We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Kiera Causey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Kiera, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“Accept the possibility that not everyone will possess the insight to realize how great you truly are.” -Dr. Shakiera Causey
This is actually a quote/affirmation by me. I love this affirmation because sometimes we can get discouraged when our work and efforts seem to go unnoticed. It’s important to remember that you and your work have value and are meaningful even if others do not acknowledge or praise you for it. Oftentimes, it takes the rest of the world a little longer to catch up with trailblazers and their ingenuity.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
When I started Higher Cause, my initial vision was a consulting firm that provided organizations with trainings and workshops focused on gender and racial equity. Much of that work really highlighted my work as a subject matter expert. It was difficult to execute as a one woman operation while finishing a PhD and working full-time. However, as my interests evolved and I began to reflect about what causes motivated me (gender-based violence, health equity, maternal health, LGBTQ rights, police violence), philanthropy emerged as a more-fitting path. The legal aspects of becoming a non-profit on both the state and federal level are challenging if you do not have access to counsel. Consultation, branding, and filing fees can also be expensive. I have been fortunate to have a network that recommends me for opportunities to secure funding to cover those expenses. As a result, I have been able to launch Be Her Peace™ which is an advocacy campaign that emphasizes the importance of supporting the holistic health and psychological well-being of Black girls and women. I am proud of this work and what we have planned over the next 18 months in terms of community projects and youth-focused engagement. I have learned that it isn’t enough to just show statistics about prevalence of an issue. People are empathetic when they hear stories and see the faces of the girls and women impacted by systems of oppression. This campaign is important because it does not just supply the harmful effects of exposure to these oppressive situations but it provides a positive outlook for what outcomes look like when the well-being of Black girls and women is prioritized, and we do this with evidence-based research and storytelling.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am definitely a certified foodie so when I visit Atlanta, I am going to my favorite eateries. A Piece of Cake is number 1 on the list for a sinful slice of layer cake. My personal favorites are the carrot cake and strawberry cake. I also love Dekalb Farmers Market. There is nothing else like it in the Southeast in terms of international/world foods and spices. You can literally get any ingredient from all over the globe in one space. No visit would be complete without shopping at Lenox Square and checking out a few lounges to experience the music scene. It is very easy to run into celebs when you are out and about in Atlanta.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to acknowledge my village, which consists of my parents, James and Tawnda Causey, my extended family, long-time friends, and mentors. I would not be who I am without their love and support. I want to also acknowledge my hometown heroes in New Bern, NC. Each year that community shows up in tremendous fashion to support my fundraising efforts for the Robert and Dorothy Joseph Memorial Scholarship fund. Also, my coming of age in eastern North Carolina has been a central core of my values and identity.
Professional headshots: In God’s Image Photography