Dawn Simmons

Dawn Simmons

Finding A Passion in Fighting for A Cause

Ep. 38 - In this episode of Trailblazers Impact Podcast, Dee Dee Strum talks to Dawn Simmons as she shares her inspiring career journey and advice she has for other women. She is passionate about stopping mass incarcerations! Dawn Simmons is a Renaissance woman: a Wall Street breakthrough woman, author/publisher, civil rights advocate, community volunteer, civic leader, cape-wearing-criminal-justice-reform-crusader, former candidate for political office, volunteer with Habitat for Humanity International, global citizen; graduate of USC with two master's degrees and a working mom. Dawn Simmons shares her journey as a former math teacher, flight attendant, along with the lessons-learned as a Black woman working on Wall Street and joining with other women to crack that Glass Ceiling. She shares her advice on the "little things" that can help a woman with aspirations to join and succeed in a Wall Street firm and the early start of her journey to add her voice with others to reform America's criminal justice system; a system that provides un-equal Justice when it comes to men of color and Black Lives Matter and a conversation and agenda that has become central to the current campaigns of every candidate for U.S. President.

“If you’re passionate about something, do it, but always have a backup plan to keep the money coming”

She describes her childhood in detail and how it shaped her to become the woman she prides herself of being today. She also shares why she wrote a book touching on mass incarceration and how she is hoping it’s going to bring in the much-needed change among young men of today.

Dawn Simmons talks about the value of international travel and exposure to other cultures as a key influence on finding one's sense-of-self.

Listen in to learn the experiences and challenges of a woman of color choosing a career in Wallstreet. You will also learn some tips from Dawn on what a 21st-century woman should prioritize in her life.

Top Takeaways:

  • Learn how an inspiring childhood can help a child to be an impactful adult
  • Understanding a career on Wallstreet as a woman of color
  • The importance of reducing the impact of mass incarceration
  • Some tips for anyone planning to run for a political office
  • The ability to travel, live, and experience life in different parts of the country or the world at large
  • The power of having a secure retirement fund

Key Moments:

  • Dawn talks about her childhood and how her parents inspired her to be the woman she is [1:34]
  • She describes how a young girl with a love for working with people transitioned into a social activist who helps young men stay out of prison [4:38]
  • How is a career on Wallstreet like, especially for a black woman? And some suggestions for a woman who would like to get into Wallstreet [7:03]
  • Dawn talks about working with prisoners and how the idea of writing her book ‘letters to our sons’ came about- and the purpose of writing it [11:27]
  • Dawn tells stories of people who were incarcerated for shorter periods that later turned into longer periods [18:20]
  • Why did Dawn go for a political office? Some tips for anyone wanting to run for office [20:27]
  • Would she consider running for a political office in the future? [25:04]
  • What is her experience living in both New York and California? [26:09]
  • Dawn shares her experience living in Africa and her ability to adapt to that lifestyle [27:24]
  • What advice would she give to the 21st-century woman who hasn’t found herself? [30:03]
  • Dawn’s advice to a black woman who needs security to supplement her retirement fund while she still enjoys what she likes to do [34:34]
  • Advice to an unprepared retiring woman [37:17]



Dawn Simmons’ Book: Letters to Our Sons

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