Wake Up to Your Purpose with Kim Carter
We’ve all heard the conversations that, “I was born on the wrong side of the tracks” or “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon” to express hardships, set-ups for failure, and an explanation of the lack of success. And though these are true sentiments, stories as old as time have proven that these cannot and will not stop a determined individual ready to break free. And I know we want to get away from the hardship stories into triumph, but those are still stories that are needed to be told for a generation that is losing hope.
Kim Carter is one story that is worthy to be told, has been told, and should continue to be shared. Affordable Housing Developer, Strategic Planner, Innovator, Motivational Speaker, and Author, Kim is the President & CEO of the Center for Housing Advancement and Motivational Projects (CHAMP) and the Ambassador of the Time for Change Foundation, founded in 2002. And oh does she have a story to share!
Check out the interview below.
Kim Carter, your life is a walking Billboard. Your life is an inspiration for others to change. Parts of your life story were told by Academy Award winners Jennifer Hudson and Taraji P. Henson in Tell It Like A Woman, which was released last year. How did it feel to see your story portrayed by another? And for those who haven’t been introduced to the film, please share a brief synopsis.
First of all, thank you for this opportunity. When we are speaking about, you know, my life and the way it was displayed, in Hollywood, it was just very surreal for me. It was a total blessing. I’m still in awe, still pinching myself. If you can imagine the amazing Taraji P. Henson actually calling me on the phone, “Hey, this is what we want to do”. And the project is bigger than Kim Carter, it’s an international worldwide film. And then she was like, “well, I’m gonna get back with you in a week or so and I’m gonna let you know who we’ve been able to select to come and play you in the movie.” Of course, I’m like, “you’re Cookie, you should be. You know, Cookie, been in jail, I’ve been in jail. You see the similarities, right?” But she said no because she’s on the other side of the camera now. She told me it was her second opportunity to direct. And we had our next call, we were on Zoom and I was sitting there and I looked up and I saw Jennifer come on the line. I was amazed. I was like, help me, Lord. This is surreal. These two brilliant black, top-tier women came together. They treated me like more than the subject. They treated me like family, you know? And I was on set for five to six days straight. And every day was amazing. And I watched Taraji do her thing and I watched Jennifer transcend into my life. I saw her feel my pain. I saw her with the same level of bewilderment. When she got emotional, I got emotional.
The film is amazing! It’s called Tell It Like A Woman. It is actually a product of this group called We Do It Together, which originated in Rome. They decided that women directors across the globe need to be able to elevate themselves to a place where they’re able to tell women’s stories. So these directors go on a journey to find and tell amazing stories and for which my story winds up being one of those stories told. It’s all about women’s empowerment. The rights to the film were bought by Sam Gowin and others so it is currently in the works of distribution. Sophia Carson is on the project as one of the singers for this amazing song.
This film is bigger than me! I believe it is my purpose to lift women up and show them they can be down to zero and come back from that.
That’s quite a journey! Such a beautiful one. Your life turned into a path of advocacy and becoming a businesswoman. You are the President & CEO of the Center for Housing Advancement and Motivational Projects (CHAMP) and the Ambassador of the Time for Change Foundation. With these organizations, what do you bring to the community?
Well, I bring my authentic self because I’ve been where these women have been. I see solutions. God gives me pathways to move forward. Once I lived in the box, I couldn’t get out of it. Once I got out of the box, there was God. From breaking the law to making laws, from homeless to building affordable housing, and more. I do all these things because I’m inspired. I get a vision from God. I get the vision, he gives provision and we move and we move. We move unapologetically.
Move unapologetically! That’s good. I’m going to put that on my board for this year. But how effective has your reach in the community through your advocacy and education been? How does one measure success in this area?
Well, I’ll tell you this. We have been able to pass some key legislation. I think that’s very important. One of the things that we’ve got like 317 children from foster care back with their moms. We’ve challenged court systems that deemed being homeless, as being unfit, which the two do not equate. I’ve been able to build some affordable housing. We’ve been able to stop the discrimination of people because of their past felon convictions by getting employment, getting housing, and getting into education.
That’s admirable. Another way you are shaping and shifting the world is through your book, Waking up to My Purpose. Experiencing homelessness and drug use and much more has no doubt been a tedious journey for you, yet you have overcome it. How did waking up to your purpose look like for you? And what are some of the takeaways you want readers to get from the book?
It took Covid for me to write this book. I never had a vision for the book. I’m good right here with what I do. But I started working with this amazing lady, her name is Carla. And she just was so patient with me. She helped develop my story. And this was no overnight success. It took like 2 years. But Waking Up to My Purpose is that I had to get woke. I had to become woke. Cause I was sleepwalking, I was not aware of what was going on in the environment that I was in. I really blamed myself for a lot of things, thinking that I was making poor choices. But the bottom line is I was in an environment that was producing what I was. And so I started understanding what the ecosystem really means and what it means to live in a community that is resourced versus under-invested.
And so that is where waking up to my purpose really helped me to see. That aha moment. So I started getting a little angry. It was like I was set up. While people were telling us to say no to drugs, your husband was bringing drugs in on planes. The president brought it to the community. Many were put in jail. 33 prisons over 20 years and only one university. That’s how black and brown communities were treated. And all of that started bubbling up in me and I had to say something. Then I realized that I had to be the voice in the room. And I definitely say that to the readers that it’s something that’s gonna inspire you and it is gonna uplift you, but it’s gonna let you know that whatever your story is, that it is not that bad.
And what is one thing you want to leave with the audience today to take with them for this year of 2023?
We are not going back to pre-pandemic conditions. We are not going back to being comfortable. We are not going back to second-class citizens. We are not going back and getting paid less than. We are not going back to that. Let’s go, we move forward. There are things that we gotta do. It’s our time, it’s our season.
Let us know where we can get the book and how we can stay connected.
The beauty of the book is that you can do two things at one time. You get a perfectly good read and you get to support the children here at Time For Change foundation. So go to https://www.timeforchangefoundation.org/ and there you can also stay connected.