Blanca Catalina Garcia has over 15 years of experience as a mentor, coach, educator and leader in the world of multicultural ecosystems. Blanca Garcia has mastered the art of curating safe spaces where people of diverse backgrounds and stories can share and feel empowered. Garcia graduated from Eckerd College with a degree in psychology, where she focused on research and working with multilingual youth and their families. After working with youth in situations of drug addiction, domestic violence, and immigration systems— Garcia made it her life’s work to continue to create spaces of support, safety, and creativity in order for the youth and their families to thrive in their communities.
Blanca Garcia, Walker’s Legacy PROSPECTUS Atlanta Instructor, shares insight:
“I am currently focused on helping to build a vibrant, diverse, and empowered entrepreneurial and tech startup ecosystem here in Atlanta and beyond, via innovative and cutting edge programming.”
With all of the amazing ventures that Blanca Garica has undertaken professionally and personally, Walker’s Legacy asked Garcia what she believes to be her most accomplished moment in her career thus far. She shares the story of leading the Entrepreneurship & Innovation track of the USOW Galvanize conference. Between working alongside Nathalie Molina Niño (a woman who was pivotal in her personal growth), and career in entrepreneurship education. Garcia also led a main track workshop as part of an initiative by Michelle Obama.
“Standing in leadership with women who have had historical impact on the state of women in the United States and internationally.”
Blanca Garcia notes that The USOW Galvanize Conference marked a pivotal transition in her career, where she became a full time entrepreneur:
“A long-time goal and dream that I also got to share this with friends and amazing fellow women of color leaders in business like Nicole Dyer-Twyman and Mimi Gonzalez. It was an important moment in my life that I will never forget.”
Those whose passions stem from caring deeply about what they do, the people that they impact, and positive change they make tend to be those who are the most influential. Blanca Garcia is, without a doubt, one of those women. She notes the aspects of life that she is most passionate about are the power of education and entrepreneurship as platforms for personal and economic liberation.
“I believe that creativity and collaboration are key to this endeavor, so I am committed to creating innovative programming and spaces for these to take place.”
In life, a person who motivates, drives us and sets us up for success is highly important for our personal growth—these people often come in the form of mentors. Walker’s Legacy asked Garcia who has had a part in deeply influencing her, what she believes in, and commitment in her work and life. She put great emphasis on the fact that she has had powerful, brilliant, and accomplished women that she was able to look up to on her journey. Despite having these mentors, Garcia recognizes that even the ones we look up to have hardships and due to these hardships, relationships can be strained.
“The world is a harsh place for a woman with a brilliant mind and a strong spirit. In the complicated relationships I have known with the women who have taught and molded me, I have seen the scars and sharp edges that are the consequence of strong will in a woman. I carry with me the legacy of the ancestral pain that these women inherited to me”
She concludes that she is still on the journey of honoring the women that came before her each and everyday.
Blanca’s “Why” has everything to do with her mission, not only does she believe in it, but it has become one of her biggest motivators. She mentions that although she is fully invested in her work with using education and entrepreneurship as tools of liberation for disenfranchised people, she acknowledges that people must be able to overcome the danger of a single and dominant narrative. Garcia believes that until people of every race, heritage, and gender are able to be their true selves; that large strides for equity will not be a reality. She encourages everyone to be vocal about their visions, stories, and ideas.
“”Making space” as Ayanna Pressley said early this year, is the action—which not only heals, but models a new human society. I am committed to this vision.”
The Future of WOC in Business
As we conclude our interview with Blanca Garcia, we inquired about her hopes for the state of business for women of color over the next five years. She begins by sharing a quote by Elizabeth Gilbert in a recent book “I want to reappropriate the word entitlement.” This sentiment stuck out to her because she has seen more women of color than ever feeling entitled to take ownership of their lives.
“My hope is that all the key stakeholders: corporate partners, banking institutions, academic institutions, investors, service providers and mentors, will step up to support them and do their part to create a pathway to entrepreneurial success that actually works for women of color.”
Blanca acknowledges the problems in today’s society regarding the “current road map” that doesn’t fit the journey or experiences of even half of the entreprenures to date and to add institutions and structures that adapt in response to entrepreneurs with diverse stories.
“This means dealing with bias head on and a call to action and unity in the business world.”