Community. What does it mean to you? For me community has always been about the people, and being deeply engaged in community is a relationship I've fostered my entire life. From my earliest memories, I can recall my mother being a social butterfly. Whether it was talking to strangers at the grocery store or running across old friends, she taught me the ins and outs of building relationships with those around me. The strength of a community lies in the strength of the connections we can build amongst one another. These ties allow us to build unity across intersectional groups and the opportunity to build powerful relationships.
My hometown is Brockton, MA, a majority-minority community with a richly diverse tapestry. Growing up there is what drew me towards opportunities for civic engagement and building powerful relationships with community members. Often I struggled with figuring out how to tackle the root causes of systemic injustices that plagued BIPOC communities like my own. In recent years I embarked on my journey towards active citizenship as a means of strengthening my community and generating positive social change. Through the Coalition, I have the opportunity to further expand my knowledge and current relationship with the term community and tackle these issues through community organizing. In my role, I have found a way to address systemic root causes of violence, and assess power and how communities can utilize their own. Organizing is the way we bring together community voices and policymakers together to elicit change. It is these voices that drive our policy work and it is of the utmost importance that we allow them to reflect in the solutions.