Anita Charlot was recently interviewed by TheCelebrity.Online Magazine and below is the Q&A session we had with her.
Anita Charlot As Exclusive Cover Story – July 2023
How do you introduce yourself?
Childhood to Adulthood – How was your transition from childhood to adulthood, and what
are the bad and good things you remember?
Anita Charlot: Looking back on my transition from childhood to adulthood, I would say it was as natural as can be while learning the survival skills my mother taught me to prepare me for as a Black woman in America. Conversations about how to “stay off of the radar with the police” and how to be successful in school and the workplace were a part of our everyday conversations.
I remember my mother telling me things like…
● When you walk through a store, don’t have your hands in your pockets; they will think
you stole something.
● Don’t hang out in groups on the corner; it will raise suspicion.
● Keep your head down, do your work, and don’t cause problems.
● Do more than is expected of you, learn everybody’s job so that your bosses will see you
as a valuable employee.
● Watch your mouth (words) when speaking to white people so that you don’t make them
● Always have your own money so you do not have to depend on a man for anything.
While these comments may seem like I had a bad childhood, this was normal in the Black household. If you wanted to survive the racial discrimination and succeed “despite it,” you needed to know how to conduct yourself in a way that would keep “the white man” from seeing you as a threat.
My mother, currently 89 years old, grew up in the South, Louisiana, to be exact. It was a time of
segregation, and when black people were being hung from trees for doing/saying the wrong
thing to anger white people, so it was important for her to teach me how to survive.
When I look back on my childhood, the good things I remember are:
● Going on family road trips.
● Visiting family in the South, I grew up in Chicago, IL.
● I could leave the house to play with my friends first thing in the morning and return
when the street lights came on without worrying about my safety.
● Family bar-b-ques and birthday parties.
● Going to private school – a luxury considering the neighborhood I grew up in
● Participating in the Girl Scouts – again, a luxury.
Struggle – What hardships have you gone through in life?
Anita Charlot: Even though my mother taught me to be independent so I wouldn’t need a man, I had my share of abusive relationships, including domestic violence, at the hands of my first husband.
After leaving that marriage, I was a single mother of two boys for quite some time. Since my parents moved to a different state, I did not have the daily support to help me with the kids.
Finding before and after-school care, babysitting, and other support was challenging, particularly since I attended night school and had started my first business.
I also endured my fair share of Corporate Trauma. The constant need to over-deliver, do twice
as much work for less pay and deal with the daily microaggressions, racial jokes, condescending
behavior of my white counterparts, and ignorance of how their privilege led to a different corporate experience for me, to name a few, was soul crushing.
Due to how single Black mothers were viewed in the workplace, I never talked about my children at the office. I didn’t have their pictures on my desk and rarely asked for time off to care for them, even though my white counterparts felt free to do so. For a Black woman, talking about my children as a divorced mother would have placed a stigma on my head, which would have resulted in fewer opportunities for me to succeed. So, I kept quiet.
I’ve experienced being on public assistance, medical assistance, unemployment, the death of
loved ones, loss of friendships and opportunities, and so much more.
What do people usually not know about you?
Anita Charlot: I served 14 years in the United States Army Reserve and contemplated taking my own life due to the stressors of being a single mother of two children while going through a divorce and trying to support them on my own with no financial support from my husband.
What sets you apart from your competitors in the industry and life?
Anita Charlot: In 1999, three years after walking away from my abusive marriage, I started my Dating, Relationship, and Marriage coaching business, helping other women avoid making the same mistakes I did, helping to heal their hearts, learn how to trust again, and teaching them how to
attract the “perfectly imperfect” man for them.
In 2020, I decided to take Trauma-Informed Yoga Training as an additional way to help the women I serve to release the pain of their past/abusive relationships. I didn’t expect how stepping into the “trauma ring” would open up my buried trauma. This training, coupled with George Floyd’s murder and the civil unrest that followed in the US, pushed me over the edge.
All of the “survival training” my mother taught me now felt heavy on my spirit. The years of looking the other way while I was being emotionally, mentally, and financially abused in the workplace were bubbling up to the surface. I could no longer hide behind my mother’s training but instead faced the reality of how I had been treated and how little Black people seemed to matter to those who were supposed to protect us. It struck me hard.
As a result, I questioned whether or not I should dissolve my business. Dating, relationship, and
marriage coaching didn’t seem important enough. My people were dying on national television. I could no longer ignore my spirit’s longing to be seen as a human being vs. something so easily dismissed and even killed by those controlling our livelihood.
I began to look back over my life and recognize all the times I knowingly and unknowingly code-switched. In case you are unfamiliar with the term, code-switching is when a Black person intuitively reads a room and adjusts their demeanor, body language, or speech to “fit in” so they do not appear angry, aggressive, or combative. In other words, it’s when a Black person assimilates into the white culture around them.
I also realized that I was the “safe Black woman” my white friends and leaders could go to to ask
questions about the Black community. This was so natural for me; I didn’t even realize how long
I had been doing it or the emotional toll it was taking on me. I was willing to stand in the gap
and take the punches so others didn’t have to.
During the civil unrest, I had nothing left to give. I was grieving, not just for me but for the Black community.
How could this happen in America? Then I realized it had been happening all along, I just chose not to see it. For the next year or so, I stopped taking on clients; I worked on healing myself, facing my
trauma, and uncovering my anger and bias. I allowed myself to FEEL everything to become
aware of it, why it hurt, where I stored that pain in my body, and whether or not I wanted to
continue with my business.
