By Maria Cadenas, Executive Director of Santa Cruz Community Ventures
Last week I had the privilege of being in our nation's capitol as part of the HOPE Leadership Institute (HLI). It was our last session as a fellowship cohort of 30 Latina Leaders from across California. To say that I am humbled by them is not giving them justice.
When I signed up for HLI, I was seeking a way to do more. And yet, as the days went by I realized that what I was actually getting was the words and tools to share my story and listen to stories of the women around me. It was in this finding and telling that I was given the strength to better partner with the communities I care so much about.
I was reminded of the power of stories. How its through our stories that we get to know each other as neighbors, coworkers, and friends. I was reminded that it is in this weaving of stories that we connect. How we forge relationships and dialogue. Where we find space for new ways and innovation.
Sometimes, in the day to day efforts to create policy and processes, we forget the very human journey and reason we do what we do. We persist on affordable healthcare because it is about keeping people living and thriving. We persist on fair immigration policies because it is about families being together and the communities we live next door to. We persist because not doing so dishonors the very shoulders we stand on.
Persistence means continued effort. A commitment to keep on keeping on. And today that means continuing to tell our stories on the value of the ACA and how it changed our lives and communities for the better - making us a #HealthierUS.
Today persistence means continuing to share the stories and value of our #DREAMers and immigrant families and neighbors.
Today is about taking the time to know each other's story, finding our care and love for each other as people, and remembering that the world we want can only happen if we work towards it.