Report date
July 2021
Learning Log

I have always known that I am a driven and resilient person. However, the ways that I have been challenged personally and professionally throughout my first year of the fellowship has been very eye opening. First, one of the major areas of investment that I made was in my own healing. I focused a lot on developing healing practices and new networks of support. I had some amazing highs and devastating lows as I tried to become more spiritually and emotionally grounded within myself while working through the ending of an intimate relationship and frequent co-parenting battles. I found my peace, lost it, and came back up for air many times. The now thing that I am most proud of is my ability to stay positive even when it feels like the universe was conspiring to break me emotionally. Second, I focused a great deal on expanding my networks of both influence and impact helping to support, lead, and grow new collaboratives. I was challenged in more ways than one working with and across constituencies that do not typically embrace one another as partners. I held space for difficult dialogues, I moved various groups toward the formation and execution of strategic coalitions, and I challenged those folks with differential power to reimagine their commitments to racial justice work. However, I learned that it's important to retreat with those you want to ensure you continue to work with after the project to discuss your working styles, needs, and expectations because many outside interests will aim to challenge your partnership. I learned that even those that you have been engaging with as allies and champions for the work must face their assumptions and capacity periodically and I must be okay accepting where they are at even if I feel like they are falling short of what community need and deserve. One of the most humbling things I did was reach out to a VP of color who clearly was uncomfortable with many of the meetings that I was leading to give them space to share one on one and to reflect on my own process identifying where I could have brought them in more despite what I felt like was this individual making something personal that was about structural change. These lessons have been nothing but invaluable.