We are pleased to spotlight Jessica Bain for 2019’s Black Women Roc! campaign
Jessica Bain is a widely respected, accomplished Black woman who has grown a reputable company within a largely male dominated industry. Her professional passion brings profit and opportunity to her people in the local community when she could just outsource tasks the way most other companies do. Her business ideas are sharp, innovative and have clearly inspired other positive projects/events throughout the city.
How does it feel to be nominated for the 2019 Black Women Roc! Campaign
JB: I’m so delighted and grateful to have been nominated for the 2019 Black Women Roc! Campaign. It was so unexpected but so very welcome.
When did you begin the community engagement work that you do?
JB: I’ve been involved with community agencies and engagement work since my college days. I’ve had the great pleasure of working with the Rochester Gay Alliance, Sisters For A Better Black Community, and the Center for Youth amongst other local organizations.
What inspires you to continue to work hard for the Rochester Community?
JB: My company, Collective Society, wouldn’t function without the positive business and personal connections I’ve forged over the years with others in the city of Rochester. Support is just as important to give as it is to receive, and my community does support me when it matters. It’s really fulfilling to be able to reciprocate that whenever I can.
For you how does your business or area of expertise relate to wellness?
JB: Collective Society is proud to have been part of some of the most unique and positive community events to take place in the city in the past few years, with a focus on Black women’s panels and forums. A major part of wellness has to do with supporting endeavors that uplift and promote the well-being of our peers as well as ourselves.
How do you stay mentally and physically healthy?
JB: Recently I’ve started working with a personal trainer on a workout regimen and a meal plan tailored to my needs. I’ve also been making an effort to meditate for a short period every day.
What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of your community engagement?
JB: As far as community engagement work, it can be challenging to get others on board with my vision for a project right away. The results of a successful professional collaboration are always worth the effort however.
What are you working on now?
JB: Collective Society has a number of upcoming events in production including a series of business talks featuring local female CEO’s, branding collaborations with a few national retail chains, and a concert.
What’s has been your best experience as a Black female change agent in Rochester?
JB: Becoming a legitimately successful Black female business owner never stops being rewarding in different ways every day. I guess it makes me an agent of change by default, and I can only keep working to deserve that title.
What has been your biggest challenge as a Black female change agent in Rochester?
JB: Being taken seriously will always be a challenge for women in the business world. For a Black woman in America it takes double the time and the work to be viewed on an equal professional playing field and that won’t change anytime soon.
Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
JB: Constant work and producing consistent results are the only ways I’ve been able to overcome my professional adversities. I think this is true no matter what color or gender anyone is.
What advice do you have for other women interested in community activism/engagement work?
JB: Investing in yourself is the best way to get others to invest in you. Be considerate and fair in all your business dealings- don’t burn bridges. Know how much you and your abilities are worth and never sell yourself short.
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