The Post and Courier
Walker is the new president of the Center for Women's board of
directors and has a blog and foundation aimed at empowering
production planner for DAK Americas. We make the plastic that
goes into Coke, Pepsi and water bottles. I manage the railcar
fleet, bring in raw materials, tell the plant what to make,
when to make it, and how much to make. I also handle all of
the railroad-related issues.
and father, Joyce and Melvin Walker; and twin brother and
sister, Jerome Walker and Lysandra Walker-McCray. My favorite
person in the world is my 91-year-old great aunt Corinne
Tucker, who lives in Chattanooga, Tenn. We talk every
Cooking, running, traveling, growing herbs. I love reading,
but since I am back in school, I only read school stuff. I do
listen to books on CD. My favorite book is "Love" by
Toni Morrison, followed by "Like Water for
Chocolate" by Laura Esquivel. I also have a blog: Wecanflyhigher.blogspot.com.
Q: We hear you're
the 2009 president of the Center for Women's board of directors.
What's your No. 1 goal for your time in office?
A: To continue
the legacy of helping women succeed every day. This will be
accomplished by conducting more programs outside of the
peninsula. The goal will certainly be to increase the diversity
of the programs and of the women who participate in those
Q: Why do you
think the Center for Women is worth your time?
A: I started as a
volunteer for the center.
What impressed me
was that every woman can gain something from this organization.
It isn't dependent on any sort of status or label. It is about
empowering women to go to the next level, whatever that means to
Q: How did you
get involved with the nonprofit?
A: I have been
volunteering with nonprofits most of my life. I started at the
center when I was a consumer credit counselor. I conducted two
Brown Bag lunches for them (How to get out of credit card debt
and how to buy a car).
whenever they asked me to. Then I served on the board, then on
the executive board as secretary and now I am the president. I
am honored to have been nominated.
Q: You're also
the founder of the Walker Phenomenal Spirit Award. Tell us a
little about that.
A: The idea of
the award had been in my head for about four years. I just never
had any money to fund it. Then one year, I received a very nice
bonus at work and decided to use that money to establish a
resource that helps women 35 years old and older fulfill their
dreams. It is as simple as that.
Also, the deaths
of Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King left me wondering what I
was leaving behind. So, I decided to determine my legacy while I
was alive. As much as this helps other women, it is a constant
gift to me. It is truly wonderful to be able to assist in making
dreams come true.
|I partnered with the
Center for Women because it is the perfect place to find women who
are successful and just need a little extra to elevate themselves.
The indirect result is that these women inspire others to do the
same thing for themselves.
The winner(s) of
the award are required to do an in-kind donation for the center.
The first winner made three glass pieces that were auctioned off
and the proceeds were put back into the award.
Q: What kinds of
dreams have the award helped fulfill?
A: The first winner
wanted to be a glass artist. She was saving money to buy a kiln.
The award money bought the kiln.
We were fortunate
to have enough money for two awards last year. One of the women
has the dream to compete internationally in dragon boating. The
award will help with her travel.
The other one wants
to own her own business. The award will help with her training.
She will build a greenhouse and grow organic herbs.
aspect of these women is that they were bold enough to ask for
something for themselves. This award will not support the
biological needs. It is for women who dare to implement their
Q: What's behind
the name of your blog?
A: The name of the
blog Wecanflyhigher.blogspot.com came out of a discussion with Cookie, a dear sister/girlfriend who
discovered that there were only 14 African-American women who flew
commercial airplanes. She told me that African-American women were
never told they could fly. The goal of We Can Fly provides
inspiration, information and other links to topics that hopefully
assist women in flying. Flying meaning succeeding. Succeeding
meaning whatever it means to you.
Q: What kinds of
things do you blog about?
A: All sorts of
things. It depends on what moves me and the other three authors.
Sometimes it is about current events, other times it is about
personal triumphs, and pain. One of my favorite things is the
calendar. It has events that influenced the lives of women. This
blog is not just for African-American women: It is for all women.
I love it because I am learning about women and events that I knew
nothing about. I also like the music. The playlist is an eclectic
mix of women.
Q: Why have you
decided to get your Ph.D.?
A: I am one of
those people who has to keep moving. I never wanted to be told
that I am not qualified to do something. I figured that if I had a
Ph.D. in my pocket, it would come in handy one day. I hope it does
because I now have student loans.
Q: You ran your
first marathon at the age of 45. What made you decide to take up
A: I started
running in the Army. I used to run with my dad. He was a drill
sergeant. My running partner, Pam, had completed her first
half-marathon (after losing 70 pounds) and we were discussing our
next goal. I wanted to do the Army Ten-Miler, but she said that
was going backwards. She said we should do a marathon. So we
bought every book we could find on marathons and talked to people.
She picked the Marine Corps marathon and we did it. Then we did
the Flying Pig marathon last May.
accomplishment are you proudest of?
A: That I have
amazing friends. They say to have good friends you have to be one
and I hope that I am as amazing to them as they are to me. I have
the kind of friends that will drop everything just to support me.
They do not ask 'why', they just do it because I ask. They push
and stretch me. They walk with me when I get frazzled. They read
my papers. They rein me in when I get a bit too "out
there." Most of all, they just love me no matter what. There
is great comfort in knowing that.
Q: If you could
change anything about your life, what would it be?
A: Be taller!