Archetypes: Reena Hajat Carroll

 In Culture, Interviews

An interview with Reena Hajat Carroll – Executive Director for The Diversity Awareness Partnership, adjunct Professor at Washington University, community activist and Super Mom


What is your current frame of mind? Energized and anxious.
When and where are you happiest? When I’m with my immediate family.
What is your favorite smell? Lavender.
What is one word that describes you? Involved.
What did you eat for breakfast today? Orange juice and half a bagel.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Clearly,” and, “How is this going to play out?”
What is your most marked characteristic? I’m outgoing.  
What is your greatest weakness? Passionate to a fault.
What trait do you most admire in others? The combination of sincerity and transparency.
Who or what is the greatest love of your life? A tie between my husband, David, and my daughter, Meera.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? More balance.
Which living person do you most admire? My sisters.  
What is your most treasured possession? My Tiffany & Co. ring that I bought to celebrate my independence. And, my wedding ring.
What is your greatest fear? Not realizing when I’ve failed.
On what occasion do you lie? When my husband asks me if I’ve cut my hair.
Who are your favorite writers? Jhumpa Lahiri and Barbara Kingsolver.
Which artist do you most admire? Tracy Chapman.
What is your favorite hobby? Traveling, playing tennis and…is getting a massage a hobby?
Who are your heroes in real life? Eleanor Williams, my spiritual advisor from Los Angeles.
If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be? Eleanor Roosevelt.
What are you most looking forward to? St. Louis becoming more inclusive.
What is one thing you wish would happen? That everyone would take a Sociology 101 course so they would know how organizations and communities are built.  
What is something you still want to learn? Oh gosh, so much…how to raise a lot of money.
In another life, you’d be? Someone who lived a simple life.  
What is one thing you’d like to see happen before you die? A stronger sense of community by recognizing that we are more connected to each other than we think.
If you could say something to your younger self, what would it be? Travel more, and experience as many different cultures as you can before you have other commitments.  
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, who or what would it would be? It would be fun to come back as a tropical fish living in warm sea water (I still love watching “The Little Mermaid”).
What is your greatest extravagance? Hosting parties at my home.
Where would you like to live? Within walking distance of the beach.
What is your favorite journey? Traveling to India and Africa with my parents. I learned a lot about our family history and culture on those trips.
What is something interesting that you just learned? A mentor just said to me, “Your life experiences, regardless of whether they are good or bad, give you texture. And, texture is a desirable trait.”



Reena Hajat Carroll


Photo credit: Wesley Law

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