My latest interview...

Interview with SafeWordSociety Founder Kristen McCallum

by Rachel Lee, Got a Girl Crush Magazine


Kristen McCallum is the Founder & CEO of SafeWordSociety, a QTPOC+ visibility company based in Brooklyn, NY. SafeWordSociety is a full-service creative operations studio providing services ranging from creative strategy & execution to event & media production for mission-aligned brands & businesses. Along with building quality products for clients, SafeWordSociety is also home to original content, such as The SafeWordSociety Podcast -which Kristen hosts along with co-host Lamika Young and original products, such as The Visibility Packs. In June 2017, Kristen was named one of GO Magazine's 100 Women We Love: Class of 2017 for creating a brand & business that intentionally centers equity building for the QTPOC+ community, which thrives relentlessly on the banks of erasure.

As an entrepreneur, Kristen brings over 10 years of experience building out operational processes and fine-tuning the internal & external identities of variously-sized companies, now including her own. She has operated as a creative & construction project manager, event & conference producer, content & community manager, copywriter and podcast producer --to name a few of her previous roles. 

  • She has created and managed press pages, social profiles and other forms of public relations initiatives to platform the work of many former employers.
  • She has spearheaded internship and training programs as small as 10 participants to as large as 70 participants, which included sales training and harassment trainings. 
  • She has managed build-outs for office spaces ranging from 2400 sq. ft to 12,500 sq. ft by partnering with GC's, Architects and vendors to keep projects on deadline and within strict budgets. Most recently, she was responsible for independently finding the space and resources to expand the offices of a 30 person company in 3 weeks.
  • She has created and led HR programs and initiatives for many of her former employers, including referral programs/connector programs and incentive groups.
  • She has produced many events, both small and large scale, including but not limited to career fairs, corporate outings and more recently -- a gender neutral evening wear capsule presentation for NYFW 2017.

Kristen is also a published writer, focusing her work primarily on the intersections of her identity as a queer black woman, using personal essays and fiction. 

We hired Kristen to run our people ops department. Before she even started, she was helping us plan the details of our holiday party, getting in touch with the caterers and event space, and truly hitting the ground running. She revamped our new hire process, streamlining the entire thing. From welcome emails and equipment, to health care benefits and questions about paychecks, she handled it all. She was also always willing to take on more and go above and beyond. 
John Khalil, General Counsel & Head of Business Affairs, Chief of Staff
Kristen McCallum has emerged as a voice for QTPOC community through her podcast Safe Word Society an archivist of experiences, the people and the culture. Through her intellect, presence and curiosity she navigates the stories of those underrepresented with deep respect and humility ultimately creating greater visibility. She is a treasure to this community.  
Sontaia Briggs, Youth Advocate
It was an extreme pleasure to work under Kristen during my time at Kargo. She has a natural ability to lead and motivate her team to go above and beyond in their projects. Kristen put in the ground work for establishing the most essential and foundational protocols for the company's NYC offices, while managing to sustain the company's energetic culture in each space. This combination of productivity and exuberance set a great example for rest of the team. It was truly inspiring to work alongside Kristen and I'm excited to see what comes next in her career trajectory.
Tatyana James, Aspiring Urban Policy Strategist
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