My colleague, Shannon Williams, gave me some great starting advice as I was onboarding with Armstrong McGuire. “Nevin, please free to poke a hole in what you see.” These words were liberating to me, as I saw this not only as an invitation to be at the table, but to also bring my ideas.
It wasn’t until last year, during a staff meeting outside in our parking lot as we tried to find some sense of togetherness during the COVID pandemic, did I realize the toll that years of racial equity work was taking on my mental and physical health. I was exhausted. But it wasn’t the exhaustion induced by the pandemic alone. For the first time, I was physically feeling the toll of racial equity on my health, and it frightened me. I heard a speaker at a philanthropy conference describe that for BILPOC (Black, Indigenous, Latinx and People of Color) staff working in the space of racial equity, the work can be experienced as the equivalent of walking around with a low-grade fever.
Recently my husband attended a business conference in Las Vegas, and he invited me to come along. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I had time or was all that interested in Sin City, but a friend encouraged me to go just to be with Jeff. She was right. I was reminded that investing time with your spouse or partner is always worth it.So, off to Vegas we flew.