We had the good fortune of connecting with Britney Foster and Dr. Troya L. Ellis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Britney Foster and Dr. Troya L. Ellis, what matters most to you?
Legacy. We are our ancestor’s wildest dream because we are Black woman who lead. Our leadership is rooted in the unrealized dreams of the Black women who came before us. We are servant leaders – We give our time, love and spirit freely for the liberation of Black people. We held space for our team to collectively grieve the public murder of George Floyd, while propelling the work forward. In the midst of personal and public turmoil, we tapped into the strength of our ancestors and collective power of our team to grow our business from one to five partnerships. Trajectory of Hope was designed by Black women for Black families and we lead in service of them and for the next generation.
What should our readers know about your business?
Trajectory of Hope takes an anti-racist, pro-Black approach in working with K-12 school educators to shift individual and group schemas to uproot racist ideologies that impacts Black students and their families. To achieve this we provide a three lever approach that includes, Research & Data Analysis, where we collect data at a school site or school district to determine and address the gaps of current conditions for Black families. Affinity Groups, where we provide designated reflective spaces to critically examine beliefs by surfacing the experiences for educators and Black families. And, Equity Coaching & Development, where we provide targeted equity based coaching and development supports and bridges educators implementing shifts in practice that are unearthed and discussed in affinity spaces.
We are most proud of how we were able to navigate the pandemic. During the 2020-2021 school year, surprisingly, we gained traction and expanded our partnerships in the midst of the pandemic and a virtual school year. We believe that people are more open and receptive to the mission of our work since the death of George Floyd. After his brutal and public murder, this country has experienced a moral awakening. People are more primed to acknowledge racial bias and the effects and impact it has in every facet of our society, including and especially education. Many organizations have been eager for us to support them with providing space and development for school communities to uncover bias and rectify racial inequities.
However, we wish that the playing field would be more even. We wish that our experiences as Black women would be perceived a strength, benefit, and asset to leading a successful entrepreneurial venture. We wish for more accountability in the venture capital world; these communities need to undertake the work of uncovering and addressing the biases towards Black women entrepreneurs.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
– Leo’s Taco Truck (La Brea and Venice) – Fred’s Down Home Burger
– Earle’s on Crenshaw
– Hilltop Coffee Shop (Inglewood and LA locations)
– Marina Del Rey to walk around the docks
– Belmont Shores in Long Beach
– Downtown culver for happy hour
– Pay homage to Nipsey on Slauson and Crenshaw
– Mondays in front of Earle’s the vegan food trucks for lunch
– Baldwin hills/culver city stairs
– For dessert: Sweet Red Peach or Harriets Cheesecake.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Our families and many other people who have supported and guided us along the way. The numerous Black women that have come before us including those who have been murdered at the hands of the police. #SayHerName