I hope this newsletter finds you and your loved ones doing well and enjoying the various treasures these long summer days tend to bring.
The past few months at Sankofa Impact have been full of connection making, planning, and continuing to dream out loud with some exciting updates we have in store. Last year was a whirlwind between our return to in-person Pilgrimage trips, a life-changing journey to Germany, and partnerships that helped to solidify our work in the Seattle community and beyond. Because 2022 was so full, we have decided that this fall will be a time for rest, reset, and grounding. More to come.
Recently, a friend and Pilgrimage alum asked if I find myself exclusively wanting to read and watch content connected to justice and fighting anti-Black racism? Whether or not I struggle to talk about anything that veers from those topics like she does? At the core of her question was, “Where do I look for and find balance?”
It has taken me some time to reflect on this question and I realize that while the work is constant, it is becoming increasingly more important that I strive to prioritize personal healing and growth.
Entering into my 8th year at this organization and preparing to celebrate my 46th birthday, I have not always done a great job knowing what to prioritize and how to balance. However, I am slowly recognizing that it is about embracing simple pleasures.
This summer, I’ve been able to enjoy a few simple pleasures—like sunning on a rock by the Rogue River with dragonflies swooping around my face, eating the best lobster dip of my life in Martha’s Vineyard, and spending much needed time with my adult daughter and Pilgrimage alum, Isis.
Sometimes Isis shows up at my house, picks up mail, pets our cats Tut and Beyoncé, rummages through the fridge and cupboards, eventually flopping on the couch in utter exhaustion. She can often be found wrapped in a blanket, no matter what temperature it is outside. She automatically transforms into a child, in need of rest and care.
I witness my daughter facing challenges that are familiar to me, along with many challenges unique to her generation. How difficult it is for her to prioritize her own joy and sense of value.
I recently came across a quote by author of South to America, Imani Perry, which reminds me of what truly matters in this complicated and frustrating world—one where so many of us have continued to struggle in regaining a sense of community and belonging.
“I want you to be able to eat, to keep a roof over your head, to have some leisure time, to not struggle to survive. I want you to be appreciated for your labors and gifts. But what I hope for you is nothing as small as prestige. I hope for a living passion, profound human intimacy and connection, beauty and excellence. The greatness that you achieve, the hope I have for it, for you, is a historic sort, not measured in prominence.”Imani Perry
My dream for Isis, her brothers, and every young person who is juggling what it means to put one foot in front of the other, is to find time for simple pleasures—I hope she feels the sun on her face, feels an occasional breeze from an Oregon river, swims at Inkwell Beach. I hope that she embodies a living passion. I hope we all do.
Sankofa Impact in 2024 is going to be unlike any year we have ever had and we cannot wait to share with you all the impact we make along the way. As we move forward as an organization, I promise to keep seeking balance through embracing simple pleasures. Our team at Sankofa Impact will stop and appreciate the beauty and excellence of this work. And we all hope for our young people that they will achieve greatness of an historic sort.
See you out there.