Author - Lecturer - Strategic Communications Adviser

This Black Women’s History Month, meet 7 Black Women Powering Change in Maryland

April 5, 2023

By Jennifer R. Farmer

It’s all too common for the work of Black women to be overlooked. However, Black women continue to impact their communities in ways large and small. This Black Women’s History Month, I want to highlight seven Black women fueling change in Baltimore.

These women are changing the way Black women engage in politics and entrepreneurship. They’re also supporting Black women’s entrepreneurial aspirations, or working overtime to ensure Black people have access to high quality Black legal counsel.

Understanding that no list can include all the dynamic people who influence our communities, I name these leaders while holding space for the countless others who we cannot name. I hope you see them, and honor them in your own unique way. One of the ways you can do that is by mentioning their name in rooms they may not have access to, or donating to the organizations they lead.

Either way, make room and space to celebrate those who uplift our community today and every day.


Nykidra Robinson was featured in 2022 as one of 25 Black Marylanders to watch. And once you learn more about her, you’ll understand why. Robinson founded and runs Black Girls Vote. She launched the organization on November 30, 2015. Shirley Chisholm was born on Nov. 30, and Robinson hopes her organization will channel Chisholm’s spirit and further her legacy. Robinson says that “Black women and girls shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions and engage in the political process.” She wants the communities she serves to understand that “politics isn’t a dirty word and engagement in the process is necessary.” Learn more: or here:


Nakeia Drummond founded and runs the Women’s Entrepreneur Leadership Lab, (The WELL). She’s observed that when Black women launch businesses, many find themselves exhilarated by the prospect of envisioning and then fulfilling their dreams. But soon after launching, or even in the early incubation stages, many find themselves, isolated, struggling to raise capital, and in need of support. Drummond embarked on a listening session, organizing and facilitating round table conversations with Black women entrepreneurs over a period of eighteen months. Learn more here:

Shawna Murray-Browne is the principal consultant at Kindred Wellness. Murray-Browne is a licensed clinical social worker and an award-winning community healer, national speaker, and liberation-focused mind-body medicine practitioner. She shows changemakers how to heal themselves so they can serve others. She also guides leading non-profit, philanthropic and human service organizations in nourishing a culture of racial equity, healing and impact. She holds space for Black women and girls to heal present day and historical trauma, honoring culture and teaching mind-body medicine. Learn more here: 

Kisha A. Brown is an attorney and entrepreneur on a mission to connect persons needing legal counsel with Black lawyers. As was noted in an NBC News feature on her company, Brown has found that “Black clients feel they receive heightened support and more favorable results from Black lawyers than with non-Black legal aid.” Her company, Justis Connection, offers high quality referrals to lawyers and persons needed legal representation. Brown told me, “From the minute I started law school, I received requests for lawyer referrals. I would go through my phone and email and try to make the connections. I realized that Black lawyers were unknowingly leaving our community vulnerable to a system that marginalizes and oppresses us. Black attorneys need Black people to support their practice and Black people need attorneys who are culturally competent. Aside from this fact, all of us need a lawyer in our inner circle. It doesn’t matter what your resources are; we all need counsel. As Black people, we are navigating the world and our lives very differently from others.” Learn more here:

Nicole Hanson-Mundell is an expert on criminal justice policy and re-entry in Maryland. She is the executive director of Out for Justice. Out for Justice is a returning citizen, member-led nonprofit organization working to reform local and statewide reentry policies. The mission of Out for Justice is to engage, educate and empower those with criminal records to lead policy reform in Maryland. Nicole’s unique advocacy approach is to “stay close to the ground”, articulating the needs of marginalized people in policy spaces which garnered her a seat as the only impacted Black woman on Governor Hogan’s Gang Task Force. She believes that the services and activities provided by Out for Justice are an efficient way for her to connect the policy work with grassroots, service-oriented efforts. Learn more here: and here:

Kieta Iriate Amin and Nazaahah Amin envision a world where Black and Brown girls & women are empowered, self-sufficient, mindful, and supportive of each other. They knew their dream would not happen without intention, and since 2017, they have invested their hearts, souls, business acumen and wisdom into creating safe and supportive spaces for Black and Brown girls and women through BMore Empowered. Kieta focuses on the backend operations, ensuring their dream is not only inspiring but sustainable. Nazaahah implements wellness in everything she does, being careful to ensure women and girls understand the power of yoga, reiki, sister circles and other practices that allow us to rid the body of unhealthy stressors. Kieta shared “We cannot separate business from wellness and we want the girls to trust themselves, know how to manage stressors and begin a process of self-discovery.”

Read the full story here:




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"I have decided to show up fully and authentically. I trust you will do the same. May you find what you need in one of these books."Jennifer R. FarmerExtraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Step-by-Step Guide. Order now from Berrett Koehler or your favorite book seller.   First and Only" was published by Broadleaf Books in February 2021. Order your copy at BroadLeaf Books or your favorite bookseller.


Jennifer R. Farmer is an author, trainer and small-business owner. She is the host of the award-winning United Methodist Women “Faith Talks” podcast, which offers spiritual growth content for women of faith. Farmer is also the author of “First and Only: A Black Woman’s Guide to Thriving at Work and in Life” (Broadleaf Books) and “Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide” (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). She is the founder of Spotlight PR LLC, a boutique firm specializing in communications strategy for leaders and groups committed to social and racial justice. She is also the founder of the Center for Social Justice Leadership, which exists to support leaders and organizations in creating more inclusive workplace cultures. Farmer has provided services to national organizations and celebrities committed to addressing the climate crisis, as well as social and racial injustice.

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Testimonials and Endorsements

Jennifer Farmer is one of the smartest and most talented communicators I know. She’s passionate, knowledgeable and relatable about her work. Plus, when we spent time together, she made sure I never ate alone.

Ari Berman, Contributing WriterThe Nation

When we worked together in the Forward Together Moral Monday movement, Jennifer Farmer skillfully heard me. She allowed me to be myself, while teaching me and the NC NAACP staff foundational communications techniques.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, Founder, Repairers of the BreachThe North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP,The Forward Together Moral Movement

I loved this book. It is smart, practical and filled with personal examples that underscore the author’s central message: there are concrete things you can do to promote your organization with or without a large budget. Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget is required reading for anyone wishing to use strategic communications to make a difference.

Celinda Lake, PrincipalLake Research Partners

I sincerely appreciate your work and having you as a team member. You have helped me grow and sharpen my focus for this journey. Thank you. Love and Respect.

Michael Render, pka Killer Mike, Activist, Rapper and Businessman

“Jennifer Farmer is an insightful listener and observer of human interaction. She uses her insights to speak directly to the core issues impacting leadership. Her analysis perceptively integrates gender, race, religion, and overall worldview to offer more nuanced understandings of leadership than the one-size-fits-all approaches more commonly promoted.”

Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson, author, clergy in residence, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice