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Samia Walker on mobilizing the village to make a difference

You’ve probably seen Samia Walker around New Bedford before. In addition to her formal role as Executive Director of EforAll, Samia is the type of community member who shows up to support the work of others, always with encouraging words and a smile. We feel incredibly lucky that Samia spends a good part of the week with us here at Groundwork– we can always count on her to strike up a conversation with a new member or attend a breakfast event even when she has a long day ahead.

If you don’t know Samia yet, she’s one to watch. She is a rising star, a born leader, and her energy is contagious. Read on for what keeps her motivated on and off the job.

What’s your profession? 

I am the *new* Executive Director of EforAll South Coast. I also, along with my Husband, own The Communal Space New Bedford, a diverse arts cultivator and Black Library. You can also catch me volunteering with BuyBlack New Bedford, 3rd EyE Youth Empowerment, and my own non-profit, Doodles. In my spare time I advocate for families as a Black Birth Doula and occasionally lead yoga classes at Power and Grace. 

Describe a typical work day for you.

A typical workday for me involves a lot of talking, which is great because chit-chatting is my favorite thing to do! Most of my time is spent with members of the community, whether at their place of business or on a video call. Building relationships centered around community is very important to me, I can hardly call it work. 

Volunteering with BuyBlack New Bedford.

What’s the biggest challenge you face at your job?

The biggest challenge that I face in my job as Executive Director of EforAll South Coast is that I can’t say YES to everything. Intention directly affects impact, and we aim to directly have a positive impact on our community, small businesses, and the entrepreneur’s personal and professional growth. 

Do you have a morning routine?

Does a mad rush count as a morning routine? If so, then yes. I snuggle with my kids for as long as possible, then rush to get myself ready while trying to get the kids set up for the day, and take out something for dinner, and clean the house, and do some laundry – all at the same time. Thank goodness for the savior of hot coffee that is always freshly brewed when I get to Groundwork!

What are your favorite productivity tips or hacks?

I am not the best person to ask this! I feel like I am winging it every day. I do have one Golden Rule: Schedule everything! Oh, and To-Do lists! Write it down or you will forget! I am old school so I carry around a notebook.

What do you listen to during the day?

During the day I listen to music. Anything that I can (quietly) sing along to! Good music keeps me motivated and active. Sitting on Zoom all day is tough on your body. The music encourages me to dance in my chair or use my standing desk.

How do you benefit from using a coworking space?

For me, Coworking = Community. Being a member of this Coworking space has given me so many opportunities to meet new people, learn new things, and grow both personally and professionally. Some days it is as easy as poking my head out and asking for support with something, and someone is always ready and willing to share their resources and knowledge. 

Samia and her husband, Lonelle Walker.

What’s in your digital toolbox?

Definitely my Google Calendar! I would be so lost without it! Also, my Roku app because I am constantly losing my TV remote! Other than that, I take many digital breaks throughout the day and hardly use my phone at home.

What inspires you?

My Community inspires me. I feel so lucky to be in this role, to represent my peers, and to share my knowledge and resources with everyone, without any barriers to access. It takes a village and I carry that sentiment with me everywhere.

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