Location: Lawrence, KS, United States
Campus: University of Kansas - Lawrence, KS
Fellowship Class Year: 2012
Featured Fellow Spotlight
YP4: What do you stand for?
Education access and equity, civic engagement
YP4: How did you become involved with YP4?
Two of my friends, Karl Kumodzi and May Mgbolu, told me about the program and the amazing YP4 community. I knew I wanted to have a chance to meet such inspiring, motivated people!
YP4: What is your Blueprint for Social Justice?
We are creating a workshop curriculum that focuses on advocacy, activism, and civic engagement for college students. The series takes participants through the basics of media campaigns, lobbying legislators, and sustaining culturally competent initiatives! We are in the process of getting the workshops accredited through our university and written in as an option in the general education guidelines.
YP4: What has been your greatest achievement so far?
I loved interning in Washington, DC this past summer at the Department of Education. I worked in the Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. I was able to have conversations with community leaders across the country and work hand in hand with White House on educational policy issues.
YP4: What motivates and inspires you?
I am so grateful for the community of organizers, activists, advocates, academics, friends and family that surround me everyday. They give me the energy to keep working, and their honesty challenges me to be the best advocate, ally, and organizer I can be.
YP4: What is a main goal that you want to accomplish?
I want to work at a national advocacy organization that empowers communities from the ground up to fight for education reform and equity. I want to be a part of a movement in communities across the nation by providing them with the tools to organize themselves for change.
YP4: What is your vision for the world?
I see a world where all communities have a seat at the table – whether it is through decision-making in our nation’s capital or lobbying a city council. And that is just the start.
YP4: How do you feel you fit in to the Progressive Movement?
I want to be an organizer, ally, advocate, activist, and academic. Ultimately, I want to be someone who can make productive and inclusive change in my own town and community.
YP4: What is a struggle that you’ve faced or are facing in your work?
I constantly take a step back to ask others and myself if I am overstepping my boundaries.
YP4: What advice do you have for others dealing with those struggles?
Be honest and open to conversations. Surround yourself with people who will call you out on your baggage. These kinds of conversations have shaped who I am.
YP4: How can other Fellows get involved or find more information about the work you’re doing?
If you’re interested in sharing workshop curriculum, ideas, or just want to talk, feel free to contact me directly! I also love slam poetry, salsa dancing, and listening to Frank Ocean. If you like any of those things too, let’s talk!
YP4: What advice would you give to the 2013-2014 incoming class of Fellows?
Give yourself to the experience! Have difficult conversations but have fun too! The YP4 Community has been so supportive. You are lucky to be part of such a fantastic group. Take advantage of that!
YP4: If every time you entered a room your theme song played, what would it be and why?
No Diggity by Blackstreet because I am always kickin’ game with a capital G.
YP4: Is there anything else that you want to say?
I am honored to be a part of this beloved community. It is hard to stay motivated as a progressive in such a non-progressive space. Talking, texting, and interacting with my YP4 family always brightens my day! Thank you all for that!