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Meet Lashinda Stair, one of our 2019 Role Models. Lashinda is the First Assistant Chief of Police for the Detroit Police Department (DPD), the first member of the DPD to ever be appointed to this rank. During her 23 year career in the DPD, she has also held the ranks of Police Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Inspector and Deputy Chief. Lashinda is currently enrolled in the MBA Program at Wayne State University, and holds Master’s and Bachelor degrees from Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State University. She is being recognized for her outstanding professional accomplishments and demonstrated leadership throughout her career at this year’s Role Model Dinner.
Here are some clips from her recent conversation with AFG.
Alternatives For Girls (AFG): For many of the women we serve, AFG provides a support system to help them make positive choices. Was there anyone in your life or career who has helped guide you in making important decisions?
Lashinda Stair: The women in my family, and some of the men in my family, too. As well as one of my earliest mentors in the department, who is the retired Assistant Chief. I knew him when I was in high school at Cass Tech. He always looked out for me, and when I wanted to go into a different unit, which would have made me work nights and be in court a lot, he called me down to his office and said “If you have time to do this job, you have time to go back to school in finish your degree.” He was right, and I did go back and get my degree!
AFG: Clearly, you have felt inspired to give back to the community. Is there any part of your personal story that has led to this?
Stair: I’m from Chicago and had a very young mom. She had this incredible work ethic and always made sure to put her children first. So even though she was a teenage mother, she did what she could to put us first. But I know that not all young moms have the resources to do that. As a mom of a 15 year old, it’s easy for me to see the haves and have nots and look at the environments that these young people are in and know that things are not even. That inspires me to give back, because a lot of people don’t know what they can do unless they see it in someone else.
AFG: Who are your role models?
Stair: There are so many! It may sound crazy, but Michelle Obama. I’m looking at a picture of us together right now. What an incredible story, which is similar to mine. Coming from humble beginnings, making sure she stayed in school. And then marrying someone phenomenal, supporting him but still doing her own thing, and serving our nation and inspiring others to do what they need to do. I would certainly consider her a role model.
AFG: Which of your accomplishments are you the proudest of?
Stair: My children. I have a son who’s a freshmen in high school, and a daughter who’s a sophomore. Watching them grow up makes me reflect back on my own childhood. The life that my daughter lives I didn’t even know existed. I’m also proud of my relationship with people. That’s how I get my work done day to day. And the people around me are amazing!
AFG: What advice would you give to the young women that AFG serves?
Stair: I would say always know that where you started does not define where you’ll end up.
AFG: Why do you believe that it is important to empower girls and young women?
Stair: I think it’s important because girls and young women, we really rule the world and everything around us. And all of us are more alike than we are different. Often times we don’t know it. And we’re all capable of doing amazing things. It’s important to reinforce that so we can continue to prosper as a city, a region, and all over the world.
The 2019 Role Model Dinner will be held on Wednesday, March 27th at MGM Grand Detroit. Click here to learn more or to purchase a ticket.