31 Days of Dreamers & Doers | Ashlei Spivey
Taking over the city by storm is our next Dreamer & Doer, Ashlei Spivey. A facilitator and strategic planner for organizations, communities and individuals - her work focuses on inclusion and equity frameworks. "She has a passion for helping her community and challenging injustice."
Her hustle and drive are off the charts, never knowing what angle she'll cover or collaboration she'll launch next.
"I never really planned on being a business owner. I have always been creative and loved launching projects and collaborating. My first campaign was at Girls Inc. I ran for president and won (the first ever president), and received a scholarship to Metro. It was funny because I had posters, gave out suckers and had a whole tagline. This was my first experience with leadership that is, for me, transferable to business."
AS: 10 years ago, I never would've pictured myself in this position. And the journey was HARD! There is no right path. I failed a lot. I made mistakes, but the best part of the journey is that I learned how to create a village. I created a village full of Black women who are smarter and more talented than me. They have inspired me and brought me a long way.
I love being able to design my own path, to change narratives and hopefully connect and collaborate. As a Black Woman, there are very specific ideas and narratives people and society have about me. Through my ventures, I am able to blow those up and create my own.
Ashlei's tenacity and ambition has accelerated her career quite a ways since she's relocated back to the city of Omaha. She has launched a number of new projects and organizations serving the underserved in the community.
Young Black & Influential Awards: an annual awards event affirming and acknowledging Black people doing dope work in Black spaces. This event is for people that are redefining narratives about Black Leadership and are doing the work, from a grassroots level.
I Be Black Girl: an auxiliary group that is about creating space for Black women to connect with each other, provide organic mentorship and give dollars to advance an initiative with Black women and girls.
Sistah Gurl Society: a stationary line created for Black women.
Ay Spivey: a diversity, equity and inclusion consulting brand.
Ay Spivey wants to move all communities from equality to liberation through strategic planning, facilitation and workshops. We are no longer "checking the box."
AK: What would you say is a highlight of your career?
AS: People telling me that I inspire them. My glow up has been hard. For people to affirm me, say I inspire them and make a difference is touching. It isn't what I was looking for or needed when doing this work.
Ultimately, I want people to feel like we are connected community, that I added value to their project or to them. And I'd change nothing along the way! All my f* ups and wins made me who I am.
On the Sistah Gurl Society -
Black Women are magical, complex, beautiful, amazing, bosses, moms, partners and everything in between. There is a cultural bond between Black Women that cannot be explained. From how we compliment each other - COME THROUGH BROWS - to how we support each other.
Sistah Gurl Society wants to elevate the way we love on each other through cards, where we write down the next master plan through notebooks and how we decorate our space through accessories and apparel.
When asking for any advice or tips for other aspiring Dreamers & Doers, Ashlei says:
Be authentic and genuine. If you walk in your purpose and passion you will make coins and people will engage in your vision.
Be on the lookout for what's to come next as Ashlei always has a new trick up her sleeve. In the meantime, you can find more of her work at Ay Spivey, and to shop the Sistah Gurl Card Collection, visit Merch to purchase.