Ginny Underwood is a member of the Comanche/Kiowa tribe and mother of two. After living in Nashville for 17 years and giving birth to her daughters, she and husband John, a Seminole, made the decision to move back to Oklahoma five years ago. “We wanted to the kids could be around family and participate in cultural experiences,” she explains. “Being in Oklahoma, with our families and Native communities allows my children access to great role models, connection to things beyond themselves and an understanding of who they are as tribal people.”
Her daughters (Avery, 13 and Alyssa, 9) are enrolled members of the Comanche Nation but also have lineage in the Seminole and Kiowa tribes. “We want them to be proud of who they are and to feel a sense of connection that will shape their decisions in life,” Underwood explains.
In addition to exposing her children to their Native American heritage, Ginny’s other priority is to use her work as a communications consultant to help non-profits and other local community organizations. “I try to use my skills to help non-profits make a difference in the world,” she explains.
Here’s more on how this 40-year-old mom from Yukon enjoys the freedom of her flexible schedule, sappy romance novels and being a strong female role model for other Native American women and children:
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I have traveled extensively across Africa setting up communication centers to help indigenous people tell their own stories through the United Methodist Church.
What are you passionate about?
Using technology to give voice to the voiceless. Technology no longer requires groups to have huge budgets to share their information.
How has motherhood changed you?
It has taught me to love unconditionally.
How do you banish stress?
I read romance novels that have no redeeming quality whatsoever.
What inspires you?
People who take risks, fail and get back up again.
Along with your job as a mom, what do you do?
I am a communications consultant. I work with non-profits to develop and implement strategic communications plans. This includes strategies for sharing information using new media, script writing, press releases, web design, public relations and training. I really enjoy working with organizations that are small in nature but have big impact.
What do you like most about your job?
I like to be able to choose with whom I work and the projects I work on. I also like the flexibility that allows me to be there for my kids.
What is on your wish list?
1. World peace.
2. A new iPad
What motivates you?
I have had the privilege to see and be around strong female leaders. I want to be that for other Native women and children.
How do you find balance in your life?
I try to make good choices for myself and my family.
Advice for other moms?
Love whole-heartedly, every day, and praise your children often.
Where are you from originally?
I’m from Oklahoma but worked in Nashville for 17 years. We came back to be closer to family and our tribal people.
What’s the biggest challenge in your life?
Managing my own consultancy is challenging, but very rewarding.
What is your parenting style?
I’m relaxed and trusting, but very clear about expectations.
Favorite quote or advice about motherhood?
“Being powerful and doing powerful things are not the same. Do powerful things.” I believe influencing future generations is pretty powerful.
Quick Facts About Ginny:
- What are five words that describe you? Strong, creative, original, driven, loving.
- What’s your favorite indulgence? Long lunches.
- What’s on your playlist? Adele, Sheryl Crow, One Direction.
- What’s your favorite TV show? Modern Family.
- What’s always in your handbag? Chapstick and my wallet.
Brooke Barnett is the Assistant Editor of MetroFamily Magazine.