We had the good fortune of connecting with Dariana Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dariana, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
I am a strong believer in Christ, so when I am faced with the decision to keep going or give up I pray about it. One of my favorite Bible verses, Proverbs 3:5-6, says to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” God is not a man of confusion and He will make His plans for your life very clear. With that knowledge, I have learned to honor Him in all ways and trust the plans that He has for me, and I know that if something doesn’t ever work out it is because He has greater plans for me.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am the Executive Assistant as well as the Outreach Director for African American Reconstruction (AAR). I personally decided to join AAR because I believe in the mission and with my skills in social media, marketing, event planning, and leadership, I saw a way for me to help advance the organization and serve the community. I was also inspired to see the passion that each member has at a relatively young age and I knew the culture would complement my personality and work style. African American Reconstruction is an organization founded by 17-23-year-old African American students on May 30, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona. Our mission is to start a necessary Reconstruction Era dedicated to the advancement of the African American Community by reconstructing the education system, balancing the notable economic disparity, implementing equal justice policies, bringing political equity, and creating avenues for affordable and available healthcare. Running AAR definitely has its challenges because of the responsibilities we decide to take on, however since the team and I have such a strong passion for reconstructing the African American community, we are always able to accomplish the goals we have set through diligent and consistent efforts as well as creating like-minded action based partners. One of the biggest lessons that I have taken away so far in my career is that when we have faith and God is at the forefront of our plans, he will make a way so we can continue honoring him. During AAR’s first year, we were all new in the business world, but God made a way for us to be mentored by the right individuals, create valuable partnerships, and also host a teen conference when the circumstances looked improbable. Our long-term goal for African American Reconstruction is to ensure the African American community takes control of its destiny and establishes an international presence as a beacon for action and equity. In the future, I would like to see AAR develop schools that promote equity and set students up for success, as well as the international presence that was mentioned in our collective goal.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I always have a crazy jam-packed schedule, so I would take them through my everyday routine, starting with a 5:45 am wake-up call for STUNT practice. After practice, we’d stop at my place for some homemade pancakes, and then we would depart from Tempe to the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus for class. Since I am a Sports Science major, they definitely wouldn’t be bored by a typical college lecture, instead, we would complete whatever the assigned workouts were for that week. For lunch, we would go to one of my favorite spots in Tempe, ChopShop, and order an acai bowl. After lunch, I like to check on my personal responsibilities for AAR and work on some planning, so I would give them an overview of what I do. I love being in nature, so after that I would definitely take them to hike ‘A’ mountain, to get the best view of Tempe and Downtown Phoenix. After our long day of exercising and eating great food, we would finally head back to my apartment to relax and listen to Justin Bieber. I love a home-cooked meal, so for dinner, I would make them their favorite meal and for dessert, we would make pizookies (pizza cookies) with ice cream on top.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, a special shout out to my family for their unconditional love and support, and for lifting me up on the hard days. I would also like to recognize my mentors who have helped me see life in a brighter light, Travis Stevens, Leah Landrum Taylor, and Reagan Jenkins. I want to also recognize the Director of African American Reconstruction, who just so happens to be my best friend, Greyson Taylor. Greyson has helped me break out of my shell this past year and do things I never even thought I was capable of. Lastly, I would like to honor my late Nana, Dianne Hines-Parker, who was always excited to hear what I was currently involved in and extremely proud of my many accomplishments.