White Americans are 60% of the population but hold 84% of total U.S. wealth—while Black Americans make up 13% of the population but hold only 4% of the wealth. This injustice has many causes, but for PhD in Leadership and Change alum LaTanya White, the more interesting question is how to empower individuals to solve it for themselves and their own families. In this episode, we talk to LaTanya about her dissertation researching Black Dynastic Wealth and the strategies Black entrepreneurs can use to help resist centuries of financial oppression and build resilience in their families and communities.
Visit Antioch’s website to learn more about the PhD in Leadership and Change that LaTanya graduated from.
You can also find more about LaTanya’s dissertation in our recent article, “Dissertation Watch: Dynastic and Generative Intent for First-Generation Black Wealth Creators.”
Learn more about LaTanya’s work at her website.
This episode was recorded March 8, 2023, via Riverside.fm and released March 22, 2023.
The Seed Field Podcast is produced by Antioch University.
The Seed Field Podcast is produced by Antioch University
Host: Jasper Nighthawk
Editor: Johanna Case
Digital Design: Mira Mead
Web Content Coordination: Jen Mont
Work-Study Intern: Sierra-Nicole E. DeBinion
A special thanks to Karen Hamilton, Amelia Bryan, and Melinda Garland
To access a full transcript and find more information about this and other episodes, visit theseedfield.org. To get updates and be notified about future episodes, follow Antioch University on Facebook.
Guest- LaTanya White
Dr. White is an inclusive scholar-practitioner working at the intersection of racial equity and entrepreneurship curriculum design. Over the course of her professional career, she has personally coached and consulted more than 600 Black urban entrepreneurs. A 2x author, TEDx Speaker, leader, and strategist, Dr. White is the founder and principal consultant for Concept Creative Group, a technical assistance firm focused on business development, capacity building, and Dynastic Wealth™ transfer for Black entrepreneurs. White was selected to participate in the inaugural cohorts for the Change Ventures Fellowship in Bali, Indonesia, as well as the Center for Black Innovation’s EcoSystem Builders Fellowship. Dr. White previously spent 11 years serving as an entrepreneurship educator at a prominent Historically Black College/University, an experience that informed her advocacy for Black entrepreneurship as a pathway to wealth creation. She has designed an evidence-based entrepreneurship training model that specifically addresses the ancestral narrative and lived experience of Black entrepreneurs using a lens of racial equity.
Read more about Dr. White and her dissertation here.
S5 Episode 4 Transcript
[00:00:00] Jasper Nighthawk: This is the Seed Field Podcast, the show where Antiochians share their knowledge, tell their stories, and come together to win victories for humanity. I’m your host, Jasper Nighthawk, and today we’re joined by LaTanya White for a conversation about Black Dynastic Wealth, the ways Black entrepreneurs are building the resources not just to thrive on a personal and familial level but also to advance the cause of justice.
Before I introduce LaTanya, though, I want to explain why I’m so excited for this conversation. On this podcast, since our very first episode, we’ve seen anti-Black racism as a central force standing between today’s society a truly just one. And we’ve talked with many people about potential areas we can work to undo these forces from anti-racism work to womanism and from understanding how trauma sits in the body to redefining literacy to be less white supremacist. Something that comes up again and again is the way that discrimination can be a self-reinforcing cycle. People experiencing untreated trauma can end up traumatizing other people in their communities. Mass incarceration and the ways our society makes people who have felonies unemployable can force those who’ve experienced the Carceral system to continue doing illegal things just in order to survive. And when society steals your wealth, you can find yourself generation after generation starting, at least at a financial level from nothing. Furthermore, like needless to say, these harms that are created by our society are then used by the, powers of our society, the media politicians, to justify continued discrimination and cruelty. That’s the way that the cycle continues. And so all of this is why I find the work LaTanya White is doing around Black Dynastic Wealth to be really interesting. It seems to offer a different tool that specifically Black entrepreneurs can use to help resist these forces and build resilience in their families and communities. We’re gonna talk about all this, but let me introduce Latanya. LaTanya White is an alum of Antioch PhD in Leadership and Change where she wrote her dissertation, which was titled Dynastic and Generative Intent for First Generation Black Wealth Creators in a Modern Racial Enclave Economy.
gonna link to that in our show notes, and you can download the full text off Antioch’s AURA website. Today LaTanya describes herself as an inclusive scholar practitioner working at the intersection of racial equity and entrepreneurship curriculum design. Over the course of her professional career, LaTanya has coached and consulted more than six hundred Black urban entrepreneurs, she’s written two books and given a TEDx talk which you can watch on her website. Previously LaTanya taught for eleven years at Florida A & M, a Historically Black University in Tallahassee. And today she’s the founder and principal consultant for Concept Creative Group, a technical assistance firm focused on business development, capacity building, and dynastic wealth transfer for Black entrepreneurs. LaTanya, we’re so excited to have you on the podcast. Welcome.
