We had the good fortune of connecting with Pearlette Ramos and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pearlette, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I see risks as opportunities to challenge yourself and the world around you. Often when we hear the word “risk” we think negatively about worst case scenarios and how to mitigate problems. However, risks in and of themselves are not all negative. They shouldn’t be taken lightly—and at the same time they shouldn’t be feared. In my personal and professional life I’ve embraced risks as opportunities to challenge myself to create and expand who I am and what I’m doing in the world. In doing so, my goal is to be strategic so I can analyze, evaluate and create a plan and process forward.
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 lead two organizations, Pearlette Ramos LLC and Three Extraordinary Women LLC, where I have the pleasure of serving as a change agent, advocate, motivational speaker, filmmaker and travel influencer. I guide transformational journeys around the world, facilitate empowerment workshops, and support others toward living life with passion, purpose and authenticity.
Having visited more than 60 countries and each of the seven continents, I’m passionate about supporting women and people of color to achieve their dreams as they explore themselves and the world.
My commitment was forged during my childhood which was fraught with traumatic experiences including poverty, domestic violence, teenage motherhood, dropping out of high school when I was 16, and the sudden death of my daughter when she was four months old.
Armed with a strong intention and vision for my future, I turned my adverse childhood experiences into triumph. My faith in God, belief in my potential, and tenacity and grit helped me channel my heartbreak into positive action by enrolling in college, then law school—becoming the first in my family to graduate from both.
Sadly, my experiences are not unique. Far to many of us experience trauma in our childhoods and must figure out how to make many of our lives. Often, we suffer in silence and feel like we’re alone. Or, we may internalize what happened and make ourselves wrong. It’s essential that we tell our stories and share our struggles and humanity in a way that emphasizes our power, strength and resilience.
Currently I’m working on my first feature film documentary, Three Extraordinary Women. The film tells the story of three women of color who collectively survived abuse, poverty, and oppression yet became successful women determined to give back. Theirs are but three examples of how systemic racism and oppression continues to disenfranchise people of color. The film follows them today as middle-aged women embarking on their most challenging physical quest yet – to hike up Mount Kilimanjaro. The path they’ve chosen to take, the Machame Route, is the one with the highest success rate. But these women were not given the same path in life- they were born into situations that gave them the least chances of survival. As they make their way up the dormant volcano for seven days the film will dive deep into their past using a mixture of animation, personal photos, home videos, and archival footage as they narrate the twists and turns of their life paths while trekking up the mountain. Terry, a Palestinian American, Tammy an African American, and Pearlette, an Afro Latina, are determined to push themselves to any extreme necessary to change the mainstream narrative by example.
Each one of us has a warrior or fighter within that can help us transcend adversity and trauma and achieve our dreams. The goal in all I do and especially with the documentary is intended to:
*Change the narrative of what’s possible for girls and women of color.
*Open the hearts and minds of girls and women to acknowledge their power and resilience, express their passion through courageous leadership and define life on their own terms for personal and social change
*Bring awareness of the intersectionality between global gender inequality and environmental and systemic racism and create inclusive transformation through sponsorships, partnerships, and community screenings with social justice advocates, women’s organizations and other non-profits, and relevant university programs.
*Make the great outdoors more accessible to people of color for mental and physical wellbeing, connecting to nature, and personal transformation.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I moved to Arizona in 2007 after visiting Sedona for the first time and falling in love. For the past 14 years. I have explored the state’s beauty. For anyone visiting the state for the first time, I’d recommend two things. First, come prepared to hike and be in the great outdoors. Second, be open to exploring using the following itinerary.
Day 1-Fly into Sky Harbor, rent a room at the Hyatt Gainey Ranch, and grab a spa treatment at Spa Avania. Arizona has some of the best spas in the nation and the experience shouldn’t be missed.
Days 2-3-Drive to Sedona and enjoy the majestic red rock scenery, beauty and hiking. I highly recommend hiking Devil’s Bridge Trail and Boynton Canyon.
Days 4-6-Make your way north and stay overnight in the Grand Canyon in one of several different lodging experiences (e.g., El Tovar Hotel, Bright Angel Lodge & Cabins, etc). During the stay, I’d explore the Grand Canyon as well as other activities including Antelope Canyon, and helicopter and rafting tours.
Day 7-Evening departure from Phoenix.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
“It takes a village to raise a child” is an African proverb that expresses the idea that we are not in this journey of life alone. There are people within families. communities, and organizations that contribute to our growth and development as we walk our respective paths. I have certainly have had my share of supporters throughout the years. Two organizations in particular invested in me early in my career. First, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund-Earl Warren Scholarship awarded me with a $4,500 scholarship before I entered law school. In doing so, they acknowledged my potential to become a civil rights and public interest attorney. Additionally, Case Western Reserve University School of Law admitted me as a 1L in 1992 and awarded me with a significant scholarship. Without their financial support, attending law school might have remained a dream. During the past 26 years since I’ve graduated from law school I have served in the public sector as an advocate and change agent—and it started with the support of the NAACP and CWRU!