We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessie Redd and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessie, what principle do you value most?
When I think of values and what principle matters the most to me, the first one that comes to mind is integrity. Holding myself to a high ethical standard at all times and staying true to what I believe in means everything to me. I once saw a quote that read, “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching” and it has stuck with me since. I was raised to treat the CEO with the same respect as a janitor and I feel that this has helped me tremendously with my career. Having honesty and integrity in the workplace are so important for leadership especially in business. People want to feel secure and not have to question whether or not they are being cheated. Having a team and colleagues that trust you creates a quality environment which will lead to success. Integrity is the true mark of leadership.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am the Academic Program Specialist at the Safe Communities Institute at the University of Southern California. In my position, I manage two certificate programs for public safety professionals, the Public Safety Leadership Program (PSLP) and the Executive Leadership Program (ELP). The Public Safety Leadership Certificate Program provides students with a solutions-centered approach to public safety by adopting a multidisciplinary and “whole-of-community” methodology. ELP is intended to challenge international public safety leaders and enhance their analysis, coordination, and response capabilities to the evolving threats to public safety. Both of these programs are very dear to my heart and I put a lot of effort into making sure that students who participate are able to not only learn from the material, but use the program to network with people from agencies that they normally do not have the opportunity to do so with. I am a huge supporter of collaboration and having the community work along side with public safety professionals to make Los Angeles a better and safer place. I am usually the youngest one in the room and I feel that definitely sets me apart but I am able to gain knowledge from chiefs of police departments and CEOs of nonprofits that most millennials aren’t exposed to. A challenge that I sometimes face in my position is having to prove myself. Since I work with a lot of senior leaders, especially in law enforcement, I always have to be on top of my game. Being a millennial, some senior leaders automatically see me and feel that I lack experience/knowledge because I am much younger. Personally, I like a challenge and I always prove to them I am capable and go above and beyond the call of duty. Some tips that I have gained from working with law enforcement are always show respect, being early means that you are on time, and never take things personally. When I leave a room, I want people to remember how hard working I am and that I am a woman of integrity who stands firm in what she believes in.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Pre-coronavirus my girls and I love a good brunch! Some of my favorite spots are Malibu Cafe, Blu Jam Cafe and Pann’s Restaurant. I am a huge supporter of local businesses, especially black owned. Some of my go to restaurants are Harold & Belle’s, Dulan’s and Simply Wholesome. There is also an app called EatOkra that will give you all the local black owned restaurants! I don’t do much clubbing anymore, but if I wanted a drink I would probably go to EP & LP or the Highlight Room. I am a frequent visitor of Pinz Bowling in Studio City and love love love Da Poetry Lounge on Tuesday nights. To me, some of the most exciting places to visit in LA are the museums such as the Getty, Museum of Tolerance, The Broad and Japanese American National Museum. I also love to hike and there are so many other beautiful hikes outside of Runyon! We have Eaton Canyon, Santa Ynez Falls, Solstice Canyon, Switzer Falls Trail etc. Some beaches I would recommend are Point Dume in Malibu, Newport or Laguna Beach. Lastly, if you are in Los Angeles you have to go to a Laker game or check out some Kobe Bryant murals all over the city. RIP to the goat.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout(s) most definitely go to my mother, Mona Curry and my mentor, Dr. Erroll Southers. Without their consistent love and support, I would not be nearly as successful as I am today. My mom was the strict mom that I always complained about but later in life realized that because of her tough love I am disciplined, dedicated and determined. She has always encouraged me to be independent and taught me that whatever I want in life, I can get for myself. My mom has engrained in me the value of never giving up, especially being a woman of color in today’s society. No one can make it happen for me, but me. She has taught me that I have to go above and beyond to achieve what I want in life and that has always been my motto. I am so thankful for her. My mentor, Dr. Erroll Southers, is one of the most hard working and empowering people I know. He brought me on board at the Safe Communities Institute at the University of Southern California and showed me what true leadership looks like. He is one of those people that lives by integrity and perseverance and is constantly teaching me how to not only be successful in life and in my career, but how to be a great leader. He supports my ideas, and gives me constructive criticism when needed. He also gives me credit when due and I am so grateful to work and learn from him.