Georgette “Gigi” Dixon is senior vice president and senior director of external relations for national constituents at Wells Fargo. In this role, she leads and coordinates Wells Fargo’s engagement and outreach to national non-government organizations and key stakeholders with the goal of promoting Wells Fargo’s policy priorities.
She published a piece in Business Insider about her experience growing up in the South during desegregation and the lessons she’s learned from her own achievements as well as the wisdom of historical figures before her. Dixon was one of two girls to first desegregate her high school. She went on to be the first woman student body president at Tennessee State College, and, ultimately a leader at a powerful company she says supports her mission to engage diverse communities. Dixon offers advice to future changemakers in light of Black History Month: consider your legacy, be ready for your firsts and prepare to impact the future.
Below is an excerpt from Dixon’s piece, which can be read in full here.
What are you building for the next generation? As a black woman, wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, and sister, I have learned that my journey is not just mine; it belongs to my family, community, and countless others. I didn’t see myself having a long corporate career. But the opportunity to build a bridge to connect our communities with resources and tools for success truly spoke to me.
I have been fortunate to have a purpose-driven career in corporate America, one of service, advocacy, and collaboration. A career of building relationships and working directly with leaders to enhance my community and others with organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Congressional Black Caucus Leadership Institute, and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW). In my journey, the road to today has been full of passion, heartache, self-discovery, and triumph.
Although the heart of my story began at the age of 10, as one of two young girls to desegregate my elementary school almost 20 years after Brown v. Board of Education, I want to remind people it’s not how you start — it’s how you finish.
I encourage others to embrace the opportunity to make an impact. Anyone can serve. Use your voice to vote, raise your hand to help others, and empower the future. One thing I have learned is that life is very deliberate.
So this Black History Month, remember the words of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to be elected to the US Congress: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring your own chair.” She would be proud to know that along with bringing more chairs, we are creating our own tables.