Today we’d like to introduce you to Deidra R. Moore-Janvier, Esq.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
As an African American mother, wife, and advocate for change, Deidra set out on a journey in 2020 to teach young minds “the value in investing in themselves and in learning about their history.”
Deidra is no stranger to self-investment. In 1996, as a single mother, she quit her full-time job, as a commercial real estate paralegal, to attend law school. In 1999, upon graduating from the City University of New York School of Law (aka: CUNY School of Law), Deidra worked as a public defender with The Legal Aid Society in Bronx, New York. In 2004, she established the Law Offices of Deidra R. Moore, P.C. Having practiced law, in New York, for more than 20 years, Deidra advises and litigates on all aspects of Matrimonial Law, Guardianship matters, Trusts and Estates Law, Elder Law and Wrongful Death cases. Her work is deeply informed by her personal and professional experiences.
In June, 2022, Deidra authored, From Me, To You: The Power of Storytelling and its Inherent Generational Wealth – An African American Story.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
The challenges I have overcome, make me the person I am today. During my childhood I was surrounded by people whom were trying to survive, but due to the root causes of racism, they were drowning in the symptoms of all the gaps and disparities — created and embedded into almost every facet of what it takes to survive in America, i.e., the wealth-income-healthcare-housing and education GAPS. Unfortunately, not many people understand how “drowning in the symptoms” of the ‘root causes of racism’ manifests itself within poor communities and creates family dynamics which challenge the ideal family structure where unconditional love, unwavering support, being nurturing, loving, caring, comes easy and with no penalty. Hence my self-proclaimed label of being “an only child with siblings!”
Other challenges overcome surround how I became an attorney – against all odds. Prior to attending law school, I worked as a paralegal with a company named TIAA-CREF. I was a single mother to my daughter. I had no monetary wealth, no financial support, and very little emotional support, except from my maternal grandmother. After 9 years of full-time employment, I quit my job to attend law school. While working three part-time jobs in NYC, I attended law school in Queens County, and then returned home and continue meeting the demands of being a single mother. Although I cried many nights, I was able to set goals, manage distractions and kept my “eyes on the prize.” I graduated law school in the requisite three year period.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
Inspired by my then 8 year old son, who in 2019 visited a nursing home, in New York, and had the occasion to engage a Holocaust survivor – which led to my son and his 8 year old peer walking back to the school bus discussing what their families told them about the Holocaust and slavery — From Me, To You: The Power of Storytelling and its Inherent Generational Wealth!, was birthed. It surrounds that important question my son asked me “So mom, what’s slavery really about?”
Through stories about family, faith and the power of multigenerational unity, From Me, To You explores the legacy of slavery in America from the viewpoint of enslaved Africans and their descendants. My hopes is to show that African American history is American history, and that these two concepts rely on each other for posterity.
I find myself on a mission – talking to whomever would listen about — the importance of pouring into our youth, especially our black and brown children – and teaching them “the value of investing in themselves and in learning about their history – specifically, the stories of their ancestors!”
In September, 2022 From Me, To You, made its debut as a resource in independent schools, in New York State. Moreover, in October, 2022, after an extensive vetting and selection process, From Me, To You, is now on bookshelves throughout the New York Public Library(ies).
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
For adults, I recommend going on a journey to: “Find your V.I.P. Status – meaning your Voice, Identity and Purpose, and don’t be afraid to use it for the betterment of yourself and others! –because without it, one is destined to stay in toxic spaces and places where your worth is not valued. Once you find yourself, you will be free physically, mentally and emotionally — and success will derive from anything that you put your mind to.
For younger generations, I say: Remember that — Each of you hold the same potential, the same character traits, and the same leadership capabilities that our ancestors held – when they sacrificed their blood, sweat, tears and lives lost — as they made a difference in the WORLD.
You have what you need – those innate capabilities – courage, optimism, resilience, strength, perseverance, determination, and other character traits – lean into them!
Remember that: In order to get from point A to point B, and ultimately leading you to whatever it is that you want to do and be in this life – know that, you have to be willing to do the work and be willing to do the work — as therein will lie your success.
Lastly, I would recommend that one learn to embrace any mistakes made along the way; and to be unapologetically imperfect — therein lies the opportunity to grow, have fun and become truly successful, in life.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
The word success, to me, encompasses a range of meanings: it has a physical, mental and emotional meaning unique to each person. Each of which requires an element of sacrifice, dedication and discipline in order to stay the course of whatever your goals and dreams are, no matter how big or small. Success to me involves — setting goals for oneself, being willing to impart sacrifice, dedication and discipline towards achieving those goals; but more importantly, it involves developing tools which would not allow distractions, in its varied forms, to discourage, derail and/or deter your journey to fulfilling your goals and dreams.
What’s next for you?
What’s next for me varies. I can range from my continuing to pursue a judgeship in the state of New York, to my writing a novel sharing my journey which encompasses my personal and professional life from the classroom to the boardroom. But for now, I will continue speaking, writing and creating a guide, or tools, if you will, that serves to shape/mold the identity and self-worth of our youth, especially our black and brown children – so that as they grow older and learn how to “think and process” info for themselves, they will do so with minimum distractions from those who are intent on creating, maintaining and sustaining an “oppressive mindset,” upon our youth!
Well, also, in an effort to preserve the stories of our ancestors, I created The Civil Rights Movement- A Coloring and Activity Book – featuring – some Phenomenal People with Phenomenal Stories, along with an associated book, titled: Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement – featuring Phenomenal People with Phenomenal Stories.
Both the coloring and activity book and the associated book are books for our generation to keep our stories alive and relevant for our children.
As quoted by William Sawyers — I’m “Daring to make a difference in today’s youth – one page at a time!”
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
People can connect with me by visiting my website: www.DeidraMoore.com; they can find me on: LinkedIn: Deidra Moore-Janvier; Instagram: DMoore2253, Facebook (business): DMJ-Voice, Identity and Purpose.