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April 16, 2018
Female Influencers Spring 2018: LaToya Myers
LaToya Myers’ story reminds us of the deep gratitude we owe to previous generations of strong women—and of the responsibility all women have to carry this legacy forward. Myers’ grandmother, Ophelia Bass, arrived in Kennett Square in the 1950s. She worked hard, raised seven children, and started the free summer meal program that Myers’ mother, Theresa Bass, and the Carter Community Development Corporation still offer on East Linden Street. Due to the powerful and positive role her family and others have played, a strong and vibrant Black community extends across southern Chester County today. Barriers between police and community have been broken, street dealing has been dislodged, good intercultural relations are now the norm, and the sense of isolation has been broken. “I’m proud that my family has played a powerfully positive role in the Black community, and in the broader White and Latino world as well,” Myers says. “We’re all in this together.”
Myers has taken up this torch passed on to her by her mother and grandmother. As President of the Borough Council, Myers is focused on ensuring open, responsive, and inclusive government and on working towards a unified and diverse community. In her career as a public health advocate, she’s dedicated to improving the health of vulnerable people, and particularly to improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes. She brings her education (she holds a Master of Public Health degree) and professional expertise to both of these roles. But she also brings her experiences as a woman of color who has faced similar obstacles and who understands the difficulties that those who have the least in our society face. “When we all find common cause and work towards a unified, inclusive, diverse community, people can build rich lives,” she says, “and I want to do my part in that movement.”
Myers’ dream of women and men of many backgrounds and ages building our flourishing community together will be realized in part as we invest in people, including many young Black and Latina women, “who see things from a fresh perspective and are driven to make positive change.” We need to make a place where girls and young women feel they can take on the world, she says. “The work of making sure others get where they want to go as well is perhaps the most important thing we as a community can do.”