[00:03:18] Dr. LaTanya White: Thank you so much. I’m trying not to like be grinning ear to ear the whole time,
[00:03:24] Jasper: I love that. Well, we’ll try and keep the smiles coming,
[00:03:26] LaTanya: Okay.
[00:03:26] Jasper: But I got hard-hitting okay questions.
[00:03:28] LaTanya: I’ll be ready.
[00:03:29] Jasper: So we like to start off the podcast by disclosing our positionality , I think it’s good to say where we’re coming from.
So I’ll start. I’m white. I’m a cisgendered man. I’m not straight, but as a man married to a woman, I live with a lot of straight privilege. I’m not currently living with a physical disability, though I do experience anxiety and depression, and I also would disclose I have stable housing and full-time work, which I certainly don’t take for granted even in my own life. Okay. LaTanya, as much as you’re comfortable, where are you coming to this conversation from?
[00:04:02] LaTanya: For sure. So I come to this conversation as a third generation single mom, a Black female having grown up in an under-resourced community in Miami-Dade County, Florida. I have a different sort of privilege. My entire professional career has been in safe spaces that amplify Black culture and celebrate the life and the lived experience of my ancestors.
I have not, by and large been exposed to overt racism. Very, very few instances of microaggressions. And so I see that as a privilege that many of my Black female counterparts have not experienced. And so I always engaged through that lens of I’ve been in spaces where I’ve belonged and I’ve been celebrated for most of my life. And that’s the feeling that I always want to try to create for others around me.
[00:05:15] Jasper: Thank you for sharing that. And I think that that is such an important thing to keep in mind. I mean, I love that you’re keeping that in mind, but I, I
[00:05:23] LaTanya: Thank you.
[00:05:24] Jasper: As a white person, try to keep in mind the ways that I just can’t know.
[00:05:27] LaTanya: Yeah
[00:05:27] Jasper: The experience of other people. Yeah.
[00:05:30] LaTanya: Yeah.
[00:05:30] Jasper: As, we’re, talking about this topic of Black Dynastic Wealth Creation. I wanna ask how it came to matter so much to you that you wanted to spend, the better part of a decade researching this and writing your dissertation around it, and now it’s central to your work. So can you tell me more about how
[00:05:47] LaTanya: Yeah
[00:05:47] Jasper: you have experienced dynastic wealth and, and also its absence in your childhood and adulthood?
[00:05:54] LaTanya: Well, certainly I’ve experienced more of its absence, and I remember being thirteen years old and celebrating my birthday by myself. So that’s a, you know, a big deal for a little girl, a 13th birthday. But my mom, as a single parent, she worked two jobs in order to make ends meet. And I remember having so much resentment towards her.
I always felt like she chose work, you know, in my thirteen year old . Like I got all the answers at thirteen years old. but I, I remember in that moment making a decision that I would never work somewhere that forced me to choose between my family and being at work or, going to work and making a living.
And as my life unfolded, as my career and job opportunities unfolded, I didn’t know I was manifesting this thing called entrepreneurship. I didn’t know that I was carving out this pathway that gave me that freedom and that control. And I actually didn’t even have the language for entrepreneurship until I was well into my late twenties.
So now in retrospect, as I understand power dynamics between wealth and income, I think that I’m so drawn to this concept of diagnostic wealth now because I realize that my mom actually didn’t have a choice. There was no wealth that had been passed down or had been protected. That got to her.
That would create that time freedom where she and I could have a different sort of relationship, and my childhood experiences could be different, so now as I think about the experiences that I want to create for my eight year old daughter, that is what I keep at the forefront. How do I use what I’ve learned through my research to create better opportunities, not just for my daughter, but for her children and their children.
[00:07:57] Jasper: Thank you for sharing that. And I think probably anyone listening to this can
[00:08:01] LaTanya: Yeah yeah
[00:08:01] Jasper: relate to like a moment we felt like we should be celebrated everybody was too busy around us . Yeah, I, that tugs at my heartstrings is I guess what I wanna say there
What was your path that, led you to not just want to be an entrepreneur, but also to study it on a scholarly.
