Diane Jordan-Grizzard: Author. Keynote Speaker. Expert in Organizational Learning, Executive Coaching, and Group Facilitating. While living in Liberia, Diane witnessed the military coup d’état, served as a midwife, and owned a business. FREE SOIL (2010) is her historical fiction account of Liberia's complex history.
The integration of these experiences with her formal studies inspires the framework Diane uses to coach and facilitate learning opportunities that encourage individuals and organizations to unlock their purpose, passion, and potential.
The African proverb “it is not where you are but what you do there that matters,” drives Diane’s passion to encourage individuals to dream and believe that their dreams can come true. Diane participated in the 2012 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women to research a book that will publish in 2014.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Cincinnati Ohio. However, as a young adult, I moved to Liberia West Africa to serve as a midwife. My experiences serving as a midwife, owning a secretarial service, volunteering with the World Health Organization in the Breast is Best Campaign, and witnessing the military coup, all influence my writing. This was a time when I discovered that all women and mothers want the same for their children and families. The only difference is a woman's access to resources and opportunities that enable her to dream that her family might have a better life than her own, and then believe that the dream can come true.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing as an adult when I discovered that I had a story to tell about my life in Liberia. I wanted to tell the story about Liberia's complex history from the point of view of the indigenous population, the group who had suffered second-class citizenship under the hands of the ruling-class, who are the descendants of free men and women from the United States prior to the Emancipation Proclamation.
Once I discovered my passion to write, I went to several national writing retreats where they taught the craft of writing and I met literary agents and editors, who taught the business of publishing.
Are You Riding in the Back Seat of Your Own Dream? is a metaphor for feeling stuck and not moving forward with your dreams and aspirations. This book brings together personal interviews of women from diverse occupations and lifestyles, providing insightful lessons that will inspire you to pick up your dream, brush it off, push against fear, and get back into the driver’s seat.