We had the good fortune of connecting with Vivian Anderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Vivian, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk taking for me is directly connected to my trust in God. Every move I have made or think of making I pray about it. Then I move my feet. A friend has a saying when you pray move your feet. So I am not sure if I think of it has risk taking. I know that if what I decide to do or if I make a decision that doesn’t work, I have the capacity to make it work. And I reflect and say maybe that wasn’t the thing for me or the right decision.

I started my organization because of the violence and harm that was happening to Black girls in school. I was living in Brooklyn, NY saw a viral video of a Black girl being assaulted by a White male police officer. I did not have the funds but I got on a plane flew to Columbia, SC to see how I could support this girl. After arriving and meeting people in Columbia and different Black girls. My two day planned trip turned into me uprooting my life and moving to Columbia, SC to elevate the voice of the southern Black girl’s voice in the national conversation of PushOut and criminalization of Black girls. I was not sure when I first arrived where I would stay, how I was going to eat lol. I trusted and opportunities opened up for me. I continue to do what people call risky and each time I trust it works out in my favor.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business is a 501c3 community based organization. Our mission is to create a world where Black girls thrive. Our organization has been able to support Black girls who have been impacted by the overpolicing in schools and providing access and resources so they can move beyond that moment of trauma and harm they experienced. I got to where I am today by building relationships and authentic partnerships with other people in the field. It wasn’t easy yet it was easeful. I had to constantly figure out how to fund this work went a few years using my own money which I did not have a lot of (lol). It also took time to have the community to build trust in me. I was from what they say an outsider, I did not grow up in the south or in Columbia, so who was I to come in and do this work. My consistency was the key and I have so much community support now.

Lessons I learned was always be willing to listen, ask questions do not assume you know what’s needed. Ask folks what they need and be honest about what you can and cannot do and more importantly deliver what you said you would deliver.

EveryBlackGirl, Inc’s mission is what I want people to know about us. And I was intentional in the way the name is written. There are no spaces in between the words because no girl falls in the cracks and there is no hashtag in front because this is not a trend its a lifestyle, a way of being and living.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take her to the EBG center and have her spend a day with the girls. Black girls are creative, fun, genius and they know how to make people feel welcomed and seen.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I dedicate this to the Black girls all over the world. Some specific ones Shakara and Niya who were the reason I moved to Columbia, SC. My community of friends in Columbia.
My husband who I met after moving to Columbia, SC

Instagram: EveryBlackGirl

Twitter: Everyblkgirl

Facebook: Every Black Girl

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