What can you do to make an impact in the lives of others? This summer, Bryan and I spent six weeks with eleven people who are going to change the world—our Impact Fellows. They were artists and activists, youth educators and campus organizers, friends and community members, but more than anything else they were Asian American leaders committed to the struggle, ready to fight for change.
From intensive workshops, to program development trainings, to facilitation training, to community organizing simulations, to team building activities, to hours in a van together to visiting Vincent Chin’s grave site, to personal story presentations, to one on one coaching sessions, to “weekday Bryan” vs. “weekend Bryan” (IFP 2013 inside joke), to amazing food and amazing people, to the close bonds built, we will always remember each and every one of our Fellows, and the impact that they have had on us.
The legacy that the Impact Fellows leave will extend beyond the walls of Advancing Justice—Chicago or any of the community organizations that our Fellows worked with. We hope our IFP-ers continue to inspire their peers to become community advocates, and we are so proud of everything they have accomplished. As one of our Fellows once said of her IFP class: “It’s a really powerful group of people.”
Lastly, we’d like to thank our IFP classes of 2012 and 2013 for giving us so much more than we ever could have expected, and being our true and constant inspiration for the work that we do. We miss you all!
–Viveka Ray-Mazumder and Bryan Hara
Advancing Justice—Chicago Youth Organizer and Advancing Justice—Chicago Program Manager