Melaninated Queen: Habiba Bankston

Habiba Bankston

Habiba Bankston

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Education: Bachelors of Science in Human Ecology (Human Nutrition) with a Minor in Public Health from The Ohio State University

Current Occupation: Senior Community Relations Specialist at L Brands (Parent Company of Victoria’s Secret, PINK, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel)

Other Interests: Columbus Urban League Young Professionals / Create Columbus Commission / Public Speaker for the American Red Cross & American Heart Association

3 Words that Describes You: Leader, Driven, Grateful

People would be surprised if they knew:  People would be surprised to know that I had a stroke at the age of 17 years old.

What is your most rewarding accomplishment? Receiving a full scholarship to the Ohio State University and completing my college degree.

How do you define success? “Legacy” is how I define success. The imprint you leave on the world and the individual lives you touch.

What is your passion / purpose and why?  My passion is to help people through my voice, my time, my talent and my resources and to galvanize and encourage others to give and participate in things and causes that serve and support the greater community. I believe my purpose in life is to share the story of my health challenges, being a stroke survivor and living with sickle cell disease and heart disease.  I am a living example that despite life’s challenges, you can live, thrive, succeed and do anything you put your mind to.

If you could meet anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?  Alive: Michelle Obama & Oprah, because their Boss Women with incredible legacies |  Dead: Wilma Rudolph - She has been my idol since childhood. She suffered from polio as a child, a disease that causes people to be crippled and unable to walk. Despite her health challenges she became an Olympic track and field sprint champion and was acclaimed the fastest women in the world in the 1960’s. Her ability to push through life despite her health struggles and people telling her what she couldn’t do is what has helped me throughout my life.

What is one thing you always wanted to try and never did?  I've always wanted to become an author and write about my life.

What do you like to do for fun?  Fun is simple for me; I enjoy doing things with people that I love.

What was the last book that you read? The One Thing: The Surprisingly Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller

If you could change one world problem, what would it be and why? Access to free and quality healthcare and healthy food. Access and poor health is one of the many causes of poverty. I think changing these two things could positively change the future of our world, but primarily for low income and minority families.

What advice do you have for other Melaninated Queens out there? A woman who walks in purpose doesn’t have to chase people or opportunities. Her light causes people and opportunities to pursue her. Trust your dopeness!