Hello I’m Tracey Palmer, Founder of WV Black Excellence. I still cant believe this idea was birthed one Saturday scrolling through Facebook. I thought I was simply scrolling but God had different plans. In the span of a few hours I saw two or more of my past classmates doing amazing things in their personal and professional lives.
At that moment I realized how powerful it would be to share this same information with my network of native West Virginians but more importantly how inspiring it would be for the next generation of leaders. The hope and encouragement that could be garnered by sharing journeys, knowledge and advice from people who look like us, attended the same schools and grew up in the same neighborhoods we grew up in.
Some of us left West Virginia vowing never to return as sometimes we associate our upbringing and hometowns with pain. Many of my memories are filled with hope and carefree living, of villages and communities coming together to discipline me but also to celebrate me.
Nearly 20 years ago I was in escape from HERE mode, a little boy on my hip and a whole world to leave behind as HERE reminded me of dreams deferred, lost life, youth snatched away, opportunities not realized. As the years of not being HERE mounted I realized that I left a community without the fruit of all it put inside me and ignored the call to come back, to give back.
I started WV Black Excellence to remind us that in our pursuit for THERE that we not forget about the HERE that still needs us. HERE needs us to stop watching things happen and be of impact by sharing of our time, talent and treasure. HERE needs us to be a philanthropic arm where we were once benefactors.
A movement can be started by one and so I ask that everyone join me one by one,
community by community, school by school and let’s make our HERE, West Virginia matter again!
We believe all women can embrace who they are,
can define their future, and can change the world.
To inspire and promote the next generation of leaders through exposure to models of excellence from West Virginia.
To cultivate and incubate community collaboration by creating and promoting positive opportunities and narratives of excellence that will provide inspiration for future leaders.