By Iris Shiraishi, Mu Performing Arts
“We end at the beginning” – that was my first thought walking into Nile Hall at Preservation Park in Oakland, California last week. Three years ago, walking into the same hall, I had so many questions as we embarked on our collective journey in the Organizational Fellowship Program, a project of the National Gender & Equity Campaign (NGEC). I can’t say that all those original questions have been answered, but I can say that they’ve been supplanted by those that come from a deeper understanding of the issues as we work towards gender and equity.
I loved meeting up and hearing from folks across both the MN and CA cohorts. I loved seeing past staff join the convening. It is from these deep and lasting relationships that I hope I/Mu/all of us can begin at this ending and continue on our work with renewed focus and passion.
AAPIP’s plenary session on Philanthropy and the Economy on Saturday was awe-inspiring! Each of the speakers communicated their purpose and dedication from such a deep, honest, authentic place; you could not walk away without feeling energized and inspired. I will know to conjure up their presence whenever I get discouraged or too bogged down in the mire of the work.
And that was a rockin’ reception and dinner! Those little scallop things melted in your mouth; the liquid refreshments flowed oh so freely and I was able to laugh a lot with more folks throughout the evening.
Thank you AAPIP for a great convening; thank you for all your support over these three years; thank you for helping me do my work!