As a Growth and Impact Strategist, Monique has dedicated her life to helping Black women and communities of color become fully transformed, restored and thriving confidently, equipped to fully stand in their truths and live their lives abundantly because they feel seen, valued, and heard — breaking cycles of historical barriers and limiting beliefs — and giving RISE to extraordinary possibilities.
Monique is a strategist, motivational speaker, and CEO of both Monique Inc. and The Engagement Group, a multi-six-figure-producing consulting and development agency that works with nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, and the public sector to help position them for success by providing strategic direction and insight from over 15 years of experience as a social worker, community engagement practitioner, community organizer, and strategy consultant.
In addition, she has been called to minister to women, using her own personal experiences. She is the creator of As She RISES, a signature series of in-person, virtual and online programs, courses and events designed to elevate, encourage, and serve Black female leaders — helping them transform their lives and give RISE to their best within.
Over the course of her life, she has helped edify, build confidence in, and help elevate many Black women leaders so they could overcome their own limitations and RISE through transformative change. While tremendously blessed and successful, the road has been long.
Growing up, Monique saw life from three different lenses: Poverty, privilege, and community. She grew up in poverty in a single parent household and saw how her mom struggled to take care of both her and her brother. They lived around the corner from a rich neighborhood built on the east side of Columbus that opened up a lottery to allow kids outside of the neighborhood to apply to attend, and Monique was fortunate enough to win the lottery and attend. Although privileged enough to go to the math and science based school, Monique still lived in poverty and on top of financial hardships, Monique was sexually abused by her father, leaving wounds she carried from the moment he decided to take her innocence away. Her respite was the south side neighborhood (she affectionately calls “the hood”) where she visited her grandparents house every weekend. There, she learned what community was all about. While she did see some crime and violence, what she remembers most is the tight-knit community of people that wanted nothing but the best for their families — a community that supported one another.
Once in high school, Monique began attending public school – facing many obstacles and spiraling out of control, she recalls the moment she made a critical decision that would change her life forever. After settling into the fourth high school during her ninth-grade year, she told herself regarding her father, “He has already taken so much from me. I am not going to let him destroy the rest of my life.” Using her experiences up to this point, Monique knew she had a distinct perspective when it came to poverty, privilege, and community. She was able to clearly see the gaps between the world she grew up in and the one she was entering — and she was committed to doing something about closing that gap.
Fast forward, Monique was the first of her family to get accepted to and graduate from college, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications from Kent State University, a Master of Science in Social Administration (social work), and a Nonprofit Management Certification from Case Western Reserve University.
Looking back on her story, Monique says she can understand how her experiences shaped her and prepared her for the work she is called to do today. When she sees a problem, she creates a solution, and invokes change in the people and systems that keep people trapped. Being raised in poverty, educated in privilege, and exposed to the beauty and pain of community hardship has taught Monique to be intuitive – recognizing both missteps and missed opportunity as well as strengths and assets; an encourager and motivator – pushing people to achieve greatness; and a problem solver – developing creative solutions to complex problems and obstacles. This has made her bold enough to stand in truth, advocate for what is right, and help individuals and organizations elevate.
My greatest joy…
Outside of helping people, especially Black women, Monique absolutely loves her three sons. The pride and admiration she carries for them is too big for words. She believes they are her life’s greatest work.
My story is not unique, especially among Black women. As a Black woman, raised by Black women, with Black friends, and living as a Black woman in America, I have experienced, seen, and heard the stories – the environments, experiences, and trauma that have tried to break us. I am taking my lived experience, education, and the strategic tools I use in my consulting practice to help Black women activate the extraordinary inside of them. Together, we can restore to the best version of ourselves that God intended us to be. Sometimes this means I must remind you of the truth of who you are and what God designed you to be before this world got its hands on you. This is my purpose. Let us give RISE to your extraordinary.”