By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
WILLIAMSTOWN â€“ Gina Burton does her homework and when the health care executive was approached about joining the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc. Southern New Jersey Chapter, she did just that.
Burton, who has been a member of the organization for seven years and is now president, said she was looking to make an impact in her community and the group has allowed her to do just that.
“I decided to get involved during a period when black women made up approximately 13 percent of the female population in the United States and were making strides in health, education and economic empowerment, but still had a long way to go to fully close the racial and ethnic disparities faced,” Burton told Front Runner New Jersey.com.
“One of my mentors was on the board of directors of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. and she introduced me to the organization. I attended several meetings and realized that this organization has a mission and vision that is centered around advocating for black women and girls in the areas that was negatively impacting our communities. I did my research into the organization and found that the organization promotes action through true advocacy which is intended to result in large scale impact such as equal pay for equal work for women,” she added.
The Power of Advocacy
Burton, who is an associate vice president at Bancroft, said the NCBWSNJ has used the power of advocacy to create change.
“Truly, I have a heart for leadership, especially as it pertains to assisting black women and girls reach their full potential,” Burton said. “I marvel at all of the programs that the Southern New Jersey Chapter bring to the communities on a local level, a national level and how they align with my beliefs. All of these factors made it easy for me to join in and make a difference in the world.”
Burton said because of the highly politicized atmosphere of today, National Coalition of 100 Black Women and similar organizations play an important role in influencing political, economic, social and institutional decisions for those who can’t or won’t exercise their voice.
“We stand on the shoulders of a long line of resourceful and resilient black women and now we prepare the next generation to take on the mantle with their own kind of activism,” Burton said. “All of our programs are significant and purposeful. However, the one that stands out for me is Candace.
“The National Coalition of 100 Black Women bestows its Candace Women of Achievement Awards to women of minority descent that have made valuable contributions to their communities. Many of the ladies honored are beacons of light who reflect truth in their field of passion. Each women selected inspires the world by giving voice to Black women’s triumphs and tribulations and a story that promotes change and success,” she continued.
The Candace Awards
Burton said that Candace is the symbol of the National 100 Black Women. Candaces were queens of Ethiopia around the time of Christ.
“Candace is the name of a dynasty given to several successive queens,” Burton said. “Candace was the first women to ever rule a country without interruption for seven hundred years. One of the most remarkable Candaces of Ethiopia reigned during the era of Alexander the Great.
“In addition to carrying the title of ‘Queen,’ she also commanded the Ethiopian army several times, and led the army into decisive battle. Since 1982 the National Organization has been honoring Women of Excellence with the Candace Women of Achievement Award. This program is certainly prestigious and held in highest regard,” she said.
Burton has received a Candace Award from the NCBWSNJ along with Phenomenal Woman of Courage Award from the Gloucester County NAACP. The NAACP award was given for her commitment in advancing women’s issues, her creativity, insight and inspiration of hope. She also has been recognized by proclamations from city and state officials.
Recognize Leader in Medical Field
She is recognized leader in the medical field with her position with Bancroft, which provides opportunities to children and adults with diverse challenges to maximize their potential. Burton also serves president of the board for Family Care Connections, LLC, a premier Christian Mental Health Agency in Woodbury. She is an active member of the steering committee for the 21st Century Scholars Program at Camden County College.
A member of St. Matthew’s Baptist Church, she earned her bachelor’s in finance and her MBA in business administration from LaSalle University. Burton also received an MBA in pastoral counseling from Cairns University along with a leadership certificate under John Maxwell.
“I am passionate about helping people and making a difference in their lives,” Burton said. “I believe working in health care is one of the most rewarding career choices there is. The field is exciting, ever-changing, and dramatic in nature. It’s also fast-paced and filled with challenges. You’ll never experience the same day twice. In my current position, I report to, consult with, coordinate with, and assist the CFO to provide coordination, support, and oversight to all aspects of the revenue cycle throughout the organization.”
Burton said that she finds role modeling for young African-American women is important and something she embraces in assisting the upcoming generation.
“I strive to be a lady who is willing to both teach and coach women towards a desired outcome,” Burton said. “I strive to be a worthy example by being available, sharing proven experiences, armed with possession of wisdom, discernment, and true friendship while lending support. All aspects of me are carried out with integrity.”
Education, Inspirations & Future
Burton, who has been married to her husband John for 37 years, share several other topics with Front Runner New Jersey.com.
FRNJ: Why has education been so important for you?
Gina Burton: I am a strong proponent for higher education. The pipeline to womenâ€™s economic empowerment starts by ensuring access to quality education for girls. Better educated women not only secure brighter futures for themselves and they can also lift entire households out of poverty.
FRNJ: Who are some of your personal inspirations and why?
Gina Burton: My grandmother, mother and aunts showed me love with all of her heart, understood me and nurtured me. My grandfather was the first entrepreneur, politician and news broadcaster that I knew. He taught and showed me what to do and what not today in business, during a time of major racial discrimination and disparities. My sixth grade teacher who encouraged me to lead and my mentors who poured into me as I poured into others through life’s journey; they know who you are. A boss who saw me for who I am and not by the color of my skin and allowed me to lead in a meaningful way and encouraged me to take on bigger challenges.
FRNJ: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Gina Burton: I am working towards and very close to the opening of my personal and executive coaching business. I plan to arrive at this destined place after completing a few more projects. Stay tuned!
Photo courtesy of Gina Burton
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