Opinion

Community Matters is a biweekly opinion column. The views expressed are solely the author’s.

My father and I recently visited Bridgeport, Alabama, a small town located in Northeast Alabama near the state’s border with Tennessee. My father recounted many memories of his time in Bridgeport in the mid-1960s, largely impacted by segregation and poverty. He noted that of the 11 members of his 6th grade class, only two eventually went to college.


Opinion

Community Matters is a biweekly opinion column. The views expressed are solely the author’s.

I recently moderated a forum for the Leadership Center for Excellence (LCE) on advocacy. After years of lobbying and grassroots advocacy, I enjoy learning how others influence our elected officials and community leaders.


Opinion

This weekend, I was preparing to give a speech on racial equity and I decided to get an image consultation.

The session started off well and towards the end, we discussed what hairstyle I should wear. I have been in the process of exploring different styles including natural styles. The consultant recommended that I wear a wig, as she saw me in a longer, straighter style. While one could argue that a wig might be more complimentary to my look for this event, we have to question why one would think it would be a better option.


Opinion

Community Matters is a biweekly opinion column. The views expressed are solely the author’s.

On Saturday, I made an interesting discovery. In 2008, I volunteered on a campaign and in the process met Kevin Vincent and his wife Pat Haman. I was relatively new to Arlington community work, and I remember being appreciative of the opportunity to connect with great people.


Opinion

As Arlington organizations seek to be more inclusive, and we adopt policies as a community to end structural racism, the elephant in the room is time and patience.

Many of us know that it is the right thing to do, but when it comes down to individual decisions that we know could move us in the right direction, we question whether we have the patience to weigh our options and do the right thing, in the right way, at the right time.


Opinion

As the U.S. withdraws troops from Afghanistan, there are discussions around the world about whether it’s the right course of action. It is a complicated decision, and it’s natural to think about the factors that went into the decision and what could have been done to produce a different outcome.

Recently, I have thought a lot about that moment in time when you decide to do the easier process instead of using all of the training you have received, all of the articles you have read and conversations you have taken part in, and go with the decision that is out of your comfort zone. When we think about what will make Arlington stronger, in all spaces, we have to be ready to push through the gray area of discomfort and come out stronger on the other side.


Opinion

Last week I moderated a conversation on Covid-19’s impact on Black women and girls, specifically around health and education. It was an important discussion, and the topic naturally raises questions about data collection.

We highlighted several topics including the current vaccination rates, the myths preventing someone from taking the vaccine and how some students have benefited emotionally and psychologically from learning in a virtual environment, away from the pressures and microaggressions they face at school. In order to find solutions to these challenges, good data collection is critical.


Opinion

I was recently asked for my thoughts on influence. I have always been intrigued by influence – how it works, what makes some more influential than others and exactly how one can consistently influence others for greater impact.

When I think about the people and institutions in Arlington who have the potential for the most impact, in addition to elected officials, business leaders, etc., our organizational and civic leaders at all levels top the list. As we push for Arlington to evolve, I think it is critical that each of us truly understand influence.


Opinion

It is not often that we see the opportunity for a major cultural shift in our society unfold before our eyes.

One of the many inequities that the COVID-19 pandemic elucidated was in the child care system, which represents larger gender and racial imbalances in our nation. Arlington County and the Commonwealth of Virginia have made great investments in expanding access to child care, and must continue to support our child care heroes to save the day.


Opinion

The Network NOVA Friday Power Lunch recently focused on how little lies, or misinformation, can grow into bigger lies if they go unchecked.

Lowell Feld, editor of Blue Virginia, noted that the Washington Post made the case that one fifth of Democrats were being challenged by far left challengers in the 2021 House of Delegates primaries.


Opinion

As a long time Arlington resident, I have seen citizen engagement from several angles.

I remember my first interactions with Arlingtonians upon moving here, and I definitely felt there was a reluctance to accept me immediately. Compared with my experiences with meeting new people in Alexandria, it felt like our Alexandria neighbors were more open to facilitate engagement and new perspectives with new members of their community.


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