Fellow Spotlight #2!

The blog this week is our second edition of the Fellows Interview Series. Three Fellows from the cohort share their answers to questions regarding who they are!

lea-trusty

Name: Lea 

Hometown: Saint Rose, LA

Host Organization: WSHU Public Radio

What is one word to describe your fellowship so far? Challenging.

What is something that you have accomplished in your Fellowship that you are proud of?

I’m proud of all of the stories that I have covered in general. Having little experience with reporting and no experience with radio, I was unsure of myself when I started this fellowship. But with a little patience, a lot of work and some great guidance, I consider myself a journalist now—something I didn’t expect I’d be able to say.  I’ve covered a broad array of local and regional stories, and I’ve spoken with people from all walks of life. I think that’s been the most meaningful part of this journey.

What’s something about yourself that you hope will never change?

I have always been driven to help those around me. Maybe that’s because my parents always remembered and supported our families who are oceans away. Or maybe joining the struggle for justice was simply my birthright as a black woman. But those experiences that have driven me to change the world around me are the same that—every once in a while—leave me frustrated and a little hopeless. 

I hope to remain impassioned to do what is right and work to bring justice for those who rarely receive it. I know that work will only be a tiny speck in the long road towards justice. But I hope that despite this, or because of this, I persevere. That those who have come before me, those who are at my side, and those who will follow remind me why I fight and for whom I am fighting.

If you could spend 24 hours with any person that ever lived- celebrity, late presidents, friends, etc., who would it be?

I would spend the day with my mother’s mother. She died from breast cancer before I could ever get to know her. But whenever my mom shares tender memories or hilarious stories about her, I’m comforted by the fact that we would’ve been best friends. She was an incredible woman—smart, candid, tough. I’d always vaguely known this, but didn’t realize her bravery until I asked my mom about emigrating from Ethiopia—her homeland—to the United States. She told me college students were being targeted by the communist regime that had been in power at the time. My grandmother did not cower in the face of this danger. Instead, she began to sell off her belongings, and eventually sent her daughter—my mother—across an ocean to a foreign land she’d never touched herself. Like I said, tough. I can only imagine the words and the wisdom she’d impart on me, considering the impact she’s already had.

unnamed

NameEugénie 

Hometown: Little Haiti in Miami, Florida

Ancestral: Aux Cayes, Haiti

Host Organization: The Food Trust (Philadelphia, PA)

What is one word to describe your fellowship so far? Familiar

What is something that you have accomplished in your Fellowship that you are proud of?

I have to mention an accomplishment that has gone full circle. I love bringing people together. I’ve been contemplating and implementing employee engagement events. In the dead of Philadelphia’s winter, I proposed a <>. Sure enough, many employees participated and the office was alive! The day was filled with laughs, onesie stories, awesome check-ins during meetings, and most of all warmth. The best comment said to me during ONESIE DAY was, “I went out and bought my first onesie because of your event. I should’ve gotten one sooner.” After working with the company’s Wellness Committee, there will soon be a Self-massage+ Aromatherapy workshop series. I find this event to be a great way to introduce techniques of relaxation and healing throughout the work week. We tend to forget self-care which only enhances our work fellowship in order to better serve communities we work in. I am proud of myself and of the colleagues who participate.

Where do you see yourself professionally in the next 5 years?

I can answer in the next 20 years where I want to be professionally which is the Minister of Haiti’s Public Health and Population Ministry (Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population). Everything I do in life will lead me to this purpose, endeavor, and dream of mine. Therefore, in the next 5 years I hope to lead programs and policies that support diverse preventative health practices as a Health Care Administrator in an established institution. More importantly, I want these programs and policies to be guided by

the recipients of this service ,

the disadvantaged yet the powerful,

the discredited yet the inventors,

the voiceless yet the most expressive,

– you.

This dream and my purpose will soon become a reality.

If you could visit any one place in the world, where would it be?

“If we’re going to heal, then let it be glorious…”  My healing and glorious self will not only visit but live in the motherland. The motherland is West Africa. (The 16 countries which constitute West Africa include Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.)

dale-russell

Name: Dalé  

Hometown: PG County, Maryland

Host Organization: Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network

What is one word to describe your fellowship so far? Transformative

What is something that you have accomplished in your Fellowship that you are proud of?

Every single day I make progress toward my short and long term goals.

What’s something about yourself that you hope will never change?

I hope I never get tired of love and all it entails.

If you could spend 24 hours with any person that ever lived- celebrity, late presidents, friends, etc., who would it be?

James Baldwin