Current class member, Cornelia Robinson, shares a few highlights from her LT experience, including what she's learning, what challenges her, and what has surprised her.
Written By: Carl Bailey, LT’14
As an LT alum, I wasn't sure what to expect when I re-visited a Challenge Day for the first time in nearly four years. But once I parked the car and made my way to the UWBG Center for Urban Horticulture, some of those old LT feelings came flooding back.
There was that slightly nervous feeling of being around other highly intelligent, capable, and opinionated people while covering topics that I don't deal with on a regular basis. And the unconscious pressure of being my most authentic self and being comfortable enough to share my life experiences with people I've only known for a few months.
Another familiar LT feeling was optimism, as the day was full of opportunities to think about how each individual can get involved in and help influence who has access to the decision-making table.
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Held at Green River College in Kent, WA, LT'18 examined the growing number of people experiencing poverty in South King County. The class learned about the drivers of poverty and racial inequities, how they play out in suburban South King County, and what local organizations are doing to support basic needs in the community.
This "Challenge Day Reflections" was written by Ben Phillips, LT'15. Here's what he had to say after the Challenge Day:
"The Arts & Culture Challenge Day was a great reminder of how crucial arts are to bringing about change. I was inspired by the class members who took the day as a personal opportunity to take steps to change their community. James Miles led a fascinating discussion around improving education by weaving youth culture into the curriculum. There are many challenges for the arts in our region, namely around funding and support, but I was left excited and optimistic by the passion and enthusiasm in the room."
Learn how Leadership Tomorrow helped Sherry Williams, LT'08, Deputy Director at Technology Access Foundation, find her voice.
"Leadership Tomorrow helped me find my voice and not be intimidated. Prior to LT, I was often intimated in meetings, as I was one of the few people of color in the room. Now, I am deliberate to make sure I have a voice. I am polite, but I speak my peace and am okay with people being uncomfortable. I serve on the board of Solid Ground. When I participate in board meetings, I am there for the people Solid Ground serves, not for the people around the table. If there is an issue that will affect the people we serve, I speak up."
The year I moved to America was characterized by sixteen mass shootings. After the horrific murders of six-year-olds in Newtown later that year, I told my husband that I didn’t want to live here. Over the five years since, we’ve discussed the possibility of moving outside of the United States at least 100 times. It’s usually after another episode of senseless violence and much more frequently since the recent election of the American president.
Every time we come close to moving, something holds us back in America – mostly our jobs, but often it’s a reluctance to give up what we do love about living here: the welcome expression of speech, press and diverse ideas...and of course, Seattle’s coffee. But as immigrants, there’s no denying that America has become less hospitable for us in the last year.
I was ecstatic when I learned of my selection for the 2017 Young American Leaders Program. An all-expenses trip to Harvard Business School plus the opportunity to learn from one of my academic idols, Rosabeth Moss Kantor? Yes, please! At the same time, I had doubts on whether I would be the right person to dedicate towards Seattle’s future prosperity. I got on the flight to Boston both curious and skeptical.