Report date
May 2023
Learning Log

My learning journey thus far has been exciting and uplifting. I have spent the last 17 years in higher education. In less than 30 days, I am leaving this career behind and writing a new chapter on my vocational journey. Although the path feels uncertain, I wake up overjoyed each day. I am excited to strengthen my leadership platform as a change agent, scholar, and thought leader.


As a Fellow, I have spent my time focusing on refining my leadership skills by working on my research, advocacy, and teaching. I will finally have the time to finish my book on economic justice. It will not only give me insights into a missing chapter in civil rights history. It will also inform my current efforts in building a vibrant and sustainable Black ecosystem (leadership goal).

I woke up one morning and felt compelled to travel to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I packed my bags and booked my flight. The first exhibition I found explored the history of municipalities founded by the Black community. It documented their socioeconomic impact and legacies. It also was the inspiration that I needed to delve deeper into understanding strategies to advance Black liberation and economic independence.

In addition, I seek to ground my work in arts-based community development. This inspired me to learn more about how to lead social change through an arts and humanities framework. As a Fellow, I have visited other cultural and arts districts across the nation for inspiration from Las Vegas, Nevada to Anchorage, Alaska. I also visited Planet Word Museum and explored new tools for advancing societal reform and community engagement through the literary arts. I am still reflecting on a quote that I saw: “We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.” Toni Morrison

How can I use my leadership skills combined with my passion as an artist to bring forth healing?

MY ADVICE: Find the space to be reflective. This may mean exploring a new area of interest, discovering an interdisciplinary approach, or even visiting a new place. Take the time to meet new people, build new partnerships, and broaden your horizons.

I am also raising my self-awareness and fortifying my resilience during this learning journey. I am exploring: who am I as a leader? What are my leadership strengths? What is in my hands to make a difference in the world? My mentor has guided me on this journey of reflection and discovery. We quickly identified that my leadership is rooted in my culture. It has shaped my worldview and ignited my passion for the journey ahead. This has ignited my passion to learn more about my family history and legacy. It also has inspired me to explore my cultural heritage and follow my roots back home to the continent of Africa. I am developing my language skills and studying leadership profiles of African women leaders.

MY ADVICE: Know thyself. This advice from Socrates grounds us in purpose and mission. The more time you spend discovering who you are and why you are on your leadership journey, you will find the motivation and inspiration for becoming a better leader.
I am gaining new skills related to refueling, recharging, and realigning. These leadership skills are improving my overall health and wellness. I find time for daily reflection and journaling. I am connecting to my faith traditions by studying my Bible and honoring our Sabbath.

Time management is an ongoing challenge. I prioritize the quest for justice and everything else must wait. I often find myself searching for more hours in the day and filling every second with a task. I justify my efforts in the pursuit of justice and freedom since I recognize that this is an ongoing battle. Yet, this leads to a pattern of burnout and exhaustion. It also fails to build the capacity of others. Instead, I have chosen a new pathway to the future. I am working on my leadership goal of building sustainable solutions for advancing racial justice in partnership with other like-minded advocates. We are teaching each other how to pause, reflect, and grow. This is vitally important for sustaining our collective labor of love.

MY ADVICE: Self-care equates to self-preservation. I am reminded of the words of Audre Lorde: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Each day, leaders have a responsibility to prioritize self-care and self-love.

These examples from my learning journey demonstrate the transformative power of being a Fellow. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity serves as a learning laboratory where I am combining pedagogy with praxis. I am learning about leadership and social justice advocacy theoretical frameworks while developing new strategies to build and sustain social change. This experience has provided me with new leadership tools to sustain my work and leave a legacy of impact in my Rondo community and beyond— throughout the African Diaspora.