Alencia Johnson | Piece of Mind

Piece of Mind: Alencia Johnson

 

Alencia is a consultant working to advance gender equity and racial justice in policy by disrupting mainstream culture — with past experience on President Obama and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaigns + Planned Parenthood, she went on to found 1063 West Broad, a social impact agency at the intersection of social justice and culture change. 

 
Currently…sheltering in place with family at their home in Virginia. 
 
 
If I had a giant billboard I’d put this message on it: Trust the process. 
 
 
Something I do regularly as an act of kindness toward myself:
I used to buy orchids when I lived in Boston because they lasted so long, even when I’m on the road. Now I try to keep fresh flowers in the house, and in the past few weeks some loved ones have sent beautiful bouquets, like this one from a mentor and dear friend.
 
 
Four Books —
1. Reading now: Until Today! : Daily Devotions for Spiritual Growth and Peace of Mind by Iyanla Vanzant
2. Reading next: The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein — Rooting out racism will literally take upending our entire system. Looking forward to diving into this for a more in-depth analysis on just how much more institutional work must be done. 
3. One that changed my life: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison — Read this my senior year in high school. While a fiction piece, it is a powerful depiction of race in the early 20th century. It also inspired my interest in learning more about the Harlem Renaissance which eventually led to my move to Harlem in 2012. 
4. One I’ve given often as a gift: Be The Bridge by Latahsa Morrison — given to girlfriends I have weekly bible study with. We’re on a spiritual journey of understanding how people of faith are showing up in regards to radical racial reconciliation. 
 
 
Go-to, surefire hit karaoke song: Whitney Houston - I'm Your Baby Tonight
 
 
Front of mind: Building the power of Black people and women ... Whether it’s developing culture plans for organizations building the voting power of women, or working with major brands on how to show up for racial justice. That, coupled with how to ensure marginalized communities remain safe and supported in the midst of this pandemic, yet are also able to exercise their right to vote in November. 
 
 
A screenshot from my phone:
A photo of my late grandmother, mom and I. I’ve met so many inspiring women, yet the lessons they both have taught me about love, grace and caring for people are with me everyday. Everything I do is to honor the work they have done and continue their legacy.
 
 
Something other people think is absurd that I love anyway:
Honestly? I love politics. And I love popular culture. A lot of people hate one or the other or both; and they especially don’t understand how they work together.
 
Also, sleepwear. I have pajamas, nightgowns, and robes for every season. Everytime I’m on a trip with my girls, they tell me they had to go buy sleepwear because my nighttime looks put them to shame. 
 
 
Something other people love that I cannot get behind:
Nutella! I love peanut butter. I love almost every kind of nut. And I love chocolate. But absolutely can’t get behind Nutella. 
 
 
My go-to meal/“recipe” I make in under 15 minutes:
Vegan stir fry. No idea the measurements of each — garlic, onions, squash, zucchini, peppers, quinoa & cauliflower rice (instead of rice), spinach, sesame oil, soy sauce, and lots of random seasoning. It’s great when you have vegetables in the fridge that you don’t know what to do with -- use whatever you have. Throw in some meat, like shrimp or ground chicken, if you feel like it and have time. The seasonings, oils and sauces are the key. So. Good.
 
 
Follow Alencia on Instagram and learn more about her work here