Anise Smith Exclusive Interview – ‘My Cultural Heritage Has Instilled A Profound Capacity To Lead With Love’


Anise Smith was recently interviewed by our and below is the Q&A session we had with her.

As A Black Individual In A Minority Demographic, I Am Acutely Aware Of Cultural Differences That Permeate My Life – Anise Smith

Could you provide a summary of yourself, including your background, interests, and any significant life experiences?

Meet Anise Smith, a multifaceted individual from Philadelphia, a city etched into her very soul. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Business: Organizational Development from Rosemont College and a Master’s Degree in Internet/Digital Marketing from Full Sail University, Anise’s academic journey laid the foundation for her diverse professional background. She’s donned many hats, from Course Development and Instructional Design to Sales Enablement and College Professor of Graduate-level Digital Marketing to Corporate-level Social Selling Instruction. Anise loves technological advancement and is author of “AI Empowered: Exploring the Limits of ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence.” In addition to her roles in real estate investment and entrepreneurship, she’s the driving force behind Sesina Apps, LLC, a company that recently launched KiiQui—an app that redefines networking by blending the best of LinkedIn, Facetime, TikTok, and speed meetings.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your life and how did you overcome it?

Anise’s defining challenge was caring for her father during his battle with terminal stomach cancer. Her father, a resilient veteran and cop, had always embodied strength. Witnessing him in his weakened state weighed heavily on Anise’s soul. Yet, she summoned the inner strength to be his pillar of support. After his passing, she continued his legacy, using this experience to forge a resilience, determination, and zest for life.

Can you share a significant aspect of your cultural heritage that has played a crucial role in shaping who you are today?

Anise’s cultural heritage has instilled in her a profound capacity to lead with love, even in the face of adversity. As a Black woman navigating a world that can sometimes seem anti-Black, this cultural resilience has been her guiding light. It’s this enduring love and peaceful outlook that defines her character.

What motivates and inspires you on a daily basis?

Life itself is Anise’s daily muse and motivation, but she draws particular inspiration from two driving forces. Firstly, her unwavering commitment to creating a bright future for her GenZ son—a torch passed from her father. Secondly, her insatiable curiosity and love of life itself fuel her desire to explore new horizons, travel, and do ALL OF THE THINGS, despite the challenges that may arise.

How do you balance work, family, and personal life?

Anise’s last four years were dominated by the creation of Sesina Apps and the launch of her first app, KiiQui. This journey left little room for work-life balance. However, she’s committed to rectifying this after her initial app launch to balance work, family, and personal life.

Can you describe a turning point in your life that helped shape who you are today?

A pivotal turning point in Anise’s life occurred when a younger manager was hired by her organization. This motivated her to return to school, setting her on a path of continuous learning and personal growth. Education transformed her life, and that young manager unwittingly lit the spark that ignited her drive.

Can you share an experience where you felt a clash of cultural values and how you resolved or navigated through it?

As a Black individual in a minority demographic, Anise is acutely aware of cultural differences that permeate her life. Navigating these disparities is an everyday reality. Her approach? Embrace her cultural truth, seek like-minded individuals, and recognize that change must come from within for those resistant to change. Anise thrives where she can exist in peace, embracing her culture while appreciating diversity.

Have you faced unique challenges as a diaspora individual, and how did you overcome them while maintaining a strong connection to your roots?

Acknowledging the enduring challenges of being part of a diaspora, Anise emphasizes the importance of living her truth daily. Surrounding herself with culturally understanding individuals, she strives to exist authentically. Anise recognizes that internal change is paramount and seeks peace through like-minded connections.

How has your cultural background influenced your personal and professional aspirations?

For Anise, being Black in America means that her race affects every aspect of her life daily, starting from birth. Despite these everyday challenges, her relative success has been hard-won. She believes she could have achieved even more had it not been for the hurdles posed by her cultural background.

What is your definition of success and how do you measure it?

Success, to Anise, is measured by her progress in various aspects of life—personal, financial, mental, professional, and spiritual. Her happiness, contentment with her choices, and forward momentum in these areas serve as her yardstick. Each year, she reflects on her achievements, identifies areas for improvement, and sets a course for the future.

Can you share a situation where language presented both a challenge and an opportunity in your personal or professional life?

While English is Anise’s first language, she recognizes the need to “Code-switch” in corporate settings, temporarily shedding her natural dialect to fit in. Her ability to adapt has proven invaluable in her roles as an educator and in corporate environments, allowing her to bridge cultural and linguistic divides.

Additionally, how do you actively contribute to and give back to both your first and second homes, be it through community involvement, philanthropy, or other means?

Anise’s commitment to giving back extends to her involvement with—a non-profit collective dedicated to health equity and reducing dis/misinformation in BIPOC communities. Through this involvement, she actively contributes to her community, striving to create positive change in her first and second homes.

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