Today is World Day of Social Justice! At Strategic Community Partners, we are passionate about mission-driven work as an act of justice and working towards justice--not just today, but everyday. Some of our core team members share their reflections on what it means to do mission-driven work.
Mission-driven work isn't a 9-5; it's a way of life, a deeply rooted belief in what is, should be, and what it will take to get there. At Strategic Community Partners (SCP), we work with organizations whose missions align with education, equity, and justice. I launched SCP three years ago, yet have always been committed to this work--both in my "professional role," yet also as an actively engaged citizen and beyond. This picture was taken days after Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson. I had just moved back to Detroit and immediately flew back down to St. Louis, taking members of my team and marching alongside my former students (who had graduated) and their families. --hundreds of us met at a church, we all couldn't fit in, so I waited in the parking lot with hundreds of people. We were beginning to march. It was a sobering reminder of what is, should be (and shouldn't be), and what it will take. We have a long way to go. I am blessed to be able to do this work, lead an organization committed to this work, and build a team and surround myself with people who are equally committed.
At Strategic Community Partners, our commitment to mission-driven work echoes throughout all that we do. I am continually impressed by our team’s professional and personal commitment to our work with organizations who work in spaces of education, equity, and justice, and am deeply grateful to be surrounded by such an incredible team. As I reflect on the World Day of Social Justice, I know that I do this work for our kids, our youth. I am, and will always be, so thankful for the family, teachers, and other adults who supported me throughout my educational experiences and development. They offered advice and compassion, advocated on my behalf, and did so, so much more. As a middle school teacher, I worked hard to offer that same love and support to my students. Although I’m no longer in the classroom, I wake up every day deeply committed to continuing our work on behalf of kids like me, my former students, and for all of our youth.
I live my activism daily though my work at SCP and my interactions with others. I believe deeply in the value of working with mission-driven organizations and individuals that seek to uplift communities and catalyze change. So often, mission-driven work means showing up and doing the hard work that seems overwhelming or impossible but I’ve been so inspired by the passionate and innovative partners of SCP. Everyday, these leaders show up and push for change and better outcomes for students, teachers, marginalized communities and others through their hard work and dedication to different causes. At SCP, we celebrate World Day of Social Justice every time we use strategy to help further our partners’ goals, every time we host a large community-based event and impact thousands of students lives, and every time we help raise the voices of our community members. It’s an honor to be a part of mission-driven work with such a passionate group of individuals with such varied personal experiences here at SCP and to have the relationships to the high-caliber thinkers and doers in the SCP network.
Storytelling is my passion. Film is the medium. Working with organizations like SCP has allowed me to engage as a leader in the movement through a creative lens. My company, For The Culture Films, caters to telling stories about social justice, human rights, and the experiences of people of color. SCP’s mission of working with mission-driven organizations that align with education, equity, and justice perfectly balances with the work I do as a filmmaker and social justice leader. World Day of Social Justice is a reflection and reminder of why I do what I do. I do it for my people, my community, and ultimately, for the culture.