I am feeling incredibly energized and full of ideas and hopes at the conclusion of the Granger Leadership Academy this year. It was an intense experience, but in many ways it was more restful that my hectic life as a graduate student has been, and while I did do work while I was there, in many ways the Granger Leadership Academy (GLA) was a kind of bubble inside of which I was isolated from the outside world. That is not to say that I ignored the wider world around me, or ignored the issues plaguing our society. I would argue that it was the reverse, actually, in that the majority of my time at GLA was spent engaging with society’s problems head-on, as I attended workshops surrounding mental health and social justice, climate change, and community organizing around issues of racial justice (which could also be applied to other forms of social justice organizing).
I left GLA with leadership skills that I will take with me in the form of strategies for organizing my life and what I do with my time, a readiness to confront my own feelings of impostor syndrome, and a fuller sense of how my identity shapes how I view and interact with the world and the people within it.
While at GLA I reconnected with old friends, made new ones, and I was introduced to ideas and concepts that I’d had perhaps only vague knowledge of beforehand. I learned about new places to visit, new organizations to work with and support, and new avenues to explore in my own career both personally and professionally as an activist.
Through attendance of GLA I’ve been inspired to be my better and best self, and I can’t wait to get started.