consider on a deeper level the devotedness of Clara Brown, the fearlessness of Jovita Idár, the guts of Grace Lee Boggs, or the selflessness of Martha Louise Morrow Foxx. And to be as brave as we each can be—and then beyond that.