Deneen L. Garrett was invited to speak with us as our Cover Story Interview for the month of January 2024 Edition. Below are the answers that she gave to our Magazine’s questions.
“As a Black woman, I Am Very Focused On Empowering Us And Elevating Our Voices” – Deneen L. Garrett
Could you provide a brief summary of yourself, including your background, interests, and any significant life experiences?
I’m Deneen L. Garrett, a Dream Lifestyle Coach, Women’s Empowerment Speaker, Podcast Creator & Host and an aspiring Art Curator. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan where I reside with my son and mother (it’s a 2 family flat). I Live a Dream Lifestyle™ which is part of my brand by traveling, attending events and investing in Black art. After being recognized as a Top 100 Global Most Successful Woman by Hoinser, I was also featured on a billboard in Times Square which was something I manifested; “my name in lights”.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your life and how did you overcome it?
In January of 2021, I decided to retire from my corporate career. I was tired of not being valued fully for my contributions so decided to play chess while others played checkers. For the next 18 months, I continued to excel as a project/program manager leading our Women of Color program for high potential/high performing women, created and launched a new development program for 250K employees and leveraged relationships and my skillset to launch my business.
Can you share a significant aspect of your cultural heritage that has played a crucial role in shaping who you are today?
As a Black woman, I am very focused on empowering us and elevating our voices. We contribute greatly yet are not always given a safe space or a platform so I created one.
What motivates and inspires you on a daily basis?
Living my dream life for myself and as an example to others it what keeps me going. I want others to tap into their power and LIVE life fully NOW.
How do you balance work, family, and personal life?
My last 5+ years in corporate, I was paid to passionately pursue my purpose so I didn’t have to balance. I integrated which extends to my current day-to-day as a retiree/entrepreneur. I get to do what I love daily so there’s nothing to “balance”. It’s all integrated. I’ve always included my son in what I was doing and was proud to learn he chose his career based on the volunteer work we did when we lived in Las Vegas. He has 9 when we moved. He’s 22 now.
Can you describe a turning point in your life that helped shape who you are today?
When I moved to Las Vegas, I prayed to learn my passion and purpose. I did and have lived it ever since. I was created to “make a difference in the lives of others”. I aspire to do this daily.
Can you share an experience where you felt a clash of cultural values and how you resolved or navigated through it?
When working in Diversity & Inclusion, I owned corporate strategy for several diverse segments. I’d have to have express the importance of representation with colleagues who were not persons of color and stress why the images should reflect the demographic. Our Communications person took this to heart and sent graphics that aligned.
Have you faced unique challenges as a diaspora individual, and how did you overcome them while maintaining a strong connection to your roots?
Unfortunately as a Black person born in the US, I’m disconnected from the diaspora. I have no ties to Africa. I only know the southern states where my paternal grandparents were born. According to an ancestry report my sister did, it showed, however, we come from West Africa.
How has your cultural background influenced your personal and professional aspirations?
Whenever I travel, I seek to connect with Black people in that city, country, island. I collect Black art. I belong to an organization created to provide Black people a safe space. I’m intentional about spending time and money with Black people and in Black spaces.
What is your definition of success and how do you measure it?
Success is dreaming, deciding/designing and driving towards a dream life. It’s My 3+D’s to how I live a Dream Lifestyle™ and the framework I created to empower others to do the same. Traveling, attending events and investing in Black art is how I live a dream life and how I define success. The measuring is in the doing.
Can you share a situation where language presented both a challenge and an opportunity in your personal or professional life?
During my 1st trip to Cancun, I got on the bus, paid my fare and had no clue what the driver was saying to me. Apparently I didn’t pay enough. I vowed I’d learn Spanish by the next year when I’d visit again. It’s been 20+ years and I’m still “in” Spanish 101. I do practice Spanish and French via DuoLingo and start conversations in the applicable language when traveling. Spanish speaking folks in Latina American countries, speak back. French speakers in Montreal, respond in English. I guess they think “girl, you DON’T speak French”…
Additionally, how do you actively contribute to and give back to both your first and second homes, be it through community involvements, philanthropy, or other means?
I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit is my home and community. I volunteer, donate, and invest my time in things that will benefit us. I’m on the board of a sailing program created to give Black and other children access to sailing and I’m on a mission to inspire 100 Black people to become art collectors.
Add your Social Media handles and website links.
- Website: https://deneenlgarrett.com
- Youtube: www.youtube.com/@WOCAnIntimateConversation
- Website: https://www.womenofcoloranintimateconversation.com/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deneenlgarrett/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/deneenlgarrett/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeneenLGarrett
- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/LiveaDreamLifestyle
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