From a dirt road in SC, Jotaka Eaddy builds a career of transformative change
Posted on: April 1, 2021; Updated on: April 1, 2021
Megan Sexton, email@example.com
Jotaka Eaddy is fond of quoting the words on the University of South Carolina’s seal:
Learning humanizes character and does not permit it to be cruel.
For Eaddy, a 2001 political science graduate and the first Black woman elected as
the university’s student body president, those words — and their promise — help explain
her life’s story. Her path started in the tiny Florence County town of Johnsonville,
South Carolina, where she grew up on a dirt road. She now is the founder and CEO of
Full Circle Strategies, a Washington, D.C.-based social impact consulting firm specializing
in strategy development, management consulting, public affairs and community engagement.
Along the way she has helped win a U.S. Supreme Court case that abolished the juvenile
death penalty, worked as a senior advisor to the president of the NAACP, directed
policy and strategic engagement for a financial technology firm, and pushed for increased
diversity and inclusion in big tech. Fortune magazine dubbed her “the Olivia Pope of Silicon Valley,” likening her to the fictional
television character known as a powerful and connected “fixer.”
She also is the founder of #WinWithBlackWomen, a collective of intergenerational Black
women leaders around the country. Her work led her to a seat at the presidential inauguration
in January, where she watched the first Black woman vice president being sworn into
office. And in March, she was instrumental in advising Goldman Sachs in the announcement
of its historic $10 billion investment in Black women as a way to advance racial equity and economic opportunity.
It’s been a life with big dreams fulfilled and “pinch me” moments. And it’s a journey
that took off when she was a student at South Carolina, with…