Leaders of Color Alumni Profile: Janna Rodriguez
The Leaders of Color program launched in 2018 to elevate the tremendous talent of community-based leaders of color. Since then, 116 leaders have emerged from the program ready to bring change to their communities. These are their stories.
Meet Janna Rodriguez - a Leaders of Color alum from our New York cohort in 2020.
Q: Why did you apply to be part of the Leaders of Color program? What inspires you to get involved in civic leadership?
A: I wanted to learn how to become an authentic community leader and how to learn in-depth about running a successful campaign.
Q: Did the program help you in your career or with leadership opportunities? How are you thinking about your future based on what you experience with Leaders of Color?
A: The Leaders of Color program helped me in attaining self-confidence in myself that I had not tapped into before. It taught me how to interact with different personalities and how to effectively convey myself to individuals with different political views, while continuing to stand firm in my beliefs and principles. This program allowed me to become my true authentic self and inspired me to create a non-profit organization, the Innovative Daycare Corp. in Freeport, NY, which is a group family home day care that offers high-quality care and a nurturing environment for children.
Q: How have you applied your experience in the Leaders of Color program in your community?
A: During the protests in 2020 where people of color were being murdered at the hands of law enforcement, I reached out to our police department to thank them for their continued support in protecting our community and utilized this time to speak on creating a committee to include police officers and community leaders to come together and work towards solutions to ending the widening gap of police brutality so that it does not happen in our community.
Q: What advice do you have for people who are thinking about becoming leaders of their own communities?
Always be confident in yourself and your dreams. It takes some failures for your vision to come through. Stay resilient.
Q: Please share your favorite inspiring quote!
A: “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.”
― Rosa Parks