Today we’d like to introduce you to Guildia Lopez.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Guildia. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
The name Brothers and Briefcases came to me in a dream back in 2016. At the moment, I didn’t know what it meant. I wrote it down on a piece of paper and placed it inside of a book.
That same year I noticed that my anxiety was being heightened due to all of the police brutality and the death of countless black men, just like what we are going through now. Back then, it was Philando Castile while we were recovering from Alton Sterlin, and the numerous black men’s life cut short at the hands of police.
I knew I couldn’t live like this, and I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to highlight Black men positively. I wanted the world to see Black men through my eyes. I wanted them to be seen as humans! I called a close friend of mine, and I told her I wanted to have an event highlighting Black men from different walks of life. June 2017, I had the 1st Brothers and Briefcases event, now we have a total of 27 alumni.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has been one full of great rewarding moments and, of course, some challenges. COVID19 placed a massive pause on what we had planned this year, but I got creative and started going on IG Live; from April to the present, we have talked to black business owners, mental health professionals, suicide attempt survivors, and Black Women not feeling protected by Black Men.
Please tell us about Brothers and Briefcases.
Brothers and Briefcases is a national professional development initiative, connecting ambitious men of color. Our curated panel discussions take place in various cities throughout the U.S. and cover an array of hot topics centered around race, career, mental health, and current events.
I am proud of the fact that we have created a safe space for Black and Brown men, an area where they can build brotherhood. I am a Black woman born in Guatemala to Garifuna parents who created a platform for Black and Brown Men. That’s what sets me apart.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I believe everything happens for a reason; however, one thing I wish I learned sooner or did differently is to be more careful about who I allow into my space. As an entrepreneur, this business is my “baby,” and it is essential to protect my ideas. I don’t regret anything, but I realize the importance of keeping people around that are genuine.
- Website: www.brothersandbriefcases.com
- Email: Info@brothersandbrirfcases.com
- Instagram: Brothersandbriefcases
- Facebook: Brothers&briefcases