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Becoming30 June's Question

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

I love this photo. It is the manifestation of a dream.

I was around 18 when I first started learning about all the ways in which Amerikkka has oppressed Black and Brown people politically, financially, culturally. The learning and unlearning rocked my world. I began to imagine what a better world would look like. I envisioned a society where all Black and Brown people were safe and supported. I'm a romantic at heart so I immediately placed this society on the African continent. I thought, and continue to think, how do we get to a point where Africans and the Diaspora are in one accord? How do we build bridges?

After graduating college, I gained experience as an organizer and curator of cultural events. I saw what happens when you bring like-minded people together to reflect and celebrate. And then Trump was elected. So many of us Black/Volunteers of Color struggled with continuing our Peace Corps service or retuning to the US to protest. My mental health deteriorated, and the only way I could justify staying in Rwanda was to organize an event that celebrated our excellence.

On March 18th 2017, Ponder and Party was born at Inema Arts Centre in Kigali. A gathering where Black people were centered, our accomplishments amplified. A gathering where like-minded individuals came to discuss, plot, mobilize, and strategize. On that day, my vision of building bridges became real. I was validated in the fact that WE have the power to create the reality we need. We have the tools and resources.

This leads me to June’s question, what is your dream? However long in the future -- 5, 10, 15 years -- how do you envision your life or society? Join me in manifesting our dreams and destiny.

My answer: I have many dreams, but above all I hope to play a role in the shift happening in the Diaspora to create bridges between ALL Black people. I have a dream where Ponder and Party is a part of The Culture to create understanding amongst Black people across the globe. I have a dream where I am living on the African continent, writing and publishing stories, and being a champion for young Black girls.

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1 Comment

Lola Oshodi
Lola Oshodi
Jul 09, 2020

I loved reading this post Shewa! Knowing you personally and watching your dreams manifest has been so inspiring! Like you, when I look to the future I envision so many different things! Through all the uncertainty, I hope to live in a more fluid society, one of tolerance, cultural and racial acceptance (among other things). A place where I am happy, impacting/ influencing change and working on my continuous health.

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