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  • - I'm so nervous.

  • - Oh no, you're not.

  • - I just can't believe it.

  • - Well, thank you for inviting me to

  • do this little interview with you.

  • - Thank you for even being a part of it

  • like I'm so (indistinct) right now.

  • I don't even know what to say.

  • (light hearted music)

  • - Really excited to talk with you this afternoon.

  • Thank you for taking the time.

  • So Representative Waters wrote you a letter

  • in support after your New York times op-ed

  • your really wonderful New York times op-ed this fall.

  • And I'm wondering if you can speak a bit about

  • what it meant to receive that letter from her.

  • And then Representative Waters.

  • If you can speak a little bit about

  • what moved you to send that letter.

  • Just to receive any type of recognition

  • from the wonderful Ms. Waters.

  • It really blew my mind because

  • I know that it's me being a young black woman

  • in my generation the things that I fight for,

  • the things that I talk about every day,

  • it seems new for us because we're just now going through it.

  • But to be recognized by a woman that has always spoke out

  • about these issues and has always been an advocate

  • for black women and just black

  • the whole black community, I felt,

  • I felt overwhelmed.

  • I felt seen,

  • I just felt very appreciative because I'm like, okay,

  • it's hard to feel like you're doing something new.

  • It's, it's hard to feel like

  • I'm speaking about something for the first time.

  • Cause I've never done it before.

  • And I'm seeing the things that people are saying to me

  • and how so, you know, some people

  • may not agree with what I'm saying.

  • They feel, they feel like it's controversial.

  • And all I'm saying is protect black women.

  • And now people are taking it like it's,

  • I'm saying something crazy.

  • So just to be supported by another black woman who,

  • sends the same message, I feel like, you know what?

  • I am doing the right thing and I'm gonna keep doing it.

  • Cause Maxine Waters said I can.

  • - Great, that's great.

  • Well, let me just tell you that

  • I was moved by your article.

  • And I was so pleased that you wrote the article

  • for a lot of reasons.

  • Often times, particularly happens with entertainers.

  • They put you on a box.

  • And somehow they don't see you as a person who has a life

  • that includes family.

  • That includes interactions,

  • decisions that you have to make.

  • That has nothing to do with your performance.

  • And so they don't see you

  • as thinking about the plight, for example,

  • of black women or civil rights or any of these issues.

  • So that's why I was very pleased that you wrote it.

  • And so when we saw it, we thought, wow, this is great.

  • And I'm so pleased.

  • Let's let's write her.

  • Let's, let's let her know that

  • we think that, that she's doing a great thing

  • and has done a great thing.

  • And I want you to know that when you,

  • you know speak yourself and you say maybe,

  • people think you're being too controversial,

  • et cetera et cetera, pay that no attention.

  • But some people who don't have courage,

  • and don't have confidence,

  • they don't understand it when they see it in other people.

  • So you, you should be proud of that.

  • You should be proud of who you are.

  • And I know you are, and not only are your talent,

  • but you're a person who, what do you care about?

  • And, and what is it you're doing,

  • that is not only good for you but good for others?

  • So thank you very much.

  • And I'm pleased to be with you.

  • - Wonderful, thank you so much.

  • That sort of brings me to my next question, which is,

  • what's the biggest lesson you hope

  • that young black women can sort of learn

  • from this current moment that we're in?

  • - Well, you know, I think that because black women

  • have not been respected in ways

  • that will help them to feel good about themselves.

  • And they looked to others in particularly men,

  • in order to get approval,

  • then, you know, we need to say to black women,

  • first of all, concentrate on whom you are

  • and what you think, and what you care about.

  • And approval does not always have to come from others.

  • Other people's opinions do not make you.

  • And the opinion of men do not determine who you are.

  • And so we want women to have the kind of confidence

  • that we're talking about today.

  • That you have Megan.

  • And so I think it is anything that we can say,

  • to other black women is that get grounded,

  • get grounded you have an opinion.

  • And you, your thinking and

  • you're taking charge of your life,

  • rather than have everybody else telling you what you can do

  • what you should do, what you shouldn't do.

  • And so building confidence

  • is the most important lesson that we can share.

  • - Wonderful.

  • - So happy to be here.

  • - That brings me also to my next question

  • which is, how do you build community with other black women?

  • You know what I'm seeing right now between the two of you

  • is like, it's like a

  • it's like an example of how you build community,

  • which is showing words of affirmation for another person.

  • Saying, I see you when I see you.

  • So I'm just wondering how you build

  • those sorts of community.

