As part of the #ReclaimingOurTime campaign, tomorrow my Instagram will be taken over by @elsamengistu to talk about her work and experiences as a Black activist in the environmental space.
I can’t wait for what she has to teach us. In the meantime, read her bio (copied below for screen readers).
And big thanks to @blackgirlenvironmentalist, @generation__green, and @passthemicclimate for the labor and time they have put in for this campaign during Black History Month.
Graphics by @baileydaze, @aishah_nyeta, & @wawa_gatheru
“Bold, Intentional, Holistic, Unapologetic, Insightful. These are all words to describe Elsa Mengistu. Mengistu is a strategist and visionary within the environmental movement. She is the Cultural Development and Outreach Specialist at Generation Green. Elsa’s focus for 2021 and beyond is to use her words, ideas, and vision to change the perceptions of various industries, including environmental space by uplifting Black women and youth. As a public speaker and political communicator, Elsa routinely conveys her ideas on the interconnectedness of social issues, identities, and life itself. As an expert on youth empowerment, organizing, and social impact she advises and consults for various companies and organizations to ensure equity, justice, and imagination are at the forefront of their missions and campaigns. She also is pursuing a degree in Political Science at Howard University with the hopes of combining her commitment to the planet and its people with her world view of politics and business.”
A text exchange with my Mom (who has “enormous respect” @rupaulofficial) ????
I couldn’t be more excited to be zooming into the work room on @rupaulsdragrace tonight! Huge love and thanks to the the crew that made it happen!
You were so kind to me when we worked on Nicolas Nickelby. I was 19, you were you; I was shaking in my Victorian boots, you were calm, steady, generous, and so, so funny.
It felt so special when it was you who handed me my Oscar a decade later. I was still the one shaking in my shoes; somehow you were still keeping me steady just with your formidable, warm, loving presence.
In between you played Lear–my heart still pounds thinking of all the poetry you captured–and you conjured the performance of a lifetime in Beginners. Before all that, you were already a legend so many times over. I hope you felt all the love you created.
Rest In Peace, Christopher Plummer. I love the way you lived, and the art you gave–both have inspired me to no end. I’m so happy to have gotten to spend time with you, and am so grateful for the memories.
I would like to kick off the celebration of Black History Month 2021 by thanking Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, @staceyabrams: you are making a better history while living it. You are my hero, a remarkable embodiment of grit, brilliance, hard work, determination, and power. Cheering your rise!
Even though she lived 96 glorious years, I still was not ready for this news. God bless you and thank you for the light you gave that showed us all the way. Rest in power Cicely Tyson, a Queen, a Legend, an Icon.
I am still so full from hearing @amandascgorman's poem yesterday. I was reading about Ms. Gorman and I learned that @oprah gave both Ms. Gorman and #MayaAngelou gifts ahead of their appearances at their respective inaugurations, earrings and a birdcage ring for Ms. Gorman and a Chanel coat and gloves for Ms. Angelou. Hearing this legacy of generosity from @oprah made me want to revisit On the Pulse of Morning, the poem Maya Angelou wrote for Bill Clinton’s inauguration, a poem I haven’t read since I was a little girl. I am stunned by the timelessness and prophecy of Maya Angelou’s words.
I feel these two poems are some of the greatest treasures of our, as Ms. Gorman said, “unfinished” America. I believe we must learn these words by heart, pull them in deep until we hear our souls recite them without our brains prompting, remembering with God-fearing humility that we are doomed to repeat what we dare to forget.
I am going to spend this year memorizing these poems, and I hope you will join me.
Congratulations again, Amanda Gorman, for electrifying the souls and helping heal the hearts of a nation’s people that so badly need it, my own included.