Why? That simple, yet profound one-word sentence keeps me going. When it seems like so many external and internal forces want me to stop, the WHY motivates me to make one more move forward.
Building upon more than 30 years DEI and nonprofit experience, I enhanced Owlservations, LLC, in March 2022. Reflecting on why I have invested in enhancing this professional service firm—and why now—I must begin with giving God all the glory. I’m grateful for how God continues to show me how I must leverage my life’s journey to serve others—especially professionals of color. In Divine timing, I am now positioned on my personal and professional paths to harvest the seed of an idea that’s incubated for over a decade.
A recent review of my library of private journals dating back to the 1990s uncovered the debut of the term “Owlservations” in 2012. Owls have captivated my interest since my undergraduate freshman year at Northwestern University. Since then, they have somehow multiplied in my environment. The story I created while still at NU was, “Whenever I left my dorm room for any length of time, the owls would know each other in a biblical sense to birth more owls by the time I returned.” That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
I have come to appreciate what owls represent. They are majestic creations of God. With 225 species in the world, owls embody the beauty of diversity. Many of their anatomical features inspire me, like how their bodies, eyes and ears have evolved to benefit their nocturnal lifestyle. In similar fashion, I have learned to adapt strategically selected personal characteristics to benefit how I show up in different settings—but always remaining true to who I am. The owl’s upright stance is a distinguishing feature. Similarly, for both physiological and psychological reasons, I have learned to stand tall wherever my path takes me.
Owls have symbolized different concepts throughout history and across cultures. Oftentimes, however, they represent wisdom, knowledge, and contemplation. In some cultures, owls are also believed to bring happiness, wealth, health, and love. These positive, motivating symbols for owls set the foundation for Owlservations.
My service firm’s chimerical name, Owlservations, acknowledges the essential ingredient of wise observations—for building any aspect of diversity, equity, and inclusion service.
Observation describes the action of watching carefully, especially with attention to details or behavior for the purpose of arriving at a judgment. “To come to realize or know especially through consideration of noted facts,” also defines observation. Observations from lived experiences gained over decades help craft the services of Owlservations. Observations shared from students and young professionals help ensure Owlservations’ services remain relevant and real. Observations reported as scholarly research and practitioner studies inform every facet of what Owlservations does and delivers.
Since the start of this decade, we have all endured unimaginable, unexpected experiences in nearly every area of our lives. A couple of pandemic years, racial reckoning and unrest, political dissent and division, global war pending, and overall disconnect from others—all converge to culminate in the need for Owlservations in such a time as this.
We all can benefit from understanding and applying diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) principles and practices. Owlservations leverages DEI to prioritize people and build upon the positive. Negative connotations frequently frame the DEI work in organizations. Yes, the myriad of deleterious and destructive aspects of DEI must be acknowledged and understood. But we must not stop there, at an individual nor collective level. We must move beyond extended periods of “admiring the problem,” and leverage DEI as an impactful tool for improving culture and producing better bottomlines—whether they’re mission or money.
DEI work done right elevates the benefits, solutions and assets produced by truly diverse, equitable and inclusive cultures. We, at Owlservations, are committed to service based on our Mission, Vision, and Guiding Principles to make life better for everyone we touch. We appreciate you learning more about Owlservations and joining us as we take-off in service to others!!