Episode 36: Tamara Thorpe - "Pushing the Boundaries"
Early on when I started The Black Expat, I reached out to a number of black folks — who were leaders in their spaces. I mean, really folks who were doing inter and cross cultural work, especially as it related to global nomads.
Tamara Thorpe was one of those people.
And the truth is — I am not sure where I first heard her name but we certainly had a number of associates in common. And honestly, it shouldn’t be that surprising that she and I would make a connection. There were so few visible Black and Brown individuals doing work that intersected with international mobility, culture, and everything in-between, that I suppose us meeting would be inevitable. And that was over five years ago.
So naturally, she’s someone who I thought needed to be on this podcast.
Like all of my guests, Tamara’s story is a colorful one. She’s a Los Angeles native who now calls Albuquerque, New Mexico home. But at the time of this recording, she and her husband had just returned to the United States after their latest expat adventure living in Ireland. As you will soon hear, Ireland joins a long list of past moves that includes Canada, France, Spain and South Korea.
What’s absolutely wonderful about her international story is that it starts with the most unconventional opportunity that took her to Europe as an 11th grader for the summer. This opportunity would be the start of a career and a life that traversed the world. One that would allow her to use the skills she built as an educator, program administrator, coach and entrepreneur to help others.
As the founder of the Millennial’s Mentor, she is a leadership coach, consultant and DEI strategist. Tamara, as you might have figured out, has been doing the work at the intersection of intercultural understanding and diversity, equity and inclusion, especially in the workplace, long before there was the vernacular for it.
Many of the cross-cultural competencies that are only now becoming part of organizations has been a hallmark feature of Tamara’s work for a very long time.
In this episode, we talk about that spark that began when Tamara was 16 and the journey that has led her to the career she has today. As you listen it will be evident that not only has she kept it burning but she’s clearly enjoying every moment of it.
- How a trip to Europe as a teenager changed her life.
- Building resilience in the aftermath of a traumatic event
- Understanding when to take the opportunity to pivot
- How she built a professional brand that combined both her skills & interests
- How intercultural & DEI (diversity, equity & inclusion) work differs depending on location
To hear the full episode, click below or listen wherever you get your podcasts.