Join Deputy Director of Publishing Kelli Baker as she shares about Natasha Sistrunk Robinson: Marine, Servant, Educator.
Natasha Sistrunk Robinson: Marine, Servant, Educator
by Kelli Baker
An abolitionist of our time, Natasha Sistrunk Robinson demonstrates a leader who fights for what she believes in. She believes in true discipleship and has dedicated her life to empowering others to seek out mentors. She attributes her passion for doing so stems from her upbringing in the church. Natasha founded Leadership LINKS, Inc., has written many books, and hosts a podcast to encourage and empower young women of color to use their voices.
She writes to bring freedom to those who have been oppressed and works to raise up the next generation of leaders.
Natasha was born and raised in the small town of Orangeburg, SC. Her humble beginnings were filled with lots of love and nurture from her mom, dad, and the community in which she was raised. As the eldest child, she always exhibited leadership characteristics. From an early age, she knew she had outgrown Orangeburg, so it was no surprise that she would take the offer to run track and field at the United States Naval Academy. Her decision to attend the USNA was not difficult for her because she had many family members who also served in the military.
She would walk in their footsteps.
Little did Natasha know that she would face many of the same challenges her ancestors faced as well. She experienced racial discrimination, but the foundation of her upbringing taught her to persevere in the face of adversity. Her fight was stronger than the adversaries. She explains that the self-discipline, hard work, and integrity of her formative years prepared her to attend the USNA.1 While attending the Academy, she was mentored and discipled by older and wiser women of faith, which led her to discover a personal relationship with the Lord. At the academy, she discovered her passion for social justice and discipleship.
After Natasha graduated from the USNA, she served as a Marine Corps Officer. During her time in the Marine Corps, Natasha led and mentored field officers and the volunteer workforce across America. She trained leaders and counseled both potential and current midshipmen. Her second time at the USNA allowed her to recruit the most racial/ethnic and gender-diverse class in the Academy’s history at the time.
CPT Sistrunk-Robinson honorably left the Marine Corps, but the values that were instilled in her remained.
Natasha continued serving the public in her professional life as well as her personal life. Her desire to lead others well led her to continue her education. She earned her Master of Arts in Christian Leadership from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Charlotte. In Seminary, she expanded her knowledge of what it means to be a leader and disciple of Christ and discovered her gift of writing.
She eventually started a blog, A Sista’s Journey, which opened many doors for her to write professionally. As she found her voice, she became empowered to use it to serve those who have been oppressed and marginalized in our society. Natasha uses her platform as a writer and mentor to equip the next generation of leaders and disciples.
She believes racial reconciliation starts with educating and walking alongside the next generation.
Educator for the Future
Natasha founded the nonprofit organization Leadership LINKS, Inc. in 2015, that trains and mentors young women of color. The organization educates and equips servant leaders to use their skills and resources for the greater good of humanity. Leadership LINKS, Inc.’s core values stem from the acronym LINKS.
Love – God is love, calling us to love others as we love ourselves.
Inspiration – Encourage people to operate in their purpose and influence others to do the same.
Network – Unify, educate, and mobilize like-minded leaders to maximize impact.
Knowledge – Educate for understanding. People cannot act on what they do not know.
Service – Using our gifts, talents, resources, and passions to uplift others.
She knows the impact of the women who have mentored her and desires to train others to lead the same way she’s been led. Natasha desires to cultivate a community of love and trust where women feel seen and confident to tell their stories. Only through the passing of stories do we begin to both understand and empathize with one another.
In Natasha’s book, A Sojourner’s Truth, she writes:
I don’t just write for myself. I use my pen, or mostly the keys of my laptop, as a weapon of war – to resist, to affirm our common humanity, and to defend it. I write for communities who are downtrodden and in desperate need of the liberation that only God can provide. I write for people whose conscience tells them that something is not right but in humility can confess that they don’t know what to do about all the brokenness. I write for the people who long to embrace the love of Jesus but are perplexed by the hypocrisy of his church. I write for the people who are committed to figuring it out together.(p.160)
Ultimately, Natasha seeks to build true disciples of Christ, which she sums up as “a humble searcher, a student first.” Jesus modeled what it looks like to walk alongside marginalized and ostracized people. His model of grace and love should be our standard.
Father, thank you for women like Natasha who unabashedly use their voices to seek justice and lift up future generations. Help us humble ourselves and seek you first above all things, so we may walk in your truth and love others as you have called us to. In your name, Amen.
Notes and Resources
- Why we care about Christian women in military history.
- Read all of our Women of the Word Wednesday posts here.
- Meet Natasha — Natasha Sistrunk Robinson (natashasrobinson.com)
- Our Vision — Leadership LINKS (leadershiplinksinc.org)
- Sistrunk-Robinson, N. (2018). A Sojourner’s Truth. InterVarsity Press.
- A Sojourner’s Truth on Apple Podcasts