“Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it empowers us to develop courage; to trust that courage and build bridges with it; to trust those bridges and cross over them so we can attempt to reach each other.”—Maya Angelou
“We combine strategy and love to achieve our purpose.”—A Nexus mindset/belief
Experiences that truly transform us are significant because they don’t come along often, and they change us forever. The Nexus Fellowship is undoubtedly that kind of transformative experience.
In our first week, we had the unique opportunity to meet and learn from the education leaders in our cohort who are grappling with what it means to lead with a racial equity lens and to support their organizations’ diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. These leaders are aiming to do groundbreaking work in their organizations to address racial inequities and injustices and are forging paths that do not currently exist. Our learning experience was cultivated by the amazing leaders and partners at The Equity Lab, who created an environment that was so safe and supportive that any walls that would have prevented our cohort from connecting with each other crumbled immediately.
The Equity Lab facilitators and coaches taught us about the critical role of self as a racial equity leader through exploring somatic practice and the concept of self as an instrument, as well as through supporting us to begin developing our life maps, self-manifestos and story of self that invites others into community and action. The content they introduced us to about liberatory consciousness, understanding oppression and racial trauma challenged us in ways that left an unforgettable impression and will shape how we lead going forward.
The Nexus Fellowship is giving us and our organization the opportunity to deepen our skills as visionaries, disruptors, facilitators, healers and change-makers who will help create a new reality in which every Black and Brown child can thrive. And we, along with our colleagues at Education First, look forward to bringing that focus forth in our work alongside you to create more equitable opportunities for our students.
—Rashidah & Regina