Walker’s Legacy Profiles recognize unique women of color in business that embody the legacy of Madam C.J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire.
In this installment, meet Asile Patin, Betel Hailu. Imani LaTortue, and Deneil Mullings, four exceptional women leading on and off campus who will join our team as spring interns!
Meet Imani, Communications and Special Projects Intern
Imani LaTortue is a senior at Howard University working towards a degree in journalism. Growing up as a military child, she lived in Japan for 8 years. This international experience influenced her decision to pursue a career in media. Being a student in D.C. has allowed her to witness, and even at times report on, many local and national events, including the 2016 Election. These moments have also led to intriguing interviews with local leaders, community members, and recently Soledad O’Brien. Imani has also had the opportunity to be credited as a Production Assistant for her research pre-production work towards the PBS documentary, Pearl Harbor – Into the Arizona. Imani’s ultimate goal is to ensure that people understand the importance of having access to news and other media platforms and how that guarantees peoples’ right to remain informed on what is going on in the world.
Meet Asile, Partnerships and Programming Intern for the Walker’s Legacy Foundation
Asile Patin, a Syracuse University junior, has a deep passion for social justice through entrepreneurship and community engagement. An alumna of Phillips Exeter Academy, Asile is currently pursuing her Bachelors in both African American Studies & Citizenship and Civic Engagement, with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises. Asile is also the founder of Asile’s Upgrade, a multipurpose skin and hair product line made with natural ingredients. She has concentrated her campus and community efforts towards advocating for financial literacy, economic development, and encouraging entrepreneurial spirit in women of color. Asile has presented research findings surrounding these topics at the Young Black & Successful, LLC Annual Conference, the National Council for Black Studies Conference in Houston, TX, and in Paris, France. She has also served as a mentor and life coach with the Good Life Philanthropic Youth Foundation in Syracuse, NY.
About Deneil, Communications and Media Engagement Intern
Deneil Mullings is currently a senior at Howard University in Washington, D.C pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations. During her time at Howard, she has been very involved on campus by participating in numerous extracurricular activities and service projects. In addition to her regular coursework, Deneil also hones in on her creative skills through graphic design, videography, and creative direction. With previous work experience at companies such as Live Nation Entertainment, Allied Integrated Marketing, and NBC Universal she seeks to further develop her creative skills and increase her work experience in the areas of Social Media, Branding, and Event Planning.
About Betel, Communications and Policy Intern
Betel Hailu is a recent graduate from Old Dominion University with a degree in International Studies and Women’s Studies and was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In college, Betel worked а the Office of Intercultural Relations where she was responsible for updating the University students with what the Office has for them through social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr. She organized, planned, and directed the performance segment for one of ODU’s biggest cultural events, the Annual International Festival and is a graduate of the Diversity Institute, a selective program that offers rigorous modules pertaining to racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and ability-ism. While an intern at The Borgen Project, Betel reached out to members of Congress about Women’s education and clean water initiatives to be passed. Her life goal is to work within communications to spread the word about the importance of guiding and mentoring women.
Why Our Interns Are Joining Our Mission:
“I got extremely interested in women of color in business since I took my first Women’s Studies course my freshman year in college. The course was designed to be all about women in the corporate world. We studied statistics, did research assignments and attending events in our local community with other women of color in my class. It opened my eyes to us not having the same opportunities as others through mentorship and networking. I vowed to study and learn our role in the community and how we can come together as sisters to support one another.” Betel Hailu
“As a lover of new experiences, I am a strong believer in being a self-starter. Throughout my matriculation at Howard University, I have been exposed to many women of color who also share the same sentiment,” said Deneil Mullings. “Recognizing the obstacles that we face as minorities and as women, I know the importance of having a network and support group to overcome these obstacles. Throughout history, women of color have demonstrated their intelligence and skills regardless of the trials and tribulations thrown at them, and I believe it is our responsibility to uphold that legacy.”
“The first thing that caught my interest with Walker’s Legacy was the name. Madam C.J. Walker is someone that I think all women of color should thank because she ultimately paved the way for us to have opportunities in business and other avenues. One thing that has always bothered me about communications and business is the lack of representation that women of color have within these industries. That is why organizations like Walker’s Legacy are truly important to not only highlight those women who are succeeding but also to provide mentorship and tools for other women to excel.”
“As a woman of color and an entrepreneur, I have truly come to understand the importance of a tight-knit support system. The world’s next great ventures have yet to manifest, because the ideas are being deflected by apprehensions about feasibility, a lack of encouragement, or access to resources — but this does not have to be the case.” said Asile Patin. “To me, every individual with an idea is capable of becoming a success story, and access to resources should not be dictated by race or gender. With this, the success of a woman of a color is also my success, and with a collaborative mindset, women in the industry will continue to break down barriers and prosper in years to come.”