A couple hours after my 2nd interview for Generation Justice, I saw Roberta’s name light up my phone. I squealed and danced in my bedroom when I found out I was being offered the Fellowship. Generation Justice was exactly where I wanted to be – and the opportunity that I had been looking for.
Half of me can’t believe I’ve already been here for six months, the other half can’t believe that I’ve only been here for six months. I have experienced so much beauty on a day-to-day basis, whether it’s an inspiring conversation or a lesson learned. I have found the room in my life to reflect, create, laugh, cry, and love.
Generation Justice isn’t just an organization, it’s something alive – and it’s powerful. It’s created this web of connections for me – connections with others in the community, connections about my culture and my environment, and connections about who I am.
Before coming to Generation Justice, I had been losing faith in journalism, and in turn, my faith in myself as a journalist. I felt like society was weighing on me, and justice was becoming harder to envision. I was really lost. From production to print, I felt like the media was becoming simply a newsfeed of violence. Watching the grainy footage of police shooting James Boyd in the Albuquerque foothills, while simultaneously listening to the death being justified through news jargon and vague explanations, I was completely unraveled.
I knew I had to somehow find a way to seek change.
Now, six months later, I can see all the connections I had been making at the time. This time, I don’t feel lost and confused. Instead I have found confidence and solidarity. I had been internalizing the oppression and brutality of the world around me and questioning where I could find respect and solace, both for myself, and for others. I hadn’t realized that my voice had become quieter and quieter. I had been feeling unheard and feeling disrespected as a woman, as a person of color, and as a youth. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t reflecting on my work and on myself. Generation Justice gave this gift to me: to recognize that I needed to be grounded in myself before I could reach happiness, and my dreams of being a journalist.
Generation Justice revolutionized the way I approach what I do. Now, I realize that vulnerability is a source of strength. It encourages me everyday to be a better human, and how to try and uplift those around me. I know so many students who spend countless hours filled with stress and anxiety about school, work, or the society that we live in – and I feel so incredibly honored to have access to such a safe space to be able to heal. This space has reminded me of the importance of sharing love.
Love is something I probably would roll my eyes about a couple months ago. Even as a writer, I had cynically thrown the word out without ever searching for a real definition. Now, I realize that the word “love” is so misunderstood. This is what I know I will be able to carry with me for the rest of my life – a very profound love for the world around me, and the inspiration to reflect that love. Probably the most invigorating part is being able to find love for myself. I’ve certainly grown in my journalism, my writing, and my editing – but growing in self-love has been the magic that has really made my journey something special. Now that I’ve found my footing, I can’t wait to see where my path goes these next six months, and beyond.