[00:08:17] LaTanya: Yeah, I own a bartending business. I am actually , I am a trained mixologist and
[00:08:26] Jasper: How fun is that.
[00:08:27] LaTanya: Yeah, . So I’ve, trained in New Orleans with Tales of the Cocktail As a, a cocktail apprentice, I was an ambassador for Grand Martine and traveled to, Veil, Colorado to do some studying. Participated in the beverage alcohol resource program in New York City.
And so all of those like experiences led me to build this really dynamic bartending business. I have a, a master’s in business, so that coupled with my expertise in hospitality, it’s like I can do anything, right. And so I started this bartending business, Custom Cocktail Development Bartender Training.
And there was a client, of ours in Tallahassee, Florida who had a housewarming party and he happened to be college classmates with the interim dean of the school of business. And so I’m bartending this housewarming party, and the interim dean was there cause it was one of her classmates.
So I had recently been featured in the local newspaper in Tallahassee, and she remembered me from being in school, in my undergraduate days and asked if I’d be interested in just learning a little bit about, or exploring, some opportunities to work with the university and just be of service to the students.
So I used my bartending business as this real life case study, as a guest lecturer and a couple weeks later, I was asked if I wanted to teach the course. And in true entrepreneurial fashion, you say yes and figure it out as you go.
[00:10:07] Jasper: Mm-hmm
[00:10:09] LaTanya: So I had been figuring it out for about eleven years, actually.
So I spent those eleven years really doing my best to create impact in the classroom. But along the way, I took note that there were so few students enrolled, in this entrepreneurship class. So it was an elective course, but I learned that there was a prerequisite course that only students who were pursuing two majors in an entire university, you had to be either a business student or a journalism student to take the prerequisite that could get you to the entrepreneurship class. Right. So,
[00:10:47] Jasper: it really tucked away.
[00:10:49] LaTanya: Yeah. And that meant any other major had to use two electives. So I was very, very naive about the politics of higher education
[00:11:00] Jasper: Mm-hmm.
[00:11:01] LaTanya: And I asked, you know, what can we do about this? Can we remove this prerequisite? And I got a very, very, interesting introduction to the politics of higher ed based
on the response, but, it was such a reflective moment for me in that I realized then that my advocacy for entrepreneurship education was coming from a very emotional place. And it, you know, it goes back to that childhood experience that I shared, and I just didn’t have the logic or the academic argument to make a case for why entrepreneurship should be much more accessible.
So, I guess I, I actually pursue my doctoral degree to prove a point.
[00:11:49] Jasper: That’s great. mean, I feel like so many people come into a doctoral
[00:11:54] LaTanya: yeah
[00:11:55] Jasper: or a master’s program and they have a specific question that they want to answer
[00:11:58] LaTanya: yeah
[00:11:58] Jasper: want to
[00:11:58] LaTanya: yeah
[00:11:59] Jasper: and that’s kind of great cuz it can guide you
[00:12:00] LaTanya: yeah
[00:12:00] Jasper: through all of your other reading So it sounds like it, it kind of incubated in you
[00:12:05] LaTanya: Yes
[00:12:05] Jasper: a love of teaching.
entrepreneurship, but also a feeling that you needed to expand that work beyond the confines of this one course. That was an elective for most people.
[00:12:16] LaTanya: Exactly.
[00:12:17] Jasper: yeah, it’s also interesting that you’re teaching this at a historically Black university, that is kind of what you’re talking about in your dissertation, and your whole concept of dynastic wealth, which I know lives beyond your dissertation. But in it you’re talking about how entrepreneurship, education and, the pedagogy and materials that, surround it often are not tailored to Black entrepreneurs. I wanna unpack all of this and your idea of Dynastic Wealth.
So you, capitalize Dynastic, capitalize Wealth. Can you explain what this term means to you?
[00:12:55] LaTanya: Yeah, I’d love to, and then thank you for kind of picking up on the capitalization because it’s like capital D discourse, lowercase D discourse. Right? So with Dynastic Wealth in the capitalized form, it’s really a construct. It is this framework for how Black entrepreneurs primarily, and, and I will say that in the research I came across data that really looked at the lived experience of Black and African-American entrepreneurs, Hispanic entrepreneurs, and Asian American entrepreneurs.
And our lived experiences track so similarly, unfortunately, especially as it relates to some of the barriers that different ethnic groups have faced in building wealth. But, if I wrote about all three, I would still be writing a dissertation.
