“Being authentically me helps me lean into helping my community.”
– Shamika Williams
The Legacy Creator
Shamika Williams’ work with HBCUs is influenced by the legacy of her late mother.
The legacy of Shamika Williams’ mother, Carrie Mae, is an ever-present motivation for the senior director, global inclusion & diversity business partner commercialization & HBCU strategy. Her current role specializes in helping increase HBCU access to the bio-pharma industry through sustainable career opportunities, knowledge sharing, collaboration and research development opportunities, custom programming and content.
A strong influence on Shamika’s work comes from her mother. Carrie Mae was a kind-hearted nursing assistant and a notable figure in her local community, and she inspired Shamika to do the same. “My mom’s legacy is coming full circle. After losing my mother in 2007 to lung cancer, I wondered, what impact would I have on the world? When I am gone, what will people say about me?” she says. Her mother’s legacy lives on as family and community members remember Carrie Mae’s kindness and support, often reminding Shamika.
She was recently told by a cousin that Carrie Mae gave her a necklace with a cross to celebrate her graduation. It was something the cousin cherished and wore every day.
Shamika’s voluminous afro is even named Mae after her mother. “My mother was fiery, sweet, giving and loving, and had a big personality. There was a ‘don’t mess with me’ attitude in her,” Shamika explains. “The work I am doing with HBCUs honors my mother and my family’s legacy.
Though my parents were not high school graduates, they understood the importance of receiving an education.” In recent years, Shamika also discovered that many of her relatives attended HBCUs.
“It is a privilege for me to serve the black and underrepresented community through my work. I am working on behalf of my company to accelerate its performance and influence its culture, while also contributing positively to the community,” she says. “This aligns with my personal mission.”
As Shamika describes it, the recognition that she was not alone in her experiences inspired her to become a part of WOCIP.
“I saw myself in just about every woman who shared a story of disappointment and isolation,” Shamika shares. “Working with WOCIP provides an opportunity to help others along the way. The psychology behind the microaggressions we experienced in corporate America is part of why I felt it was important to help.”
Shamika is passionate about aligning her passions with the meaningful work she does. Through HBCUs, she wants to increase Black representation in professional environments, empower women of color and improve their lives.
“I love to help people develop, live to their best potential, and for them to see themselves the way God sees them,” she says.
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