The year is 2016 and women and girls are doing things that defy the odds. In the face of adversity, the female resilience and audacity is shattering both obstacle and fable! Meet one of the Queens doing her part in Brooklyn, New York- Tracey Laroche.
Tracey, is the founder of CROWNED. I sat down to interview her and pick her brain.
CS: Crowned, what does it mean?
TL: 10 years ago in college. It was after a crucial moment I experienced with my former high school sweetheart, he hit me. At that time I had just begun to realize that I was not valuing myself the way I should have been, I had let things slide. I was not walking in my purpose. It was that pivotal moment 10 years ago that began a spark. Last year God spoke to me and it was July of 2015 that I had a vision of a crown. I wanted this crown to be represented in the present- to reflect the statement “I am crowned”. When you are crowned you have ownership, confidence, vulnerability, power and authority to know that you are regal!
CS: Who is it meant for?
TL: We work with young women from ages 14-25. We support young women and girls to help them stand on “I love me and all else will follow”. When you know that, you know that you are beautiful, worthy and that you do not need the validation of others. We provide the tools and resources for these girls to do so. We help them embrace transparency as well, being your true self. So many women and girls look up to you and your story can help. Crowned is meant for a resilient girl/woman.
CS: How did the organization come about? Did who you are as a person have any effect on the shaping of Crowned?
TL: Officially, July 2015 on paper, but I have been working through it for quite some time. It came about through my domestic violence experience and the desire I had to make sure that every woman knows she is beautiful and worthwhile, not needing the validation of a boyfriend or anyone else. My parents always poured confidence building words into my life ever since I was a young girl, so I statistically did not fit the domestic violence victim description. Because of this, I was embarrassed and felt that if I spoke on it my family would be disappointed. I did not want to be labeled or considered a statistic, but now I realize that I was running from what I actually was feeling. This is when I realized that transparency was a necessity. Transparency helped me be honest with myself, family, friends and others who were faced with the same circumstances.
CS: What do you plan to accomplish through this organization?
TL: The plan is to build and cultivate leaders in the community. Whichever community that may be. We want people to know what grassroots is about. We go into colleges as well for our interns. Our first set of interns will be fall 2016. They will work on a grassroots campaign; they’ll be doing research for 12 weeks and then 1 week of cultural emergence.
CS: If you had to pinpoint 3 ways Crowned has changed your life, what are they?
TL: Crowned has made me far more of a visionary than I thought I was. It has also made me very organized and very trusting of the leaders that I engage with.
CS: In life we recognize the importance of legacy, leaving our mark in some way. After it is all said and done what do you hope will remain as part of your legacy with Crowned?
TL: I want to know that everything that I ever did with Crowned made it clear that self love is the number one thing and that giving back to your community is important because people need you. That a girl would grow into a woman that was inspired and impassioned to be active in pursuing better a life for self and those in the community.
CS: Where can people find Crowned events, get involved and give back?
TL: They can find us at www.OfficiallyCrowned.org . They can keep up with me on Instagram @officially__Crowned; Facebook Officially Crowned and my personal account, Tracey Farrah Laroche .
CS: People like to quote things because it reminds them of a brand, place or purpose. Does Crowned have a signature quote that makes it identifiable, if so what is it?
TL: We do! It is “Stand on ‘I love me’ and everything else will follow.”- Tracey Farrah Laroche
Tracey, it truly has been my pleasure meeting you. The more I've spoken to you the more it becomes clear that you are poised to shake up the world in amazing ways! Thank you for interviewing with CrystalSays.com .