[00:13:47] Jasper: Yeah.
[00:13:48] LaTanya: You know?
So Black entrepreneurship and dynastic wealth in this confines of dynastic wealth is really giving honor to the lived experience of entrepreneurs from historically oppressed backgrounds and communities and ancestral narratives because there is a part of wealth transfer that we don’t get to talk about in entrepreneurship classes that looks at what the impact the business has on the family. And so when we consider family relationships and family dynamics, Dynastic Wealth brings all of that into play, especially when we’re talking about spiritual wealth and establishing a family identity. And these vision for wealth and family values like that goes beyond the entrepreneur itself, like, as a unit of analysis.
This framework is really about the directionality of wealth transfer. It’s not just from me to my daughter, Sparrow. It’s from me to her down. Me across to my sister and to my cousins, and what I love most is I can transfer wealth up to my mom and to my aunts and uncles and to my grandmother, she’s ninety years old and she still gets on Zoom with us twice a week, you know? So…
[00:15:17] Jasper: That’s so great.
[00:15:19] LaTanya: Yeah, and it’s a part of this knowledge, right? This wealth of knowledge that I get to transfer. And I think that goes back to the teacher in me.
[00:15:29] Jasper: The teacher in you.
[00:15:30] LaTanya: yep
[00:15:30] Jasper: I like that this model focuses on the way that it’s not just the wealth a bank …
[00:15:36] LaTanya: yeah.
[00:15:36] Jasper: It’s the wealth of knowledge and of these other experiences that you’re able to pass that along. for myself, a disclosure is that a weird thing that happened to me is that I went to Harvard College as undergraduate, which I had grown up in rural northern California.
It was a very distant place, and suddenly I was there with the children of millionaires and billionaires, and it was like a crash course in what money is like in the US, because my family doesn’t have very much of it, although, I don’t, have cause to complain really. But what struck me is that, there often was a cultural component too, of these families that had been wealthy for generation after generation. They knew how to keep their money,
[00:16:22] LaTanya: Yes
[00:16:22] Jasper: and they knew how to continue building their money. They didn’t just spend it all out within a generation or two, which you see happening over and over. I appreciate your emphasis on
it transferring to the third generation, like it becomes Dynastic Wealth if it reaches your grandchildren and they also, have some of the fruits of that wealth that you’ve built.
[00:16:43] LaTanya: Absolutely, so cool that you pick up on the culture and those relationships, because one aspect of the framework for Dynastic Wealth is relational wealth. As I’m sure you’ve probably taken a look, it’s the social capital, it’s the value of the relationships that I have and how I help Sparrow navigate my relationship.
To the extent that she’s able to build her own with those people, with those organizations, with their descendants, with their heirs, with their subordinates, and so teaching how to build relationships and how to maintain and cultivate value person to person, that is a very, very like high price skill that it takes intention to share and transfer.
[00:17:33] Jasper: I think this might be a good place to talk about the ways that our society
[00:17:38] LaTanya: Yeah
[00:17:38] Jasper: with its legacy of white supremacy that continues to this day has conspired
[00:17:44] LaTanya: Yep.
[00:17:44] Jasper: To destroy Black wealth, really.
[00:17:46] LaTanya: Yep.
[00:17:46] Jasper: Over, I mean, obviously the hundreds of years where Black people were enslaved.
[00:17:52] LaTanya: Yep
[00:17:52] Jasper: But continuing through Jim Crow and red-lining, I think a lot of these things, our society, lot of us have come to reckon with more and more, but also like the Tulsa Riots.
[00:18:04] LaTanya: Mm-hmm.
[00:18:04] Jasper: Where a thriving black. Business community was burned to the ground, or, I want to talk a little bit later about like the dispossession of Bruce’s beach. Yeah. I know this is like a weighted, it’s a, it’s just a heavy and sad topic. But I wonder if you could talk to us a little bit about ways that, you see society.
[00:18:25] LaTanya: Mm-hmm.
[00:18:25] Jasper: Failing to, to nurture a culture of wealth
[00:18:28] LaTanya: Mm-hmm
[00:18:29] Jasper: and conspiring against it in some cases.
[00:18:31] LaTanya: Mm-hmm, especially from, again, my positionality as a Black woman. It really goes back to the value that had historically been put on a Black person’s life. And that was based on, you know, as a one-to-one relationship with what can you produce.
