A Creative Reaction to Social Injustice

October 10, 2018

Antionette Carroll, Founder, President and CEO, of Create Reaction Lab, speaks to a CMC student.

It is said that our weaknesses are our greatest strengths. The Kravis Lab for Social Impact invited Antoinette Carroll to speak to our community about being a social entrepreneur, including all the challenges, successes, and failures she has faced in her career. From a career in marketing to moving into the nonprofit sector, Antoinette has been able to turn her disadvantages into opportunities for herself and others. Her organization, Creative Reaction Lab, is centered around Racial Equity by Design. During this Dinner with World Changers with Antoinette, held on Oct. 4, 2018, students were able to have an intimate discussion and ask questions about a variety of subjects.

The inspiration for Creative Reaction Lab came from Antoinette’s background and upbringing. She shared her personal story of growing up in poverty as a black woman. Given these factors that she could not control, she recognized that she did not have access to the same resources that others have readily available. Luckily, her grandmother showed her that you don’t have to be a product of your surroundings. At the end, Antoinette made a comment that I believe to be very important. She mentioned that all she cared about was the quality of a person’s heart over their intellect or anything else. This is a belief that she instills onto her kids, which I believe is an important thing for a parent to share.

A student asked Antoinette what she thought was the most pressing social issue that we face today. Her response was mainly centered around debunking the belief that there is a hierarchy of injustice. All injustice is equally as important, so there should not be a competition to determine what issue is the most important. That being said, she believes that racial inequality and systems that perpetuate racial inequality are very prevalent today. That is why she focused her energy on combating this issue specifically.

I believe the work that Antoinette does is extremely important in our day in age. Being of Latinx decent, I can easily recognize the need for social entrepreneurs in our community. Ideally, communities would not have to rely on the help of outside sources, instead they would foster their own stream of innovators who can give back to the community. However, this is a very difficult task which communities such as the black and Latinx communities may not have the means to achieve immediately. I am excited to hear the ideas that Antoinette has to share with us about how she has been able to help her community and aid in the development of future generations of social entrepreneurs.

Written by Lesley Chavarria ‘22