COUNTDOWN TO JUNETEENTH : An Interview With Alishia Lee

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At MORTAR, we have the honor of witnessing Black excellence every day. We see it in the talent, dedication, and drive of our alumni and staff and witness it in the support of our community. Juneteenth is equal parts celebration and remembrance; honoring the heroes of the past and celebrating Black bravery, resilience, accomplishment, and joy.

In continued celebration of our nine-year anniversary and in the weeks counting down to Juneteenth, we asked our alumni how they celebrate the holiday, who from history inspires them, and how it feels to be a part of MORTAR’s story in our ninth year.

Your name?
Alishia Lee

Me By Lee

What year did you graduate from MORTAR?

What stands out most to you regarding the story of MORTAR over the past 9 years?
There are so many thriving businesses that come from the MORTAR program!

Did your family have any traditions for celebrating Juneteenth? How do you celebrate now?
We did not have Juneteenth traditions as I was growing up, now we patron Juneteenth festivals and events and talk about the importance of the day.

In celebration of Juneteenth, who is someone that has inspired you on your entrepreneurial journey? How have they inspired you?
Ann Lowe was a dressmaker and seamstress that was the first noted African American dressmaker in the US. She made Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress in a time when Black designers were not heard of, much less celebrated. (Ann Lowe pictured; Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As an entrepreneur, what does freedom mean to you?
Freedom as an entrepreneur means that I can fulfill the needs of my customers and build my business without being overly concerned about fighting for equitable business practices that my non-POC competitors enjoy.


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