And I see this as a coach, as a teacher, as a trainer, so many Black-owned businesses, especially Black women owned businesses. It’s tied to what can I do? It’s tied to, this is the amount of time I have this finite amount of time, but I have this skill. So as much of this skill as I can trade for money is how I’m gonna build my business.
But that in and of itself cannot be transferred. And so when we talk about, venture capital and being an investible business, Black businesses lack those opportunities because we have been locked out of educational opportunities, historically. In 2023, there are still Black people who are the first doing something, which I cannot process that in 2023.
So when we are talking about how do Black scholars and Black students get exposed to STEM and innovation and venture capital. There has to be an opportunity that has to be accessible so that now I can take that knowledge and transfer it and apply it to this business or to this idea and make it scalable so that it can be investible and then I can get in front of a venture investor, and then there’s value that comes to me through an exit or an I p o. There’s so many steps that keep me from being able to become a billionaire business as a Black woman, that literally we could be having this conversation by the time my family reaches dynastic status, unless there is an intentional and concerted effort to address the lack of equity in all of the steps and in all of those spaces.
So, for so many people, the easiest thing is just to do what I’m good at, right? I don’t have the bandwidth to keep fighting this fight while also still trying to change the narrative.
[00:21:00] Jasper: Yeah, to put it in practical terms, I think of you starting as a bartender, mixologist, getting really good at this.
[00:21:07] LaTanya: Yeah
[00:21:07] Jasper: And that’s like your labor, every night, shaking drinks behind the counter. But then at a certain point you start running a company, training other people
[00:21:16] LaTanya: mm-hmm
[00:21:16] Jasper: and maybe hiring other people to be trainers, like that’s when something starts to scale when you’re not being paid just for your labor,
but you’re also helping connect other people. Yeah. But, but yeah, I mean, when you talk about taking it from Tallahassee or something that might be nationwide and needing to get investment and access to all of these parts of capital, like, it’s lot easier for, these kids I went to school with where all their parents’ friends might be millionaires you know, I, I, I have some of this privilege where its like, probably some of my friends have access to great amounts of capital. And if you don’t come from a world where there’s a lot of ambient wealth floating around, which I think a lot of Black people.
[00:21:58] LaTanya: Mm-hmm
[00:21:58] Jasper: In a segregated society like still, still lack that access.
[00:22:03] LaTanya: Right. right Right Absolutely.
[00:22:05] Jasper: I, I want to get to some of the actual work that you did in putting this dissertation together.
[00:22:10] LaTanya: Mm-hmm
[00:22:11] Jasper: I know that you, went to a lot of DC area, Black owned beauty companies.
[00:22:16] LaTanya: Mm-hmm.
[00:22:17] Jasper: And, and not just salons, it, like included salons, but …
[00:22:20] LaTanya: yeah
[00:22:20] Jasper: Also people making cosmetics, and you interviewed them. And I was curious if you could talk about some of the experience of interviewing these and some of the themes that came out of that.
[00:22:32] LaTanya: Yeah. You know, in retrospect, I look back on it and I saw that there were a lot of the study participants that were in like the DC, metro area, but I was in Florida at the time. But I think that kind of speaks to the connectivity of the network that I had built and, you know, continue to build, but what was so exciting about, and this was early in the days of Clubhouse that I started to
[00:23:01] Jasper: Will you explain what Clubhouse is?
[00:23:03] LaTanya: Oh yeah, Clubhouse is like the audio only version of, Twitter
[00:23:08] Jasper: Yeah that was where you could like make rooms and people could hang chat together and other people could be an audience to that
[00:23:16] LaTanya: Yep,
yep, Exactly. And it was audio only, right? So nobody had to like get the lighting and get the background right, right.
[00:23:24] Jasper: Yeah.
[00:23:26] LaTanya: So it, it helped us connect to so many people and I
really wanted to connect and learn about where are entrepreneurs, like what kind of work are they doing, what fields are they in? I came across, a dissertation published in I think 2004, and the title was A Field Where They Can Do Well. And the author, actually studied Black women entrepreneurs who had experienced economic mobility and found that the beauty industry was a field where they could do well in experience that economic mobility as a result of entrepreneurship.
And so that’s how I, got to the place of studying the beauty and barber industry and as I’m putting the call out, really my first degree connections, some entrepreneurs in this field. I got connected to one, salon owner in Ohio, and some folks in Chicago and New York, but then in the DC metro area as well.
