Born with a congenital heart defect, Lynda Monroe is an entrepreneur, podcast personality, and life coach that imparts motivational wisdom to empower prisoners to defy the odds and get a second chance at life. She inspires through her advocacy, life coaching, and motivational wisdom. She has freed 50 inmates from prison and has successfully mentored over 1,000.
During these challenging times, Lynda Monroe is inspiring over 2 million people monthly with her story of resilience and life coaching for success. When she was born, her doctor said she would not live past 10 years of age due to her congenital heart defect. She successfully defied the odds when she became a mother at 17-years old. However, as an unwed mother, this caused her to be ostracized by her church family and forced her to mature quickly. These experiences and more motivated her to reach deep inside herself to get her feet on solid ground.
Now, she is the CEO of a multi-media empire that touches millions through her activism to help prisoners integrate successfully back into society. Her business includes her podcast: The Lynda Monroe Show (with over 2 million streams monthly), her web sites, social media, and public speaking.
Over her career to date she has been able to get 50 inmates released from prison, giving them a second chance at life. In addition, she has successfully mentored over 1,000 prisoners. She is an extraordinary multimedia mogul who continues to take the world by storm.
Lynda wants to inspire the world, and has a special place in her heart for the current and formerly incarcerated. She says, “The prisons are filled to the brim with untapped potential that deserves a second chance.” She doesn’t just talk the talk, but she walks the walk and has five strategies to beat the odds:
1. Practice Gratitude: Be grateful for your life, health, and strength. Do not take anything for granted.
2. Make Education and Self Improvement a Priority: No matter how long it takes, expand your mindset. You only have one mind and one life and cultivating it to its fullest potential is key.
3. Nurture Your Creativity: Life will throw you curveballs. When she was born she was thrown the ultimate curveball of endangered health, and with the help of family and God she was able to overcome her death sentence.
4. Have a Spirit of Service: When faced with the realities of how inmates live in prison, Lynda Monroe was filled with compassion. This compassion created the idea for a prison ministry to help inmates reach their fullest potential.
5. Put God First: Without faith, Lynda believes that it is impossible to please God. This is why it is important for everyone to have faith in themselves; faith in the fruits of your labor; and faith that in the end, everything will work out fine.
Lynda is a change agent that helps the forgotten in society obtain second chances through her prison activism, her podcast, and her public speaking.
Learn more about at LyndaMonroe.com
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Serial entrepreneur, real estate developer, coach, and mentor, Melissa Wyatt, has spent decades honing her skills through multiple startups and has not stopped innovating despite COVID-19. She is the powerhouse behind MW Enterprises, LLC, a Black-owned privately managed and diversified real estate company that has developed more than $7 million in properties and is focused on building generational wealth for the next generation, uplifting women and people of color in real estate, and making transformation changes in the communities in which she invests.
Melissa also founded the Foundation for Second Chances in 2004, a community-based organization that utilizes hands-on education, mentoring, health awareness, and community service to maximize the potential of youth.
As a real estate developer, Ms. Wyatt has been developing tools to assist her community since the pandemic hit. “We have put safe COVID-19 practices into place that ensure we are staying in contact with our customers. We also have to ensure contractors are safe at construction sites – they are working with various people at once while maintaining social distancing. However, we stay on top of screening and we want to make sure their families are supported as well during this time. The ultimate goal here is to stop the spread of the virus. We’ve also stepped up within our community such as distributing gift cards and food bags, and offering rental assistance to our tenants,” explains Ms. Wyatt.
Her inspiration to continue innovating comes from her grandparents, Black farmers who owned both their land and their home. At a young age, that taught her that Blacks could actually have ownership over real estate. Ms. Wyatt shares, “In my early days of real estate investing, whenever I felt like I was hitting a wall, just knowing how hard my grandparents worked to acquire their own land when in those days people like them faced a lot of barriers kept me going.”
Recently, she launched a farming project paying homage to her grandparents that will also share the history and plight of Black farmers (who own less than 2% of US farmland) and help advocate for community farms to replace food deserts in communities such as the one she grew up in Bakersfield, CA.
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Meet the Newest Owners of This Black-Owned BP Gas Station in Jacksonville, Florida - Bshani Radio App
Jasmine Brown and Kimberly Claridy Walker are the newest African American female owners of a BP gasoline station and convenience store located in Jacksonville, Florida. Both were already successful entrepreneurs but decided to add this profitable franchise to their portfolio to continue being successful during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only have Jasmine and Kimberly turned their dream into a reality by purchasing a gas station, but they are also using the opportunity to give back to their community. With their new business venture, they have already implemented a second chance felony friendly hiring program.
"We're excited to open our first location in Jacksonville and make history with BP in Jacksonville as being the only local Black-owned gas & convenient store location," said Kimberly. "We have a location that is easily accessible so we can help get drivers back on the road quickly. Jacksonville, Florida is the perfect location to do that."
“We didn’t just do this for us, we did this for everyone. And through this, we plan to open doors for others and hopefully, we can change the narrative of how other corporations view individuals with a background and also to promote collaboration over competition,” said Jasmine.
Jasmine is the founder of The Opulence Firm, a PR firm she launched in 2009 that specializes in event press, sports, fashion line marketing, social media, communications strategy & planning, marketing, and more.
Kimberly, on the other hand, is the founder of Walker Enterprises, which consists of a leading property management firm, a non-profit organization, and a food truck. She also owns and manages boarding housing.
Their BP gas station, located at 6845 Arlington Expressway in Jacksonville, Florida, is a 24/7 operation that offers many amenities including name-brand snacks, a car wash, a food truck on-site, the latest electronics, and more. On their grand opening day in June 2020, their location sold over 58,000 gallons of gas in one day - a huge accomplishment for a station that was performing below average before they acquired it.
Both women strongly feel that their acquisition will not only help them to thrive during the pandemic but also inspire others and open doors for the culture. In fact, they have since started a business consulting group called Boss Ladies On the Move that assists with the development and execution of business plans, franchise acquisitions, and public relations. They have already successfully been able to assist two investment groups to acquire gas stations as well.
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A group of Black entrepreneurs from an organization called Black Wall Street STL is planning to build a business district in North St. Louis, Missouri. They have already applied to the city's Land Reutilization Authority (LRA) to purchase over 8 city blocks equivalent to 283 lots in the area for Black-owned businesses to thrive.
"We are all very interested and invested in our communities, and we know that ownership is a problem, or lack thereof," Ebony Bowden, president of Black Wall Street STL, told St. Louis Public Radio. "We decided to come together and create Black Wall Street to go ahead and get the land so that we can have a foundation."
Instead of waiting for the city officials to help solve the problems of Black people, this group of entrepreneurs who met four years ago have come forward to do it by themselves. They have pooled their money together to purchase the land which will serve as a space for Black businesses.
According to Alderman Brandon Bosley of D-3rd Ward, Black Wall Street STL offered the LRA a total of $150,000 to purchase the space. The properties consist mostly of foreclosures, dilapidated buildings and vacant lots which are conceptualized to be a thriving business district as it reportedly was years ago.
At first, the land could be used for community events, gatherings, and open-air markets, Bowden and Bosley said. Eventually, however, they are hoping that it will house businesses and factories that can bring economic opportunities to the community.
For more information about Black Wall Street STL, visit BlackWallStreet.org
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