My learning journey as a new Fellow has been starting from within and radiating outward. It started with the Intercultural Development Inventory--where I learned that I’m within “Adaption” for both my perceived and developmental orientation. My developmental opportunity is to further deepen my “Acceptance” mindset and help others in my community to do so as well.
I had never been exposed to this framework before, but as I learned more about it, I realized that navigating and bridging cross-cultural differences from a very young age has cultivated a strength in me that I can use to help in other contexts. While my past experience has revolved more around cultural differences based on race and ethnicity, I’ve started to recognize my ability to be a bridge between other types of communities as well (e.g. technologists and non-techies, private sector and public sector, rural and urban etc.).
While discovering new strengths within myself has been one part of this journey, I have also been learning to recognize and unravel some of the fears or doubts that hold me back. Speaking with a coach and therapist has helped me to gain more clarity and confidence as a leader. It was especially helpful for me as I grappled with how to process a racially-motivated hate incident and physical assault I experienced this past week.
One part of my learning journey that I am just beginning is participating as a fellow in the Just Economy Institute (JEI, formerly known as the RSF Social Finance Integrated Capital Institute for Financial Activists). We’ve only had a couple of sessions thus far, but I’m already excited to meet kindred spirits leveraging capital as a tool for positive change. Meeting the other Bush Fellows has also been a wonderful experience because we’re all in such different pockets of the community, but we share similar visions of a better future for everyone.
Learning more about myself and others has been an incredible start to my journey as a Fellow and I look forward to gaining more skills, confidence, and perspective as I continue participating in the JEI program and connecting with more Bush Fellows. It has also been a pleasure sharing what I’ve learned so far with others in the community because it helps to reinforce lessons in my own head. As the weather starts to get cold here in Minnesota, I look forward to curling up next to a fire in the coming months and writing more as a way to reflect and process everything that I’m learning about what it means to step up and serve as a leader in my community.