[00:24:32] Jasper: Yeah, and so you, did these, I think the term is like phenomenological interview. So you would just sit and, you came up with your questions
[00:24:40] LaTanya: Yeah
[00:24:40] Jasper: you’d ask everyone all these questions, but then you, you really would stay with the story of people you were talking to. And then when you wrote up your dissertation, you pulled out these major themes of Black entrepreneurship, and I, just wanna read out those themes and then ask you about them. So the themes that you came up with were A Celebration of Blackness. Black Mothers, A Guiding Light, Destined for Purposeful Work, Our Health, our Wealth, and, You Can’t Pay it Back. So can you tell me about how these themes came out of the work and how they can be valuable to others who are setting out this journey?
[00:25:18] LaTanya: Absolutely. So with the phenomenological study, it’s really the exploration of the lived experience of a group of people who are going through a phenomenon. And so that phenomenon that I wanted to study was being a first generation Black entrepreneur. So as I conducted the interviews and learned and listened and tuned in to their life stories, most of them, gave so much honor and respect to the role that their mom or their grandmother played. And so that’s how we got to, Black Mothers a Guiding Light. There was something about the way that mom or grandma would like, help them navigate on this journey of discovering their self, of amplifying their innate talents or even refining those talents and, translating that to some economic opportunity.
And that does,
[00:26:16] Jasper: I don’t think that that shows up in normal entrepreneurship.
[00:26:18] LaTanya: Yeah
[00:26:19] Jasper: courses or, or discourse. You know, when people are saying, oh, I started my unicorn company, they’re not often saying like, Hey mom, thanks for, thanks for making this all happen, but that seems super relevant to what the cultural context and, what you’re trying to describe.
[00:26:37] LaTanya: Yeah. Yep. It absolutely is. And, and I can even take an appreciative perspective of my own experience with my mom, right? Like, Hey mom, thanks for putting me on this path because had it not been for the choices that she weren’t able to make, it’s not very likely that I would be as much of an advocate for wealth transfer and dynastic wealth if that hadn’t been my own lived experience.
[00:27:02] Jasper: and I love that last value that you, that you draw out the value of, you can’t
[00:27:06] LaTanya: Yep
[00:27:06] Jasper: pay it back, which is the idea. You can’t pay it back. You have to pay it forward
[00:27:10] LaTanya: Yeah
[00:27:10] Jasper: and help the next generation and help the next person who’s in need
[00:27:14] LaTanya: Yeah
[00:27:15] Jasper: and in. I like that part of your dissertation where you, where you write, this was a shared value among all the people I interviewed,
[00:27:21] LaTanya: Yeah
[00:27:21] Jasper: because I screened for it.
So when you were finding people to work with you, you asked, are there any cultural or racial issues that you’re
[00:27:28] LaTanya: Yeah
[00:27:28] Jasper: passionate about? If they answered no, you were like, these aren’t, these aren’t the people who I wanna work not what I’m interested in. So, one question that I had when I saw the term, Dynastic Wealth is like, are you saying we just need a Black Carnegie family will be billionaires and just like oppressing people, the way that a lot of billionaires today do. But, this idea of paying it forward
[00:27:51] LaTanya: Yeah
[00:27:51] Jasper: it seems like it points to it being more than about just
[00:27:53] LaTanya: yeah
[00:27:54] Jasper: getting rich, although of course having enough to live comfortably on is a great goal, but I wanted to ask you like, how does dynastic wealth creation tie in with the goals of social and racial justice?
[00:28:06] LaTanya: Yeah, Absolutely. So to your point American capitalistic society is by and large extractive, it is about taking something from people are from resources and applying it for your own, maybe in most cases, individualistic gain. So dynastic intent is underpinned by theory of generativity.
And so in in that visual image, and I’ll make sure to share it with you, you’ll see that, and it kind of looks like an organizational chart, right? So the executive assistant to building Dynastic Wealth is generativity and generativity is characterized by this intentional focus on creating better opportunities for future generations, not just of your family, but of society.
And so with that lens, right, that is how every decision from an entrepreneurial perspective to build that financial wealth from this. Long-term vision, to building the family identity and the family constitution. It’s all driven by this desire to create better opportunities and even specifically better economic opportunities.
[00:29:25] Jasper: Thank you for, drawing that out. And I think that is a fundamentally different way of thinking about wealth, then like the prevalent way, certainly among the billionaire class of our society today. And, you point out in the introduction of your dissertation, that of the three hundred richest people in the US, fully, a hundred of them inherited that wealth.
