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Graphic: Maybeth Peralta/AL DÍA News.
Graphic: Maybeth Peralta/AL DÍA News.

2021 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty Honoree: Sakeenah Benjamin

At the upcoming AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event on Aug. 27, Sakeenah Benjamin will be one of the 40 honorees.

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The second annual AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event will serve to highlight and showcase some of the most diverse and impactful young professionals across the Philadelphia region.

At the event, taking place on August 27, 2021, Sakeenah Benjamin will be one of the 40 honorees. She is the community affairs specialist at Campbell Soup Co.

Biography

Benjamin is born and raised in West Philadelphia and according to her bio on Billy Penn, is the part of the city she holds most dear to her heart. 

She is a 2011 graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls and from there, went on to Clark Atlanta University for a degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies. Benjamin followed up undergrad with a Master’s degree in Journalism from Hofstra University.

Professionally, Benjamin got her feet wet as an intern at CNN, working on the show New Day with Chris Cuomo Alysin Camerota and Michaela Pereira. She came back to Philly in 2016 and rose in the ranks at Radio One before hopping ship to be Billy Penn’s audience coordinator and then WHYY’s public information coordinator for three years.

She is also a member of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists and won an award from the Nancy Bacher Long PR Institute in 2019 as part of the Public Relations Society Philly Chapter.

Benjamin is now the community affairs specialist at Campbell Soup Co.

Here are Sakeenah Benjamin's responses: 
 
1.What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your professional career?

The biggest challenge I’ve faced in my professional career has to be my imposter syndrome. I think it’s something we all fight with constantly, but having a great support system and trusting that I can go above and beyond keeps me grounded and on track. I also can’t forget to give myself credit and remember all of the accomplishments I’ve had over the years. 

2. What steps can be taken to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in your industry? Why is it important to do so?

Going into areas of recruitment and training will help to improve DEI in my industry. Many companies have set bias that will unfortunately hold them back from improvement. It’s important to shake things up, make people feel uncomfortable and most of all change. I think of my position at Campbell Soup Co., and the amazing steps they are taking to improve DEI for now and future employees. I not only see women but people of color in positions that are fueling respective industries just absolutely breaking barriers and changing the game. 

3. What does being a leader mean to you?

When I think of a leader, I think of a person who is at the forefront of a team and leading them into success — no matter what obstacles or challenges they face. I think of a young man and business owner who was killed in July, Sircarr Johnson Jr. —he embodied what it meant to be a strong leader. Though, there are moments when a leader may fail — the importance is having a strong and dependent team to pick you up and keep going. 

4. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I guess this question isn't too difficult to answer now! By 2026, I'd like to be in a executive leadership role, working to continue to bridge the gap between corporate, non-profits and communities near and far. I want to fuel communities with everything from health to learning to employment opportunities. Making sure that people who look like me are in positions of power will be one of my future goals I look to tackling. As of right now, I believe I’m on track to my 2026 goal. 

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