By Patrice Rivers@thatriverzgurlbrandllc
Ayana Bean, born and raised in Boston, MA, is an activist, speaker, and advocate for at-risk women. She is a member of several organizations that have an agenda to end mass incarceration by pushing for prison reform. As a former financial aid adviser, music industry event curator, and consultant, Bean is no stranger to the rhythm of life’s highs and lows. From being an entrepreneur to making unlawful decisions which resulted in her being sentenced to prison for financial fraud. Released from prison in 2014 she began her road to redemption. Ms. Bean is featured in the BET American Gangster (Trap Queens) series Part 2, Episode 7.
Patrice: How are you using your voice to make a difference in your community?
Ayana: I’m using my knowledge and experience of overcoming struggles and challenges to inspire and encourage others who feel hopeless, that there will be a way out.
Patrice: As an entrepreneur who is trying to make it and create opportunities, what goals do you have for 2021?
Ayana: 2021 is the year of leveling up! Being fearless with taking steps to not only reach goals but to surpass them and shock me.
Patrice: Congrats on your big accomplishment for being able to tell your story on BET’s American Gangster Trap Queen! What message do you want people to get by watching your story?
Ayana: The biggest message I would have for viewers is that this is a cautionary tale of what not to do. Sharing my story of pain was not to gain fame or notoriety but a cautionary tale to reach and teach those who may be in similar stages of life.
Patrice: Tell the readers about your debut book and when can we expect the book to release?
Ayana: Yes! “A Year and A Day” is my author debut and I’m super excited about it. It is a big deal for me to complete something I have started and this is an accomplishment for a procrastinator like me. This book will give more of who Ayana Bean is, more than the chapter in my life featured on American Gangster.
Patrice: What do you want readers to take away by reading your book?
Ayana: Readers should take away that life is fair as we all face challenges and none greater or less than. This keeps us connected and able to empathize with each other.
Patrice: What advice could you give people who have a story or a business but are voiceless? How would you encourage them to have a voice?
Ayana: I encourage everyone to use the power to choose themselves. Say it loud to yourself and then for the rest of the world to hear. Give yourselves a chance and you will see great reward.
Patrice: How are you making power moves?
Ayana: I’m building, planning, educating myself, keeping an open mind, and continuing to learn myself as to where I stand today.
Patrice: Are you planning on making more television appearances?