I like the way that you, talk about generativity and the way that. the work of entrepreneurs can affect multiple generations of their family and also can affect wider society. But I think a lot of people listening to this who have been working in the space of activism,
[00:30:06] LaTanya: Mm-hmm
[00:30:06] Jasper: they might say, asking people to generate wealth on their own, and to heal these, these harms of centuries of oppression, really in this country is asking for the, oppressed people to kind of help themselves on one hand, and it’s also, it’s not a society-wide solution. Like it doesn’t scale particularly well. And so the question would be like, why are you focusing on this individual thing when it’s a society-wide problem. So, I could see you being like, I’ve got an answer to this! I’m wondering what is that? What is the answer?
[00:30:42] LaTanya: Well, the, answer really is that, as you’re familiar with, in Antioch’s program, we really take this system’s view of a problem and we unpack it from all these levels. And so while from the outset, Dynastic Wealth training and, and all these concepts sound like they’re really individualistic.
They sound like it’s what’s happening on the micro level. I do feel like I have a bit of an answer to that question, and as I know you’re familiar with Antioch’s approach to systemic solutions to these wicked problems, right. These. Deeply pervasive social problems. I would be remiss if I offered dynastic wealth as a solution that could only help the individual entrepreneur or only help the entrepreneur and their family.
So from a systemic perspective, and, and from the outset, Dynastic Wealth really looks like something that is for the entrepreneur or the business itself as a unit of analysis. Maybe it seems like a, a stretch to even incorporate the family, but that’s really just literally on the micro level, one part of how dynastic wealth, can really address this wicked problem.
So from a, a macro perspective, really looking at federal policy, so President Biden.
[00:32:06] Jasper: Hmm.
[00:32:06] LaTanya: in 2021, issued an executive order on advancing racial equity. And the goal being that every part of the government, this whole of government effort, would be to really incorporate, opportunities to amplify and, create access for entrepreneurs and for businesses and for people from historically oppressed backgrounds to have access to small government or government contracts and all these other wealth building opportunities.
So the first version of that January, 2021, and there was a new, executive order called Further Advancing Racial Equity, and that was just released in February of 2023. So from a macro standpoint, Dynastic Wealth has these implications because we’re looking at, yeah, the policies are in place, they’re diverse programs out the yin yang, right? But if we don’t really get to the praxis and the practices of the people who write the checks, who, who create, the procurement opportunities, we will be having the same conversation for another three generations. And so through Dynastic Wealth, I’m actually looking at opportunities to build out a racial equity fellowship for supplier diversity professionals and procurement professionals in different levels of government.
So that’s from. the macro perspective, how we engage or how I engage with entrepreneurs themselves through the Dynastic Wealth Family Retreat and transferring this knowledge. But in the middle, that’s where we have our entrepreneur support organizations, our colleges, universities, accelerated programs in chambers of commerce.
They need this information because as much as I’ve been in this space and, we have our diversity goals and we can’t get Black founders to apply or to finish, it’s because, I may not feel like I belonged in this space, and so then we get into Maslov’s hierarchy of needs, right? Are my psychological safety needs being met in this context so that I can actually self-actualize and then become investible? So it’s, it’s so pervasive, that it has to touch on these different levels of, again, the lived experience of founders from diverse backgrounds.
[00:34:38] Jasper: Yeah. Yeah. And what you brought up of the middle level, where there are these universities teaching, entrepreneurship curricula. And your idea of Dynastic Wealth also has these interventions there where you’re saying, oh, these are these other themes. Like maybe we should be talking about mothers and honoring mothers in that space, and maybe need to rethink some of these so that they aren’t trying to fit like a, what do they say, like a round peg and a square hole? They’re not, it’s not at all responsive to the culture of people who are seeking out that education.
[00:35:14] LaTanya: Exactly.
[00:35:15] Jasper: Yeah. It also strikes me that, been a lot of conversation, I think in the last decade really, about the idea of reparations and of using the power of government, which represents all of the people in the nation to redress the harms of slavery, Jim Crow redlining, and all of the different ways that Black wealth has been destroyed even just destroyed, but like stolen often and, actually making some kind of a, a real payment to write that wrong.
[00:35:51] Jasper: And I guess what I’m wondering is. How do you understand these forces? That kind of go beyond reparations that stand in the way of building real wealth and intergenerational wealth in Black families
[00:36:06] LaTanya: So I wouldn’t say change the culture, but there definitely is a dire need for a mindset shift, So there are two books that have really informed the way that I process over policing, and Black on Black crime, if that is even the term or whatever, but the, the generational poverty that exists not just in Black communities, but in poor communities, in communities that have a historic, engagement with oppression and being under-resourced.
