Educator, Podcaster, and Humanitarian, Christine Reidhead, is an Assistant Professor and the Founder and CEO of the Nonprofit Organization, AfrikRising. We asked Christine to comment on the current situation about COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation. And, took a chance to talk about a few exciting happenings, like her, #1 Best Seller, "GET THAT JOB!”, her recent award, “10 Best CEOs to Watch 2020”, podcasting and much more in our exclusive interview.
EW: Hi Christine, you live in the heart of the Navajo Nation, with the COVID-19 outbreak, where it is the highest affected area per capita. How are you coping with these challenges?
CR: We have 500 people that have tested positive for the coronavirus, in our small town of Crownpoint, NM, so it’s pretty scary. I’m just trying to stay home as much as possible. I love to work, so I’ll work just as hard at home as I would at work. Many of my students have had family members who have died from this coronavirus. It’s really sad. We are losing some good, good people.
EW: Oh, that sounds pretty tough! Are there enough medical supplies at the hospitals? I hope everyone can get proper assistance.
CR: They are working on it. Hopefully, as time passes, the State of New Mexico and the Navajo Tribe, get more assistance from the federal government. There are not a lot of hospitals in and around the Navajo Nation, so that is a challenge. But the Navajo people are resilient and they will overcome this challenge facing their people. I couldn’t be more proud to have the opportunity to live and learn more about their tradition and culture. They are a misunderstood people and I wish they would get more respect.
EW: You and your sons made masks for the people on the Navajo Nation. As you mentioned, this area has really been hit by the coronavirus. Tell us a little more about that experience.
CR: As COVID-19 began spreading on the Navajo Nation, it got me very worried about the people, especially the elders. Nationally, the masks were sold out in stores. It got me thinking, and guess who I thought of? My mother! My mother is a quilter, so she donated a lot of fabric to allow us to sew these masks. We ended up making over 500 masks to give away. It was challenging, but a great experience.
EW: We can’t but mention you being one of the “10 Best CEOs to Watch 2020”! Wow! Can you tell us a little bit about that accomplishment?
CR: Yes, it was a great honor to be one of the “10 Best CEOs to Watch in 2020”. As for the non-profit, I feel blessed to be a part of AfrikRising. We are simply out there trying to help lift the burdens of others. There is always someone out there who is struggling, and can be helped. That’s what life is all about, serving and that’s what we do at AfrikRising. We can’t reach everyone, but we try to do the best we can.
EW: Your nonprofit, AfrikRising, is really doing some good things in Africa, especially during the coronavirus pandemic! Can you tell us about your recent projects you’ve completed?
CR: We just completed Project Face Mask. On our AfrikRising Board, we have a fashion designer, Emmanuel Aluka. He made 150 masks that were taken to a hospital and police station in Lagos, Nigeria. He said when he was handing out the masks, he got mauled by people that were so excited! These COVID-19 times are scary, and we need to make sure we are thinking about those who are affected by this virus no matter where they live.
Read the full interview in "Eurowoman" June