Troya Bishop is regarded as a fierce fighter and advocate for social justice. With over 25 years of experience in advocacy/non-violent protests and a strong background in long-term strategic planning, Troya is considered an expert in social justice causes.
She has held various leadership roles, as she continued to acquire more skills to become the best person, and leader possible. Troya served as a Leadership Commissioner and Crisis Committee Chairperson in Rev. Al Sharpton’s Atlanta office of National Action Network (2008-2012). Under the leadership of Rev. Sharpton, Troya was a key liaison in hundreds of cases regarding human rights violations. The most notable was Troy Davis. Although she was key in the mobilization effort to stop Troy’s death and coordinate rallies and protests, she often speaks of the horror she felt after being at the prison with Troy’s family when he was executed.
As a believer in the nonviolent approach to advocacy, she identifies with the philosophies of Dr. King and Mahatma Gandhi. Non-violent activism was a key approach to social change that she learned while earning her B.S. in Communications from Howard University. While completing her M. Ed. at Tennessee State University, her research was comprised of effective strategies for working with children with behavior disorders. She is a Doctor of Education Candidate and presented her academic research on transformational learning at the International Research Conference at Mt. Calgary University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 2019. Her commitment to teaching adults to become advocates, lead her to start her own non-profit organization, Parental Empowerment Institute (PEI) in 2012, where she now serves as the Executive Director.
During President Obama’s leadership, Troya was invited with PEI to visit the White House (2016) and participate in the, My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, for young men of color. Nominated by community members, Troya was invited to the White House a second time in 2016 and was nominated as a “Change Maker”. Her passion for people and her ability to mobilize earned her a permanent place in the movement, and a soft spot in the hearts of those she has served. Troya put her thoughts and research into books, to help people navigate through having a meaningful conversation about racism with their children: a two-set book/workbook curriculum titled, The Answers: A Parent’s Guide to Discussing Racism with Children. Her second book and workbook are titled: The Answers: Discussing and Defeating Racism in America, and support community members from all walks of life in having a solution-oriented conversation about racism, geared toward the implementation of practical solutions for anti-racist practices in local communities.
“The Answers to Intimacy: Why Men NEED Oral Sex and Women NEED to Talk”, is her best-selling book to date. The project is a culmination of all her research and demonstrates the connection between a person’s perception of power and their interpersonal relationships. This book has received raving reviews, and couples from all walks of life are expressing their appreciation for it. In 2021, Troya released, “Life Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Wonderful: A Survival Guide on How to Thrive After Divorce”. Skillful navigation is required to enjoy life and thrive after divorce, and this guide provides tools to do just that. After appearing on numerous podcasts, talk-radio shows, and livestream videos, Troya continues to inspire the masses to live their best lives and be their best, most-authentic selves.
Fancy: What inspired, “Life Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Wonderful: A Survival Guide on How to Thrive After Divorce”?
Troya: While I was on tour with the last book, fiercely advocating for family and keeping marriages together, people naturally asked me about my relationship status. When I explained that I was divorced but dating, people were shocked but asked the how, when, and why questions. I didn’t mind that, because I love serving through teaching and being transparent, that’s my calling. I even had some people who swore that I look like I have never been through anything. I also had people who assumed that my life is perfect because my attitude is pleasant and I’m typically in a very good mood. One guy who knows me well said all he’s ever seen from me since he met me is, “teeth and cheeks”, meaning I’m laughing and smiling a lot, which is true. So, to reintroduce myself to some and newly present me to others, I decided to share in more detail about my life. I also wanted to share about how and why I still have so much peace and happiness; two precious things money can’t buy.
Fancy: How did your life change with your divorce?
Troya: My life changed a lot. I went from having enough, to not enough. Going through foreclosure, getting on food stamps. You name it. What I had changed, but who I served, God, didn’t change. But the funniest thing is that people still thought I had a lot, because I never complained about what I lost, and I learned how to use business principles to build back better. I talked about where I was going and where God was leading me. Taking time to think and reflect about who I wanted to be, and how I wanted to be known and remembered helped me change for the better.
Fancy: Did you ever feel as if you failed?
Troya: Absolutely! I don’t think that anyone can go through a divorce and not feel like a failure. I shook that feeling off quick though! I didn’t like it. Muhammad Ali is one of my heroes, and I read a lot of his work and quotes. He had three divorces, so I figured if I could learn from anyone, it was him. In my studies, I learned to place value on those lessons from my marriage and previous relationships, and not to consider it as a failure. I can have that perspective now, looking at how far I’ve come. I couldn’t see the lessons at the time. Joyce Meyer was on one day, and she said, “You can be powerful, or you can be pitiful. You can’t be both”. That stuck with me, and I live life and make decisions from that place of power inside of myself.
Fancy: Without giving away too much of the book, how did you realize life is still wonderful even after marriage?
Troya: I look around every day at how blessed I am, and I call that wonderful. It literally is a wonder, that after my house went into foreclosure, I moved into a bigger house. It’s a wonder that I was able to start businesses and inspire other people. It’s a wonder that I made it to the White House twice, during the Obama administration. It’s a wonder that I made it on the little money that I had. God has done and is still doing wonders in my life. So, I call that wonderful!
Fancy: What was the writing process like for this book? Was it different than that of your previous books?
Troya: The process for writing this book was different. With the other ones, I did the research, and the concepts from the compiled research guided my personal commentary in the book. With this one, I knew what I wanted to share, based on what worked for me and what I’ve seen work for other people who have gone through a divorce. The research I shared was based on what I already experienced and believed to be true.
Fancy: What’s one piece of advice you’d share with those currently going through a divorce?
Troya: Learn about the practice of centering. Get centered and take it with you everywhere you go. Be kind to yourself and other people. Don’t allow social norms of being mean and snarky with your ex guide your interactions. Your ex may have had a lifetime of being mean. You can’t beat someone at doing something that they’ve practiced consistently for years. So, don’t waste your time trying. Instead, find the kindest version of yourself and be that person. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
Fancy: Are you open to marrying again?
Troya: Is he rich?!? Just kidding! I’m open to getting married again. I love LOVE! I have actually fallen in love with myself, and I’m having a damn good time. But yes, I would marry again. I loved being married, and I enjoyed the security in marriage. I know some people go through it and say never again. But, I trust myself and my decisions. I have grown so I’m confident that I would choose well. As long as I can keep my peace, I’m good.
Fancy: What is next for you in 2022?
Troya: Next year I will be touring and facilitating workshops both online and in person. I’ll also be on television and film, so stay tuned.
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To purchase the book, visit https://tinyurl.com/SurvivalGuide13.