So those two books, especially on the over-policing side is My Grandmother’s Hands. I believe the subtitle is America’s Enduring Legacy of Racialized Trauma. And it really, really situates the power dynamic between what are called blue bodies or law enforcement officers and Black bodies or Black people.
So that really helps me to understand, it really comes down to power, right? And unless someone is in control, nobody is in control. So my grandmother’s hands one book, and the other book is Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome, and it speaks to the intentional, socialization of Black people in this inferior mindset. The context of that is that trauma becomes embedded, and as a part of the Black experience and a part of what we transfer, even without knowing it, especially without Being intentional. And so then just like we talk about generational wealth, and I like to have this position of generational wealth is just the beginning.
It’s really Dynastic Wealth and that transfer of wealth for these three generations and that transfer of spiritual wealth and the wealth of knowledge, all those things that can really help to close the racial wealth gap. There are instances of generational poverty because if you hadn’t been made to believe that you’re capable, that you’re worthy, that this is in fact your birthright the, likelihood that you’re gonna pursue something different from what you’ve seen your entire life is slim to none. And so that’s where the socialization tends to come into play. And it does not just happen in Black families, it happens in poor communities. It happens in communities that have intentionally been under-resourced historically, directly.
[00:38:49] Jasper: Yeah. That is such a beautiful answer, and I think it, it helps me see the mission of this work that you’re doing so thank you for that, and I have one last question that I wanted to ask you. And this is, this is kind of, personal, just my work as a writer. I spend a lot of time listening to people’s stories and trying to help tell them, and I was curious about this narrative work that you did when you were. Conducting your interviews for your dissertation, sitting down and having these long conversations with these Black entrepreneurs, and you talk about taking to into account ancestral narratives and the lived experience of these people you were working with. And I wanted to know what was the reaction that you found when you took seriously and listened to their lived experience, their ancestors’ experience, their, their thoughts, their ideas, their excitement, and everything that you guys were able to touch on.
[00:39:46] LaTanya: Mm-hmm. One phrase that stands out to me so starkly is “I felt like I was starting from scratch” and between my practice study, where, you know, I was developing and refining the skills of using survey instruments and data analysis, data collection, data analysis, and the major study.
That phrase or iterations of that phrase came up so often. And it wasn’t because they hadn’t inherited any wealth assets or they hadn’t inherited a business. It was because they hadn’t inherited that knowledge. It was because they didn’t have someone within the family that they could go to and say, well, did you experience this as you were building your business?
Because we also have to recognize and give honor to the fact that entrepreneurship is like a relatively new term and American society. And so naturally, by the time Black people were exposed to this concept of entrepreneurship, our great-great grandfathers and great-great grandparents had businesses or were generating revenue outside of their primary work. Certainly they weren’t calling themselves entrepreneurs. So because there wasn’t that language, there wasn’t that capacity in a lot of cases, to take Sparrow with them, to these different conferences and sit her down next to me as I figure out, you know, our sales strategy.
Those entrepreneurs felt like they were starting from scratch. And so that’s, plays such a key role in generativity, right? It’s the intentional nurturing, the intentional leading, and teaching and mentoring that opens doors.
[00:41:34] Jasper: LaTanya, thank you so much for coming on the show. It’s been a real pleasure talking with you.
[00:41:38] LaTanya: Thank you. so much, Jasper. This has been great.
[00:41:41] Jasper: LaTanya’s dissertation, which we’ve been talking about is available on Antioch’s or a website, and we’ll link to it in our show notes. We’ll also link there to LaTanya’s personal website, where she has more information about her Dynastic Wealth programs. And we’ll include a link to the PhD in Leadership and Change.
We post these show notes on our website, TheSeedField.Org. And you can go there to find full episode transcripts prior episodes and more. The Seed Field Podcast is produced by Antioch University. Our editor is Johanna Case. I’m your host Jasper Nighthawk. Our digital designer is Mira Mead. Jen Mont is our web content coordinator. Sierra-Nicole E. DeBinion is our work study intern. A special, thanks to Karen Hamilton, Amelia Bryan and Melinda Garland. Thank you for spending your time with us today. That’s it. For this episode, we hope to see you next time and don’t forget to plant a seed, sew a cause, and win a victory for humanity. From Antioch University this has been the Seed Field Podcast.