Report date
November 2022
Learning Log

My leadership journey, like many journeys of growth, has ebbed and flowed. There have been twists, turns, and unexpected realizations this past year. In my last reflection I spoke about energy levels and feeling that many of the people I have been trying to mobilize seemed to be overwhelmed by life. I have had many conversations with other leaders and people I work with who agree with my observation. We have speculated as to why our communities are feeling this way. Is it Covid? Exhaustion? Depression? Nihilism?
One of the more appealing thoughts I have had is about rhythm. Like many things in our lives, a rhythm develops. The same can be true in our efforts to organize and mobilize communities. We want to avoid being reactive and just responding to egregious acts of violence or dehumanizing education. In order to do this we need to have a sustained movement. Organizing educators does move along with the rhythm of the school year. I noticed a burst of energy in September as educators returned to their classrooms. We had increased participation at events and meetings. As we move into the depths of fall we need to be able to store up energy for the long winter months. Using my fellowship, I have organized writing retreats, meditation and body movement events, and book clubs. These less intensive events have been a way to help maintain participation while storing up energy.
I am encouraged that my community will sustain themselves through the winter while we continue to organize Ethnic Studies efforts in the state. In the meantime I am working on building my philanthropic muscles by extending my networks of funders and locating resources to pay for our organizing efforts. These rhythms of action, reflection, and infrastructure building can be seen as seasonal. This was an unexpected takeaway from my leadership journey reflection.
I plan to continue my studies in leadership by traveling to New Zealand in the coming months. I will visit with Maori scholars who have been bridging universities and communities. My vision for an educational liberation center in Minnesota is coming into focus. I feel like I am becoming more prepared to provide the leadership necessary for the work ahead.