Thursday, May 25, 2017

My Interview With Four Brilliant Feminist Leaders

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of attending the Othering & Belonging conference hosted by the Haas Institute at UC Berkeley, and I can say without exaggeration that its content was some of the best content I have ever consumed in any form. The conference was on the obstacle of "othering," the process through which we are conditioned in society to discriminate based on any kind of difference -- and how to strive toward "belonging," or inclusion, across all sorts of fields -- from philanthropy to public health.

I think I never knew what it meant to be in a "safe space" until I experienced what it felt like to be present here. To know that everyone in the room (about 2,000 people) were all striving, aching for utmost acceptance and uplifting of ALL persons regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, etc. was freeing in a way I cannot articulate. I wore things I wouldn't wear elsewhere, I said things I wouldn't say elsewhere, and I felt so fully empowered to speak my mind. I am eager to share some of that spirit with you all.

I attended a breakout session called "Building a Transformational Women's Movement: Feminism at a Crossroads" where four feminist activists shared their vision and wisdom on how to forge a powerful women's movement for our time, as well as how to be kind and loving toward ourselves and others. Their words blew me away, and after the conference, I had the opportunity to interview each of them. Please check out my piece to learn from the beauty and brilliance of Malika Redmond, Vanessa Daniel, Kathleen Gutierrez, and Kim Tran.
Click here to read the post on Medium.

Friday, May 5, 2017

My Other Writing Life


Dear Readers,

The year (!) that has passed since graduation has been for me very much a time for self-care -- a time to spend time with self, listen to self, live with self, and reflect and decompress after a stimulating and challenging college career.

As many of you know, one of my responsibilities at Living Cities is to write about what we are learning in our work with cities, and about ourselves as an organization. In this vein, I have written a few pieces for work recently that I would like to share with all of you.

The first is called Radical Self-Care: Four Lessons from Our Meeting with City Leaders in Albuquerque and it describes a wonderful trip that my team took to New Mexico with the seven cities that my project works with most closely. In between group discussion, we re-connected with our work on social change through art and culture.

The next four pieces describe lessons that I learned through searching for a job in the social sector last spring, that I think can be valuable for other students and professionals as well. In one post, I share my process for searching for jobs to apply to and provide advice for young people interested in entering the social change space. In another, I describe the experience I had during my interview process, and follow up with tips for interviewers to make sure they are reflecting their organizational culture positively, as well as interview advice for students to use discussions with potential employers as opportunities to determine whether a firm would be a good fit for them.

All of my posts on the job application process are also available as part of this series called Hiring in the Social Sector.

I hope you all enjoy the fruits of "my other writing life," and I look forward to sharing more soon!

Ratna