Valerie Warner (Photo courtesy of Valerie Warner)
Valerie Warner is the Emmy Award-winning host of “Windy City LIVE,” ABC 7 Chicago’s popular afternoon talk and entertainment show. She also contributes to ABC 7 Chicago programming efforts and has served as co-host of ABC 7’s Chicago Lights Festival and the annual Bud Billiken Parade. In addition to her on-air work, Warner volunteers with numerous Chicago-area charitable organizations, including The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Chicago Bulls Charities, and the South Suburban Family Shelter.
As a Black woman, what do you consider your superpowers to be?
Coming from a long lineage of strong Black women, I have inherited the powers of optimism, discernment, determination and the ability to face and conquer obstacles with charm, wit and perseverance. Did I mention I am the queen of multitasking, a power requisite for single working moms?
What key skills or qualities make you unique as an African American female leader?
In my line of work, communication is key. Compassionate communication is even better. I have to be able to not only ask the difficult questions, but it is [also] imperative for me to listen to my interviewee in order to further the conversation with ease and comfort.
What thoughtful piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to not sweat the small stuff and to always follow your dreams and your gut. I would tell her to never second guess, but to always step out on faith.
Why is it important for women of color to work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?
When women of color lead, the world is a better place for it. Our lens, forged by a particular and peculiar history, allows us to see what others cannot.