I laughed, cried, yelled, and stopped being the “safe Black woman” and human/emotional shield
for others to give myself what I needed. As I moved through this time, I encountered a traumatic corporate experience that would change my life forever. This experience helped me realize my new mission and even WHO I should serve.
I would shift my business from dating, relationship, and marriage coaching to consulting and
coaching CEOs and their leadership teams on the importance of Conscious Leadership, specifically as it relates to their Black and Brown employees. Even though I felt this was what I needed to do, it was not an easy decision. Having grown up as a Black woman in America and having experienced all of the racial injustices, slights, microaggressions, etc., that come with that and succeeding despite them, I had found a way to turn that pain into my purpose.
To do this meant that I would be serving the same population that we, as Black people, feel are
doing everything they can to keep their “knees on our necks.” Why would God give me this mission, knowing how much I was hurting? Why me? I responded to God’s direction as a defiant teenager would react to their parent. I threw plenty of temper tantrums and had multiple attempts trying to reason with God:
● Un uh, God, I don’t want to do this!
● Are you serious?
● Pick somebody else.
● I can’t believe you would do this to me.
● They are not going to want to listen to me.
● I don’t want to fight with them to understand the pain they inflict on Black and Brown
people, knowingly or unknowingly.
● I’m going to make them angry; how will my business succeed?
● If you want me to do this, you will need to show me where to find the CEOs and other C
Suite leaders that actually WANT to do this work.
● Oh, and I know you don’t expect me to do this for free!
After all my temper tantrums, praying, and meditating, I finally understood why. God chose me because I am the perfect person for this role for the following reasons…
● I’ve been groomed for this role since birth. Before my “awakening,” I was the safe Black woman my white leaders and counterparts could come to in order to learn about the Black community. Now, I serve in the same capacity, only this time, with clarity in whom
I am meant to serve and in a more formalized and highly compensated way.
● I am strong enough to look white CEOs and other leaders in the face and tell them the truth, not from a place of attack but a place of shedding light on an area in which they have no experience.
● While I could work with the C-Suite from any organization, I can choose whom I work with. And I choose to work with leaders of B Corporations, Social Entrepreneurs, and others from all industries that desire to create a more inclusive work environment for their Black and Brown employees.
● While there are certainly CEOs of companies that claim to be committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts, I truly understand the difference between those that are doing it to check the box and those that honestly want to improve the quality of life for their Black and Brown employees.
● After years of suffering at the hands of UNconscious leaders, I’m the perfect person to
create Conscious Leadership training for the C Suite and their leadership teams.
● As a Black woman who has suffered at the hands of UNconscious leaders, teaching leaders how to Consciously support their Black and Brown employees, specifically how to foster an environment where Black and Brown women can thrive in leadership roles, comes naturally to me.
● As a Metaphysician working on my Ph.D. in Metaphysical Psychology, I am passionate about creating Healing Programs to help Black and Brown women heal from corporate/workplace trauma.
For the reasons above and many other things, THIS sets me apart from competitors in my industry and personal life.
What are your upcoming major events?
Anita Charlot: In August, I will be hosting my first 5-Day Conscious Leadership Challenge! Here is the link to express interest and be the first to be notified when registration opens.
As a trailblazer in this space, in the fall, we will open the doors to RA2 Academy, our upcoming
learning platform, to serve as a nexus of knowledge and inspiration, equipping leaders with the skills and understanding to make a real impact in their communities and beyond.
For Black and Brown women seeking a sanctuary of growth and empowerment, RA2 Academy is
a refuge where you can heal from corporate trauma, hone your leadership skills, increase your
confidence, and ultimately find your voice. We’re not just offering resources; we’re offering a
supportive community and a secure space for personal and professional growth.
To be notified when the doors open, sign up at this link – www.relationshiparchitectacademy.com.
What are your food preferences and physical attributes?
Anita Charlot: Not Answered.
Your love life, relationships, and family?
Anita Charlot: After my abusive marriage, as I was healing myself and working with women to help them heal, then attract the man that was perfectly imperfect for them. I attracted my second husband. I took my time getting to know what I wanted, growing through my past pain, but more importantly, learning what I needed in my spirit, and I am happy to say that my husband Charles is my best friend.
This year we celebrated 15 years together. This part of my journey shows other women (and men) that love is possible for you, no matter your relationship history. If you are a woman looking to attract your perfectly imperfect mate, here is a free video training for you bit.ly/canhehandleyourgrind.
What expert advice would you like to give?
Anita Charlot: To my Black and Brown women reading this article, do not allow anyone to tell you that you have to settle in your career or in love. You get to have the quality of life and love that you want you just need to know how.
To the white leaders, a conscious examination of your own biases isn’t an indictment or an attack on your character but rather a crucial step in the journey toward true understanding and mutual respect. It’s an opportunity to grow, learn, and develop more conscious, inclusive behaviors and attitudes. It’s about dismantling the invisible barriers that hinder genuine equality and inclusivity.
Working with me as your coach will provide you with the truth and the healing required to move you from where you are to where you (and your company) want to be. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to explore how I can support you along your journey. I would be honored to partner with you.
Your social media handles and website links?
Anita Charlot – https://anitacharlot.com
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/acharlot/
Relationship Architect Academy – www.relationshiparchitectacademy.com
Calendar – www.calendly.com/coachanitacharlot