Women’s History Month Interview Three: Meet Lisa Hurley, a Writer, Speaker, and Activist from the country of Barbados

Hello everyone, this is the final post for Women’s History Month! This week’s interview is with Lisa Hurley. Lisa is a writer, speaker, and activist hailing from the country of Barbados. She focuses on anti-racism, texturism, and destigmatizing introversion. She also is a passionate advocate for inclusion, equity, and gender equality. Check out more of her story below.

1. Tell me about yourself and the work you’re doing as an activist in your community.

I am a writer, speaker, and activist with a focus on anti-racism, texturism, and destigmatizing introversion. I am also a passionate advocate for inclusion, equity, and gender equality. I started my activism journey after the brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of police. I could no longer stay silent. As a writer, it made sense to deploy my words and my keyboard as vehicles to advocate for change.

In addition to my role as the Editor-At-Large of Linked Inclusion™ (more on that later), I’m also the co-host of Real Talk on Racism and The Introvert Sisters Podcast. Along with my co-hosts, I lead discussions around introversion, inclusion, racism, colorism, texturism, and how they all intersect.

As a result of my activism, I have been quoted and featured in Forbes and Fast Company, as well as on Business Africa Online, Black Books, Black Minds, Bukzone.com, and on Ebony’s Black Power Moves podcast. I have also been featured on the Nasdaq screen in Times Square New York. Most recently, I was named as an honoree on pocstock’s Future of Black America Top 50 Leaders list.

2. Tell me about the work you’re doing with No White Saviors and what its mission and goal is.

I joined No White Saviors (NWS) as a Contributing Writer in 2021. NWS is an advocacy campaign led by a majority-female, majority-African team of professionals based in Kampala, Uganda. Their work focuses on advocacy, education, and action, with a view towards dismantling the harmful effects of white saviorism in Africa.

3. Tell me about the work you’re doing with Black Speakers Collection and what its mission and goal is.

The Black Speakers Collection was founded by Madison Butler late in 2021 to address the mythical “pipeline problem” that companies reference when explaining why their speaker panels are not diverse. Newsflash: There is no pipeline problem. The BSC is now up to 2300 speakers and growing. A part of Madison’s mission is also to close the race and gender pay gap. Many Black speakers, especially femme-presenting ones, are asked to speak for free, or they are grossly underpaid in comparison to non-Black speakers. Members of the Black Speakers Collection provide each other with expertise and support in terms of rate transparency, and negotiating fees. 

A third aspect of the BSC mission is to make it clear that Black speakers have expertise that extends beyond DEI. For example, my areas of focus include anti-racism, colorism, texturism, code switching, introversion, self-care, Black joy, and reiki.

4. Tell me about your podcast The Introvert Sisters and where we can listen to it.

The Introvert Sisters podcast celebrates the amazingness of introverts. My sister Sharon Hurley Hall and I started it as a pandemic project, and almost 2 years later, it’s still going strong. (Yes – we really are sisters!! Lol! Sharon is “big sis” and I am “lil sis”.)

The podcast offers a safe space for quieter people who are often not heard, and lends an ear to those who are sometimes not listened to. The bi-monthly show is (of course) hosted and produced by Sharon and I, two INFJs with a lot to say. We share our take on what it’s like to be two quiet girls in a noisy, sometimes overwhelming world.

Our primary goal is to normalize introversion. We want to help introverts feel heard and understood. We want people to know that:

  • Introversion is not shyness. 
  • Introversion is not an illness. 
  • Introverts don’t need to be fixed or converted into extroverts. 

We want the world to be inclusive, and make space for us introverts to be our quiet, awesome selves. We’re tired of having to mask and code-switch. These are the tenets we live by: 

  • Introversion is a superpower
  • Quiet is a love language
  • Sisterhood is everything
  • All Black lives matter
  • Text, don’t call

To listen and subscribe, click here.

Add this RSS feed for your podcast player.

5. What is the most challenging aspect of being a female activist?

Not being taken seriously, and being harassed and bullied online. I do a lot of my activism work on LinkedIn, but the algorithm is more likely to work in your favor if you post photos (of yourself) along with your content. It’s the way of things, if you want your content to actually be seen. However, some people assume that because you have posted a selfie, it somehow equates to you being brainless and available. For myself and many of my sister-activists, that results in receiving unsolicited, unwelcome advances from unsavory characters sliding into your DMs, or even posting inappropriate comments publicly. I definitely block, report, and delete, but it makes the overall experience exhausting.

6.What is the most rewarding aspect of being a female activist?

There is nothing like walking in one’s purpose, and I do believe that I am fulfilling mine. I am doing the work that I was sent here to do. From that perspective, my soul is happy. It is also rewarding to be a part of a community of phenomenal women who are powerful change-makers and social justice warriors. We support each other’s work and celebrate each other’s wins. Black women supporting other Black women will always feel great to me.

7.Tell me about the work you’re doing for Linked Inclusion™, and how to get involved with and support your work for inclusion on the platform.

Linked Inclusion is a Black-owned social media platform that launched just over a year ago, on March 26, 2021. It was founded by Padraic McFreen, a pioneer in the fields of smart technologies and devices. Many people and creators of color know that social media platforms are not designed to help us flourish. We are often censored, excluded, and pushed to the margins. Often, in response to our experiences on other platforms, we say: “We need to build our own table.” Well: the table has been built. Linked Inclusion is an inclusive, safe space where all voices can be heard. In addition to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Wellness is also a focus of the platform: DEI+W. Medical racism and adverse health outcomes/experiences for the BIPOC community are real. In addition to providing a safe space via the social media platform, Linked Inclusion’s goal is to help companies become more diverse, and implement inclusion strategies in healthy, sustainable ways.

In my role at Editor-at-Large of Linked Inclusion™, part of my work includes amplifying the voices of traditionally marginalized communities. That includes curating and creating content in celebration of diverse cultures. Most recently, for Black History Month, I commissioned these articles:

…and wrote these:

The best way to get involved is to join the platform.

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