Katrina “K C” Dada has learned a few things since becoming a momma less than two years ago. It was my pleasure to speak with her.
Tell me about yourself.
I’m Katrina “K C” Dada, current program director at the Birmingham Education Foundation where we work toward increasing the number of students in Birmingham who graduate college, career and life ready. I grew up on the Southside of Bessemer, Alabama, in the Sloss Village neighborhood. After graduating as valedictorian of the class of 2010 at Bessemer City High School, I continued my education at Tuskegee University where I obtained a B.S. in chemical engineering. Each summer throughout college, I was afforded the opportunity through INROADS to intern with Alabama Power Company’s Environmental Affairs department. After graduating from Tuskegee, I accepted a full-time positon as an environmental compliance engineer. In 2016, I accepted a position with Birmingham Education Foundation as a program specialist. I am currently pursuing my master’s in engineering as a client in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Information Engineering and Management program.
I have been married to David Dada, II for over two years and we have one son, David Dada, III (nicknamed D3) who is 18 months old. Being the best wife and mother I can be are my highest callings after being a Christian.
What do you want your son to learn from your life?
Respect: everyone has the capacity to give it and deserves to receive it. I do my absolute best to not only respect everyone, but, as a young, Black female, there are times where I must demand the respect I deserve. Although I won’t ever do this perfectly, it is my sincere hope that D3 will learn to respect everyone and always stand for what is right. We are all children of God and deserve to be respected as such.
What are the best and worst things about living in Birmingham?
Best: My first thought is that We’ve got some great food here. But one of the best things about living in a city that is native to my husband and less than 20 miles from my hometown is community. We value having our families (biological and church) and friends near. Our circle (what I like to call “Our Little Village”) has proven to be such a critical piece of our lives. We truly appreciate the privilege of having such amazing friends and family supporting our lives.
Worst: There aren’t a lot of severely bad things about Birmingham. Most of the things that come to mind are historical. We have come a long way, but Birmingham still has some residue from its racial past. This inevitably affects many facets of life for everyone living and doing business in the city.
What is your proudest mom moment?
Oh my! I don’t think I can nail down just one, but I’ll try. D3 is 18 months, so his vocabulary is expanding daily. But I remember the feeling when he mumbled the words thank you. It seems small, but the fact that my son, less than one year at the time, displayed a sense of gratitude is huge to me. I believe this is the start of D3’s thankfulness for God’s creation, Jesus’s sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit. Beyond that, it’s nice to hear thank you every time I pour him a cup of milk or offer him an animal cracker. Thank you is now one of the most fluid phrases D3 speaks, and I surely hope that doesn’t change as he grows.
What is your proudest wife moment?
I was blessed enough to marry a walking dictionary or encyclopedia. (I feel like I know everything because he’s always a text/call away.) My husband loves to read and has a unique talent for retaining information forever. Because of this, David was inspired to research the parallels of Birmingham and Chicago’s Woodlawn communities, which led to the Woodlawn Project. My husband overcame the many challenges that came throughout the planning for the Woodlawn Project and invited Woodlawn High School students to not only examine the similarities and histories of the two communities. He was able to afford those students the opportunity to visit the Woodlawn community in Chicago. I’m so proud of his success. I still smile from ear-to-ear when people bring up the Woodlawn Project, because I know all of the work David put into it.
What advice do you have for women juggling raising a toddler with building a career?
Girl, listen. Take this from the mommy who’s currently operationalizing this very point: you’ve got to work on this thing called self-prioritization. With competing obligations, it will get hard to prioritize YOU. Between monitoring a toddler who you swear might burn the house down if you take your eyes off of him for two seconds, a husband who deserves all of the love and affection you have to give, a job that you want to keep, and the laundry list of things people will swear can’t happen without you, you will have to set some priorities. And it’s not easy! Someone very wise once told me, “If everything is a priority, nothing is.” You should always be number two on your list, coming second only to the Heavenly Father himself. Your husband and child(ren) are close third and fourth. There will be days where saying “no” to someone’s request will be hard but… do it! You will reflect on that “no” and appreciate the courage and confidence displayed in your decision.
What’s next for Katrina “K C” Dada?
That’s top secret! Just kidding. I am currently a client in University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Information Engineering and Management program. Eventually, I seek to continue my engineering career, but I truly enjoy the impact we are able to make through our programs at Birmingham Education Foundation. So stay tuned… we may have at least one more addition to the Dada family, but only time will tell.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Well, since you asked, I’d like to think I’m a “Jane of All Trades” of sorts. I am also a Shipt shopper and Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant, and I dabble in hair styling, cooking, and motivational speaking upon request.