I never go looking for a problem. When it comes to community outreach, CCI works more with education issues. Some policy work is done at the state capital, but when it comes to grassroots in the community; people just walk in the door. It depends, sometimes it’s that people aren’t being paid or they’ve been racially profiled by the police; no day is normal here. It does make work fun, but it is also pretty heavy.
Trying to connect with people, and get them to remain involved can be a challenge. The thing is, tomorrow is going to come and there’s going to be a whole new group of people that need the same help, so we want to build a community and a support system for the new people too. But that’s a struggle because once your problem has been fixed, why should you want to stay involved? Some people do and some don’t, but that’s the biggest goal: keeping people engaged in the work.
“Why should you want to stay involved?”
The people who do stay engaged are the people who see the big picture. We call it a world-view or an inter-sectionality, which is like a big white person word! But it’s all the idea that everything is connected and the people who stick around see that. That also helps to pull people in, so we rely on the people that do choose to stick around. The first time people come in, they don’t know or trust me, but it’s all about relationship building. I do a lot of one on ones with people and just talking with them about life. People power is what it is, so much of society is like divide and conquer and focusing on individualism, but you have to remember that you can’t do anything alone.