No one runs a race alone. I am running in this race with my best friend by my side, Danyetta. Way back in 2004 she assured me that I would find the right program for my doctoral degree. I did. Which led to our move to Hamilton County. Ten years later, in 2014, she assured me that the right time to run for public office will come. It has. That is why I am running for Commissioner. Please, meet my running mate through an acrostic of her name:
Danyetta is born
Danyetta was born in Central Harlem, New York City, NY as the youngest of three daughters to Charles Louis Dawson and Sylvia Diane Dawson. The eldest sister now lives in Virginia and the middle sister lives in New Jersey. Her family’s roots are in Roper, North Carolina where her cousin Julius Walker Jr. is Commissioner in Washington County. She describes her roots, “Magnificent! It’s a deep connection!”.
Danyetta and her family grew up in Harlem’s St. Nicholas Apartments. At the tender age of four (4) she lost her dad. One year later, when she was five (5), her mom tragically passed away. St. Nicholas Apartments was the most dangerous housing project in inner city Manhattan since the 1970s. Danyetta and her sisters moved beyond the painful parental loss and dangerous social scene to become wonderful difference makers. She was sheltered by the protective love of her grandfather, her uncle, her two older sisters, her godmother, and her cousins. This astounding resilience strengthened her heart. She thus describes her resilience, “It truly helped me develop the foundations of an inner character of good leadership”.
Nurtured in Harlem
Even with a childhood that was altered so deeply by the losses of both her mother and father, Danyetta had a spark within her that ignited a passion for putting God first and loving life. The sharp vicissitudes of her early life did not prevent Danyetta from excelling at PS 154 Harriet Tubman Elementary School, proceeding to IS 195 Roberto Clemente Intermediate School, and then subsequently thriving at Brooklyn Tech High School.
Above all, her faith guided her through life as an orphaned child and later as a parentless teenager. She took a liking to the arts – learning dance with her godmother plus singing at Macedonia Baptist Church in Harlem and later Beulah Church of God in Brooklyn. It is there where she developed a love for gospel music and singing that has continued to grace her life. She thus describes her upbringing in Harlem, “It was formative. I danced in Harlem before the Harlem shake became a meme”.
Years at Fisk University
Danyetta was accepted to several colleges and universities and chose to attend Fisk University in Nashville, TN. This meant moving away from New York and heading down South. She made the move and pursued a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management. At Fisk she became a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority incorporated. She performed in the Little Theatre and sang in the Black Mass Gospel Choir. She was a Youth Leader for her local church too and her college friends nicknamed her ‘Omni’ for her love for God. She was at church every day – even on days that end in ‘Y’.
Along with schooling, she interned at Teach for America as the Dean’s Assistant for the first summer institute held at University of Southern California (USC). Danyetta joined AmeriCorps in Nashville and worked with the Regional Intervention Program which helped programs in Ohio. She thus describes her years at Fisk University, “It was amazing. It made me who I am. I enjoyed my learning at a top HBCU!”
Danyetta and Herman met in May 2003 in Nashville, TN. They wed on Valentine’s Day, Saturday February 14, 2004 in Ashland City, TN. They graduated in May of the same year in Virginia Beach, VA. Herman and Danyetta have traveled internationally to London (United Kingdom); Brussels (Belgium); Paris (France); Istanbul (Turkey); Toronto (Canada); Amsterdam (The Netherlands); Nairobi, Mombasa, and Maragoli (Kenya); and across the Eastern and Southern parts of the US. They have two children who are now on their second and third passports as they attend a Catholic School on the Westside of Cincinnati. She says of her marriage, “I’m glad we found each other. Life is good”.
The Working Mother
As a busy mother of two, work/life balance is a top priority for Danyetta. Danyetta knows the reality of having no extended family locally, as a transplant to Cincinnati. She and Herman have two wonderful children who attend a local Catholic School on the Westside of Cincinnati. She works full time for a social innovative organization that helps to eliminate social isolation among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the gaining of valued social roles. She volunteers for numerous organizations and has been dubbed a ‘career volunteer’. Helping people find, build, and sustain their own communities has been an interest of hers for many years. She says, “Being a mother has enabled me to be generative and purified my vision of who I am”.
The Author and Publisher
Danyetta has written the eBook, Unstoppable Confidence: Sustaining a Posture of Success and was editor and a collaborative author of the book, It Takes Money Honey. She is currently launching a publishing company for local authors on personal growth and empowerment themes. She says, “Writing has been an act of self-empowerment for me and the genesis of capturing my legacy”.
A Coach and Leader
Danyetta operates a coaching and (un)learning company where she challenges successful people from all walks of life, who want to work on one or two areas at a time. She serves clients from all across the US and from a wide range of professions. Through her coaching, she runs a families’ independence think-tank, Kijiji Success Group, and welcomes different guests into her home for Last Thursday of the month dinners. She says, “I love being innovative. Check out my website at Danyetta.com“.
Join Danyetta in Supporting Herman:
PAID FOR BY FRIENDS OF NAJOLI. PATRICIA SCOTT, TREASURER.
PO BOX 7112, CINCINNATI, OH 45205