November 4, 2020

We’re Here Campaign Feature: O’Brien Daniels

The mission of the We’re Here Project is to empower and amplify the voices of young Black women in our community. In Southwest Missouri, there are still strides to be made with representation, diversity, and equity and the goal of this project is to raise the visibility of young Black women who wish to be a part of that conversation. Each woman selected for the project gets to share her story and perspective on beauty and strength as a Black woman in the Southwest Missouri area. This is O’Brien’s interview:

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”- Margret Wolfe Hungerford It is created by the observer. So what is beautiful to one, may not be to another. I personally choose to believe there is beauty in most things, even in pain.

I am Mother to my 11 year old son Sir Perrie in addition to a entrepreneur and developing activist. I am owner and operator of OSD LLC {independent contractor} in which I specialize in decluttering residential and commercial settings. As one of my many roles include Brand Ambassador and Personal Assistant. My second endeavor includes my nonprofit: The Melanin Initiative [TMi]. This is the unlearning and relearning of Negro history, particularly the midwest region. The long term goal is a museum owned by the melaninated professionals of this area.

I am native to Springfield, Missouri born at Cox South in 1985. My family and I relocated to Raytown, Missouri [suburb of Kansas City, MO] in 1999. I returned to my home town in 2017 due to financial hardship where I would help shed light on the difference in situational poverty vs generational poverty conversation to Springfield Public Schools and other affiliated city organizations.

2017/18 Prosper Springfield Volunteer Committee 2019 Parent Leadership Institution (20 weeks completed hosted by CPO) 2019 Springfield Forward Workshops 2020/2021 Grant Parkway Project Board

My experience as a Black woman in Southwest Missouri is the preconceived notion I have an attitude and that all people of color act the same; that our experiences are the same. My passion and hurt is misunderstood as anger. Most of us do share a similar story. We live in some of the most racist parts of the USA [ The Trail of Tears, Missouri Compromise, 3 men hung downtown of Springfield Missouri in 1903, etc] and most are in much denial about the pain our society carries and haven’t acknowledged or even begun to recover from. My grandmother is 70 years old, alive and well to tell the stories of share-cropping and Jim Crow. I am a Truth Seeker and Speaker- so depending on that days challenge I am always expected to be strong, pose, and respectful- not matter how disrespected I am treated.

I enjoy Springfield’s Parks and surrounding Lakes. Finding peace in the start of the day is becoming necessary in my day to day

I want to be known for speaking up even if I was scared to. Standing up for what is right, not what’s popular.

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