Tamika T Taylor

Tamika T Taylor, Founder of "Part of the Conversation"

“My intention is to shine a spotlight, to give people a voice.”

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Meet Tamika T Taylor. Tamika describes herself as “bright colors in the abstract.”

“I am an artist, skills and knowledge collector, an angry black woman, and a general get-shit-done connoisseur. Tamika launched her “Part of the Conversation” series last fall and it flourished during Black History Month. Additionally, she is an entrepreneur and recently launched Black Lion Kreationz, jewelry and clothing company.

“I am doing my best to support black-owned business and entrepreneurs in every way possible.” With her emerging interests and relationships within the Black Tech world, Tamika has begun to move from behind the scenes to front and center. You can connect with Tamika on Twitter and Instagram.

What Does She Do?

Tamika is the Interim Director of Events at Civic Hall, the CEO of Black Lion Kreationz, LLC, and is the founder of the “Part of the Conversation” an event series which debuted at Civic Hall last fall.

How Did She Get Into This Work?

“My art has guided my life for the past fifteen years.”

Tamika grew up in Brooklyn’s Flatbush and Crown Heights and currently resides in Brownsville. While her mother and older sister emigrated from Antigua, Tamika was the first person in her immediate family to be born in America. Tamika has been artistic for as long as she can remember, beginning with a YWCA art showcase in Sheepshead Bay at the age of eight. She attended Brooklyn Tech, one of NYC’s specialized high schools, where she originally chose to study architecture. In college, she shifted her focus to visual communications and fine arts.

In addition to directing our events at Civic Hall and launching “Part of the Conversation,” Tamika’s artistic expression is manifest in Black Lion Kreationz, a clothing, and jewelry line that she started after many years of being asked by family and friends why she didn’t sell the hair jewelry and gewgaws that she made for and adorned on, herself. The clothing line was actually sparked by a returning visitor to Civic Hall who asked to see Tamika, referring to her as a “melanin-gifted” young lady – which later became this t-shirt

What Project Is She Working On?

Tamika is passionate about “Part of the Conversation“, a series designed to help black women network and connect. The mission of POTC is to change the dynamics of the conversations regarding people of color. “We strive to cultivate an environment where people of color are invited to actively participate in the conversation on dismantling systemic oppression, rather than simply being the topic of discussion.”

Tamika thinks back to the first official event of POTC, “How To Be An Ally to Black Women“, hosted by The Ripple last fall. While she recalls that some members of the audience were “visibly uncomfortable,” she believes that these were things that need to be said, and that — plus fun — is the point of her project.

“My intention is to shine a spotlight, to give people a voice.”

By month’s end POTC will have seen nearly a dozen events, including a Black Women Founder’s Breakfast and a conversation with Clara Villarosa about her book, (“Down To Business: The First Ten Steps to Entrepreneurship for Women” which was enjoyed not only by women, but also open to — and valuable for — everyone in the Civic Hall community.

Curating — and being the face of — Part of the Conversation has taken Tamika outside of her comfort zone. Despite feeling like a “deer in headlights” where public speaking is concerned, she is confronting her phobia head on. This past weekend she moderated a panel at Mavens I/O: A #WomenInTech Conference presented by We Build Black, and — with some minor trepidation — looks forward to doing more events.

How Did She Come to Civic Hall?

Tamika was unaware of the civic tech space until she stumbled upon Civic Hall during a job search, and was first hired as the welcome desk associate back in November, 2015. She has since been promoted several times.

“[Civic Hall] has opened my eyes to so many possibilities and missed opportunities that I could/should be taking advantage of. Two weeks ago, I got in the elevator and pressed 12. I was asked, “What’s on the 12th floor?” Every time I enter the elevator… What is it?”

What Is Her Ask of Civic Hall?

Ultimately, Tamika wants to scale Part of the Conversation to venues around New York City and across the country. “In New York you need to know someone who knows someone to get ahead. If we can expand people’s perspectives, you won’t have these genius veterans that can’t get a job because they were dishonorably discharged or have PTSD. People have exorbitant amounts of skills, but they often just don’t know the right people. Lots of programming happens here at Civic Hall that people don’t know about. They don’t know how to get the newsletter (subscribe here). How many millions of people live in NYC? We can do more to reach beyond the civic tech bubble.”

Her ask: “Put me in touch with people. Suggest things! The goal of Part of the Conversation is to give people a voice. I want different voices. I want it to expand everyone’s perspective.”

There are three final Part of the Conversation events to close our Black History Month at Civic Hall. Tonight’s there’s Women of Color in the Arts. Tuesday is a Black Voices in Publishing Panel. This Wednesday, to properly send off Black History Month, there will be a Happy Hour with musician Chosan Kef who will share his music video/documentary, shot in his native Sierra Leone. Please join us!

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