Kirstyne “Kirie” Lange has been selected as an intern for the Sadie Nash Leadership Project (SNLP) in New York this summer. For the last nine weeks, she has blogged for The Campanil about her experience.
Being a part of the Sadie Nash Leadership Project this summer had really strengthened my feminist identity and expanded my understanding of social justice, leadership and community.
Sadie Nash provided a safe space for not only the participants but also for the deans and staff to truly grow and develop as agents for change. At this point, I have not only grasped a greater understanding of social constructs but I have also dug deep into my own beliefs. I started to break down certain harmful ideologies in order to create a better life for myself.
After navigating through week five, it was amazing to see how much the young women have grown. By applying the lessons they’ve learned from their classes, a few of them have even already begun to brainstorm ways they could help their schools and communities. One Nasher created a video about how Sadie Nash turned her into leader and discussed her plans for an after school program to help girls in her neighborhood transition from middle to high school.
My feelings about the whole experience is hard to put into words but I hope that example is enough for you to imagine the beautiful conversations, critical thinking, support and development that Leadership Project have sparked within their Nashers.
Instead of having one leader come in for “Leader Tuesday” earlier this week, we held a panel with seven of third year Nashers we all call Junior Deans. They shared how they contributed to the development of the pilot program for fellow third years and what they have experienced as part of the Sadie Nash Newark, New Jersey chapter.
For “Leadership Reflection,” we gathered outside in the Rutgers quad to create a mural. Being outdoors was a nice break from the usual and allowed everyone to creatively decorate their piece of Sadie Nash on poster paper. Since this event was only 90 minutes long, the young women had freedom to choose how they wanted to spend the rest of the workshop. Some chose to continue a workshop with Tasha, a dean who taught a step routine, while a few others gathered for games on the grass. The remainder of the Nashers enjoyed the shade under the trees.
Since Sadie Nash was coming to a close, everyone began to put together their final projects. In the media course, they were divided into groups and had to create their own magazine. They included stories, critical movie analysis and other hot topics that were class themes. I got to be the photographer and took pictures of the young women posing around campus. It was fun to contribute to the visions of the group and give them a versatile selection of photos for their magazine.
In Poetry, I recorded Nashers writing their poems for a video showcasing their pieces. Having a clip was much less nerve-wracking for the young women when they have to perform in front of the entire community during the presentations on the last day of the program.
While it was difficult going through the rest of this week knowing I would be leaving soon, I believe my memories of working alongside the the young women of Sadie Nash will always be with me.
To keep up with Kirstyne, you can follow her on Twitter @QweenKirie.
Read more of her related posts here.
If you’re a member of the Mills community who’s interested in blogging about your summer adventures, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.