KESHA MORANT WILLIAMS
Storyteller, Teacher, Scholar, Narrative Advocate
Kesha was in elementary school, 3rd grade, the first time she clearly remembers being treated negatively specifically because of her skin color.
Her friend Kristy was having her birthday party at the Castle Skating Rink. The announcer called for everyone to come out on the floor for the “Hokey Pokey.” Kesha excitedly skated to the center of the floor among the sea of blond and brunette children. They were instructed to hold hands to make the perfect circle; but when she reached for the hand of the little girl next to her, she snatched away, aggressively wiping her hand up and down her pants screaming: “Does it rub off?” Although the rest of Kesha’s friends, who looked nothing like her, crowded around in support, all she wanted was to be home in her safe space.
“You have no control over anyone else’s actions, only your own,” said her mother. “She reminded me that life isn’t always fair and sometimes people do mean, unconscionable things. She told me my power was in my response, said Kesha. She said, “Love God, work hard, and do what’s right.””
The educator, speaker, trainer, and narrative advocacy writer attributes much of her success to committed mentors, her strong family, preparation and faith. She was taught to lift as she climbs and to walk with integrity even if those around her did not. “I grew up in a home were excuses were rarely excepted. There was no such thing as a sick day, I can’t, or it’s too hard.” Her upbringing motivated her to adopted Shirley Chisholm’s powerful quote “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”
Folding Chair is the name of Kesha’s rapidly growing narrative advocacy blog.