Young women professionals group continues with special speaker for Black History Month
These are the four components that Scotia Moore, of Oklahoma City, has created to help people progress and move toward racial reconciliation and healing for areas of brokenness in their communities.
Moore's Christian faith provided the premise for the components, which she discussed at a recent ministry gathering for young women professionals.
Moore was the featured speaker for the February Polished-Oklahoma City lunch event at Packard's, 201 NW 10.
Edmond resident Jana B. Gridley, founder and co-director of Polished-OKC, said all Polished chapters across the country featured a black professional woman as guest speaker for Black History Month.
"Our organization feels called by God to be compassionate toward others and create a culture of inclusion. Black History Month was a perfect opportunity to do that," Gridley said.
Gridley brought the Texas-based Polished network to Oklahoma to reach young professional women in March 2019. The outreach was founded by Kat Armstrong and Stephanie Giddens in Dallas and is geared for women between the ages of 25 and 45. Polished-OKC meets from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month and the gatherings are typically held at Packard's. Guests hear from a speaker during lunch then divide into groups for table discussions about the topic at hand. During its first year, the ministry's guest speakers included Lauren Green McAfee and KWTV News 9 anchor Robin Marsh. The next Polished gathering will be on March 3, with Rachel Pappy as speaker. Pappy is co-owner of Polston Tax.
Gridley said Moore was chosen as February's speaker for several reasons.
"We thought Scotia was perfect to feature because not only is she a black, Christian woman, she is also intentionally working in paid and unpaid ways to facilitate racial reconciliation and unity in our city. Her entrepreneurial mind and servant's heart has found a way to help our community heal and change," Gridley said.
Moore talked about the kind of role model she had in her mother who was one of the first female police officers and one of very few black female police officers in the community where she grew up.
Moore has more than 20 years of experience creating and leading programs for children and women and she has a background in arts and advocacy. In recent years, she has become known for her work with groups and movements that are trying to bring diverse groups of Oklahoma City residents together for unity, healing and racial recognition.
She told the women gathered about her role as a leadership team member for United Voice Oklahoma, a media collaboration of all the Oklahoma City metro news outlets. The initiative is designed to promote stories that encourage meaningful and productive conversations about race. Moore is also involved in the Stronger Together movement, which creates activities and events designed to promote unity and discourages division. She also helps connect people from different backgrounds in her businesses 31 Connections LLC and Converge Listening Labs.
Moore said United Voice Oklahoma and two annual gatherings coordinated by Stronger Together — The Bridge Conference and the Neighbors Conference — were started after a diverse group of people attended a screening of the movie "Selma" together. The group, which included Moore and her husband Stephan, gathered to discuss the film and the themes of civil rights, social injustice and racial reconciliation. She said the participants decided that more activities should be held that bring people from different backgrounds together for honest dialogue. The hope was that along the way, they would learn more about each other and develop positive relationships with each other.
"I've heard it said and I believe it that progress begins at the speed of relationships," Moore said.
She said through her work she created a model for moving toward flourishing in any area, including racial reconciliation and other areas of brokenness.
Taking the first step is to awaken. Moore said this awakening means that a person becomes more aware and sees and hears things in a different way through authentic conversations with others and taking the time to educate themselves about the issue at hand. She said the second step is to lament or grieve over someone else's experience of injustice or unfairness.
Moore said the third step is to hope and this comes by expressing a new narrative of what could be and the God who makes such transformation possible.
The final step, she said, is amazement, which is embracing wonder and celebrating God and each other.
• Coming Polished lunch gatherings are set for noon to 1 p.m. at Packards, 201 NW 10.
•Speakers will be featured on the following dates:
March 3, Rachel Pappy.
April 7, Laynie Travis.
May 5, Mandy Hansen.
June 2, Dr. Renee Grau.
For more information about the Stronger Together movement's Bridge Conference and Neighborhood Conference, go to https://strongertogether.global.