My name is Annette Marquis and I am owner and founder of Marquis Enterprises (ME), LLC. Before you work with someone, it's important to get to know a bit about their background, values, and commitments.
Hopefully, this page will give you a sense of who I am and why I value multicultural work.
Click here for a brief bio and resume
Intercultural competency springs from engaging in multicultural work
The most important ingredient in developing intercultural competency is experience in working on multicultural teams. However, multicultural teams do not typically develop organically. They require intention, invitation, inclusion, and intense introspection. With proper care, they can be the most rewarding and energizing experiences a person can have.
I've had the honor of being a part of, and of helping form teams comprised of people of all ages, sexes, races, ethnicity, sexual orientations, gender identities, classes, and abilities. None of them has been easy. They've each required me to listen deeply, be humble, accept challenges, and, at times, be willing to admit my mistakes. And I wouldn't trade them for anything.
It’s all in a name
Some people have asked why I didn’t name my company Marquis Consulting or something similar. Why Marquis Enterprises? According to Merriam Webster, an enterprise is:
- a project or activity that involves many people and that is often difficult
- the ability or desire to do dangerous or difficult things or to solve problems in new ways
- a business organization
Marquis Enterprises, LLC is dedicated to a vision where every individual is encouraged and supported to be their most creative, powerful self, everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and our social, political, and organizational systems guarantee justice, equity and compassion for all.
This vision requires enterprising people and organizations who are willing to come together to take risks, innovate, and solve problems in fresh, new ways. I invite you to join me in this enterprise..
Who I Am
I am Annette Marquis and I am the founder and owner of Marquis Enterprises, LLC. To build multicultural organizations and communities together, it's important that we come to know each other - the backgrounds, cultures, and experiences that make up who we are, what we value, and what we aspire to. Here's a bit about where I come from and who I am. I hope I get a chance to get to know you, too.
As I child, I grew-up in the BB Gun Capitol of the World, Rogers, Arkansas (as when Ralphie from A Christmas Story said, “I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!), a town that also had the distinction of having the first Wal-Mart store in the world, a phenomenon that has changed everything in immeasurable ways. Growing up in Rogers, I learned a lot about being different. My family and I were Roman Catholic, Republican, Yankees, three identities that didn’t always mesh well with our mostly Baptists, Southern Democrat neighbors. When I came out as a lesbian in 1973, I felt even more removed.
It was when I came to grips with Rogers’ distinction as a sundown town (a town that threatened blacks from staying in town passed sundown) that I vowed to dedicate my life to eliminating racism and oppression. I’m happy to say that Northwest Arkansas has come a long way since my childhood days, both in terms of its acceptance of LGBTQ folks and of people of color, but there is still much work to do to achieve full equality for all people.
In 1995, I co-founded and served as the first president of Allies for Racial Equity, a Unitarian Universalist organization that exists as a response to a request by Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM), a UU People of Color Organization, for a group of white anti-racist allies to serve as partners in the journey of transforming our faith movement and the world. Through this work, I learned that it's up to me, as a white person, to speak out against racism, to challenge racist systems, and address all forms of oppression, wherever they exist.
Because of my experiences in Rogers and elsewhere, I became a student of the Civil Rights Movement and for the last several years, I’ve been part of a team that leads spiritual pilgrimages through Mississippi and Alabama. The mission of the Living Legacy Pilgrimage is to re-imagine social possibility in the world today by experiencing the depth of human spirit in the Civil Rights Movement. The Pilgrimage is some of the most rewarding work I do. I hope you will join me on our next journey.
I am also one of the organizers of the Greater Richmond Pledge to End Racism and co-developer of the Living the Pledge workshop. The Richmond Pledge, based on the Birmingham Pledge, is a personal commitment to work to dismantle racism. Our goal is to create a movement in the Greater Richmond region of people dedicated to this purpose.
I recently retired from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) where I served as LGBTQ and Multicultural Programs Director and District Executive of the Southeast District. In both of those roles, I was able to address my commitment to making real Martin Luther King’s vision of Beloved Community. As a UUA staff member, I had the privilege of working with congregations all around US to help them deepen their understanding and practice of welcoming and inclusion.
I came to the Unitarian Universalist Association after dual careers in non-profit administration and in technology. I have a Master of Social Work degree from Boston University that I applied to a twenty-five year career in chemical dependency treatment and crisis intervention services and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Nonfiction from the Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College (for more about my writing, visit my blog, Marquistory, at annettemarquis.com). As a way to give back to the writing community, I work part-time as the Program Director for James River Writers, an organization dedicated to building community by connecting and inspiring writers and all those in central Virginia with a love for the written word.
When I needed a different challenge in my life after my social work career, I co-founded TRIAD Consulting, LLC, a technology training firm based in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan. Even though I’m no longer a partner in TRIAD, technology remains a passion for me. This sometimes gets me into trouble as I look for technological solutions to problems that might be better solved through relationship building. Finding this balance is one of our greatest challenges of the 21st century.
If you wondering if I’m too intense to have a little fun, I spend my discretionary time (yes, believe it or not, I do have some!) enjoying gardening, watching the birds and butterflies, hiking, photography, kayaking, and women’s basketball (Go Lady Vols!), sometimes alone, but preferably, with my partner and wife, Wendy. We live in Richmond, Virginia.