  • What sort of actions you do to build community

  • with other black women.

  • First of all, we have to take people where they are.

  • And we have to be honest with people about whom we are.

  • And we have to be honest in ways

  • that will help people to open up and be honest with you.

  • And so if we put ourselves high on a pedestal somewhere,

  • and we're talking about, I'm your role model

  • and you gotta do this,

  • you gotta act this way and you got to dress this way

  • and you should be doing this, et cetera.

  • First of all, we're not being honest.

  • And secondly, we have people who address

  • the issues in different ways.

  • We have people certainly who have you know,

  • different thoughts

  • things that we don't even think about or know about.

  • And we have people who,

  • you know, don't accept you know,

  • what is considered the tradition.

  • And we have to respect that.

  • And we have to take people where they are.

  • And when we approach people,

  • it is not trying to have them believe

  • that somehow you are more pure,

  • you are more knowledgeable, you are more anything.

  • Accept people where they are,

  • and they'll accept you where you are.

  • So when I see someone and I'm talking with them,

  • I'm looking at them, and I'm listening to them.

  • I don't care what they have on.

  • I don't care about anything else,

  • but what this person is expressing.

  • And I'm not judging them on anything else

  • except what they are sharing with me.

  • And for me, that is a way that you connect with others.

  • That is the way you build community.

  • That is where you get trust.

  • And that is where you come to other people's aid.

  • When people need you, you come to their aid.

  • I'm talking about just having the ability

  • to have someone listen to you.

  • That's hearing that's hearing what you're saying

  • or you are sharing a moment.

  • And so that's how you build community.

  • You respect people, you take them where they are

  • and you come to the aid when they need you

  • - All my life, I was raised by women.

  • I had my mother, my grandmother, and my great-grandmother

  • and my aunt.

  • Growing up,

  • they always taught me maybe

  • you can do whatever you wanna do,

  • be whoever you wanna be.

  • As long as you're a woman

  • who knows that at the end of the day

  • you don't have to depend on anybody else.

  • Get out here in the world and making yours.

  • So I never knew that, I never grew up thinking,

  • oh my gosh, I can't do this.

  • I'm a gosh, I'm not Megan, and I'm not beautiful.

  • And I'm not an amazing, like I always grew up thinking

  • so highly of myself that

  • when like obstacles came towards me, I'm like

  • I'm gonna beat this or I'm gonna get over it,

  • because I'm Megan and I'm awesome.

  • And then my mom said I was great, so I must be amazing.

  • So nobody else can tell me any different.

  • So when I grow up and I started becoming aware of

  • everybody else, because I was in my own little bubble,

  • I'm the only child.

  • But when I started growing up and realizing that

  • everybody might not have had the same household as me,

  • I realized that other women may not have been told

  • all their life that they're so beautiful and that they

  • are amazing, and you can grow up

  • and you can be whatever you choose to be.

  • Don't let anybody put you in this box.

  • Girl be you.

  • And when I realized that,

  • a lot of my friends didn't have that.

  • Like I really was like, you know what Megan,

  • maybe God put these women in your life,

  • so you could be in other women's lives

  • and you can uplift them the way that

  • the women that I gave you uplifted you.

  • So now that I'm in a position, to where I took my mindset,

  • and I turned my situation into this,

  • I felt like I have to give back to my community.

  • Like my women.

  • Like, I want everybody to feel the way

  • that I felt growing up.

  • I am currently still in school.

  • I remember what it was like to be a freshman on campus.

  • And I'm like, Oh my God,

  • my mom said she is not paying my student loans.

  • What is (indistinct)

  • Like, I was so confused about everything.

  • And I just remember that it was a real struggle.

  • When I got in a position to do that for other women,

  • I was like I'm definitely doing that.

  • Because girl, I know what it felt like

  • to be confused and struggling.

  • And you didn't want to give up on your dream.

  • So you just worked super hard to like stay there.

  • And I really want to be a part of other women's story,

  • where they're like,

  • I was going to give up, I couldn't do it.

  • But guess what Megan Stallion said I could, so I did.

  • And she really helped me, so it really makes me feel good.

  • Everything is not gonna come easy,

  • but I know that if I can make it easy for somebody,

  • I wanna do that.

  • - Wow that is so commendable.

  • To, you know, talk about how you can help other women.

  • And let me just tell you, when I think about you

  • and you continue in your education,

  • I said to myself, you know what?

  • She doesn't have to go to nobody's school anymore.

  • She's got it.

  • She's done it.