Today, I made my donation to Sankofa Impact as part of the GiveBIG campaign and this particular gift means so much to me. It has been a tough couple of years, for all of us. I am not just the Executive Director of this organization, I am someone who has been forever changed by the mission of Sankofa Impact – to confront our history of racism and resistance by bringing people together for place-based learning experiences. 

On my first trip as a participant in 2014, I committed myself to the lessons of Fannie Lou Hamer, Mamie Till, Dr. Carolyn McKinstry, and Viola Liuzzo. Lessons that connect so clearly to the women in my own family like my daughter, Isis Ishino-Amen, my mom, Victoria Heller, and my grandmother, Katherine Henson. Each of these women embody strength and unyielding love, in spite of and because of so much trauma and oppression.

Felicia Ishino at StudioBE in New Orleans, LA

The fire inside me is directly connected to the fires within them with flames fanned by the winds of change in a system designed to extinguish our fight and resilience. Systems of oppression that must be burned to the ground. Out of the ashes, we must bring about a world of collective liberation and beloved community. A world alight with joy.

I hope that you have found time over the past couple years to remember the lessons of those who came before us. I believe Sankofa Impact has played a role in helping to lift up historical narratives so that we may each move toward the world we want to see. I believe this because of the impact these narratives have had in my own life.

Your support of Sankofa Impact during the GiveBIG campaign this May 3-4 means more than just a charitable contribution – it will ensure that other everyday people, like you and me, will have the opportunity to hold the lessons of the past and find inspiration towards everyday activism.

Felicia Ishino, Executive Director