Who are you?
I am the woman whose name is too long to pronounce, but just long enough to let you know, “I am someone. I am here with you.” I am a Hindu married to a Jew living in a Christian nation. I am my father’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother. I am an empath, so I feel you. I am the director of programs at Bread & Roses Community Fund, which means I help move money to movements. I like to sing. I like to write. I like to eat…is that such a crime?
How did you become part of the Leeway community?
When I started at Bread & Roses in January of 2015, my first task was to help plan our town hall on Gender Justice and Mass Incarceration in partnership with Leeway Foundation. Leeway was already planning the No Selves to Defend exhibit working with Mariame Kaba and Rachel Caidor, two of my favorite people to organize with from Chicago, so I knew that I was in good company. Since then, I’ve had numerous opportunities to work with Leeway’s incredible team. Bread & Roses frequently uses the Community Room [in the Leeway office] to hold meetings, training, and workshops. We’ve partnered with Leeway on several events and are happy to be funding the revolution, each in our own way.
How has Leeway played a role in your own evolution?
Although I have not yet applied for the Art and Change Grant, working with Leeway and Leeway grantees has encouraged me to see all the ways that my own artistic endeavors (songwriting, singing, and poetry) and activism are connected. I have also learned how much an event can benefit from having artists involved in the planning from the start. So often, activists tack artists on at the end, as an afterthought. But artists make the heart beat, and the blood pump. They are the breath in the body.
If Leeway were a playlist, what song would you be?
Freedom by George Michael, because “I think I’m gonna get myself happy”.