African American women have added a unique sense of style, flair, passion and compassion to American and international culture. It lets the world know we are not satisfied to simply accept the status quo. This notion carries over and exists in tandem with a unique ability to invoke passion based on compassion. It allows African American women to govern, express creativity and teach from a perspective unknown to others who have not had the life experiences that have been traditionally linked to African American culture.
I initially chose the field of Criminology to understand the theoretical causes of criminality, how to reduce the potential of individuals participating in criminal behavior, and the rehabilitation of those who did. As I worked through various agencies and became more civically active, I realized I wanted to be involved in the process that made decisions on how we address the related issues and fund the correctional system as a whole. I became interested in how we legislate other matters and how I could become more involved. I have since determined that I enjoy being engaged in the democratic process and I want to help guide how legislation impacts all aspects of the lives of all people. I want to make a difference in the quality of life of those who have been historically overlooked, and/or not allowed to be engaged in processes that determine how they and their family live.
I would like to think that my presence in the Legislature has added cultural flair, that sensitizes other members to inclusion, demonstrates that I do not accept the status quo, and encourages other young girls and ladies to engage themselves in the political process. I have demonstrated that one can be both passionate and compassionate and be an effective legislator, bringing funding home and passing legislation.
The people in my life who have encouraged, influenced and mentored me include: My mother Dr. Lois D. Gibson; my auntie Betty Asque Davis; my elementary teacher Mrs. Vance and the late Mrs. Jolita Simmons; Congresswoman Corrine Brown; and my dad Ernest Gibson. Each has given me a different perspective.