What is one thing about your work that most people don't know?
Community organizing is only 10 percent rabble-rousing and public protest, at best. Most of my time is spent doing the grinding, repetitive (but still rewarding) work of building relationships with people I meet and deepening relationships I already have, one person at a time. Relationships formed around shared values are the real building blocks of power, not street protests or political exchanges, although those certainly have their place as well. We can only dismantle structures of racism and ableism and white supremacy by working side by side with people we trust and are accountable to. Building trust and accountability, and therefore power, only comes through one-on-one conversations over coffee, at the dinner table, and/or wherever else people actually connect.
What makes you most proud of the work you do?
I'm most proud of my work when someone I've been building a relationship with takes action to better their own life and the lives of those around them. That action could be almost anything, but when I see someone I've come to care about do something they hadn't considered doing before, it feeds my hope and keeps me in this game, where rewards can sometimes feel few and far between.