Meet Women Engaged's featured community leader, Christi Ketchum, the Founding Director of Our Rightful Place, LLC., based in Sacramento, CA. Christi started Our Rightful Place in 2011 as an answer to a longtime passion of having a nurturing space that allows Black women to discuss pertinent social and interpersonal issues and develop ways to respond collectively.
This growing network of impressive Black women leaders from diverse career backgrounds began with an intimate group, and, in less than five years has grown to 2000 online members, 30 active members and a leadership team of 8. Women Engaged's ED, Malika Redmond spoke to Christi about her love for social justice and why she started Our Rightful Place, LLC.
MR: Why does social justice matter to you?
CK: Since childhood I've been committed to fairness and justice. I grew up in Sacramento, CA, the only Black young person in the majority White school I attended. That experience taught me how to use my voice to stand up for what was right. Furthermore my mother was active in efforts to increase public health education in Black communities such as sickle cell awareness. Finally, I decided to attend the historical Black College and University, Clark Atlanta University, where I learned about my history and the shoulders I stand on such as Ida B. Wells who made the word a better place due to her work for truth and justice.
MR: You've worked on behalf of Black women and children for nearly two decades, what is a highlight moment in your career?
CK: Founding and leading the Youth Council at the organization Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide for seven years. I was able to institute a highly successful program centering youth leadership development and activism to a civil rights based organization. Providing young people with opportunities to organize conferences, demonstrations, fundraising initiatives, as well meet living movement legends soon became a central priority, organization wide during my tenure.
MR: Tell me more about 'Our Rightful Place, LLC. and recent success.
CK: Our Rightful Place, LLC. members meet monthly and we discuss our top issues, socialize and figure out ways to support each other on our individual initiatives. One exciting success is the passing of Proposition 47. Along with Californians for Safety and Justice who lead on this effort, members of Our Rightful Place advocated for Proposition 47 here in California that eliminates automatic felony sentencing for certain nonviolent low-level drug and property offenses. This is a breakthrough for the fight for a better justice system.
MR: What wise words would you like to leave with us?
CK: Black women are the key to our communities flourishing. Yet there are a surplus of issues impacting Black women's daily lives keeping us from being able to stand fully in our power. However, together, we have to take back our communities and regain our rightful place.
You can learn more about Our Rightful Place, LLC. by liking their page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Our-Rightful-Place-LLC/202475659811161?fref=ts