Erika Roberts is a creative force. With words written and spoken, she brings power to her art using her strongest tools: language and love. In this new blog takeover series, Erika not only gives us a look into what it’s like to be a collaborator forced to work from a distance during a global pandemic, but she’ll also introduce the GHC team through the lens of the shutdown later in the series.
Every morning I begin in silence. Thankful for this moment. Thankful that the words still choose mE after all of these years. Thankful that I have the chance to create and share my talent with all of you.
I sit in a quiet space where time only matters when I look at the clock. I must meet the day with the silence that I make. Listening to my breathing, remembering those that cannot breathe. I take in enough air that my sides move powerfully in sync. In tandem with my blinks the affirmations roll.
This is the 2nd entry in the series that I have dedicated to my GHC teammates.
Last week we spoke on strength with GHC Director Teal Thibaud.
This week the blog is inspired by a convo that I had with Lynesha Lake, the Community Outreach Coordinator for Glass House Collective.
Lynesha or “Nikki” as most close to her refer is an active mother and community leader. Lynesha has been with Glass House since 2019.
Each week I give my teammates a word to write on and Lynesha’s word was “silent.” When I gave her that word a week ago she text mE and said “you would give me that word” I laughed because I infact chose her word carefully.
Silence is so powerful. It’s sometimes more powerful than speaking out. Many things are assumed of you if you are silent. Silence can be comforting or it can be alarming.
As I started this entry, I sat in the quietness of my room. It is in this silence that I hear. I am thinking back to when I first met Lynesha. She was still finding her way in serving the community. She is now preparing herself for some amazing works.
Lynesha says that her work outside of Glass House Collective has helped her do a better job within the collective. All of these organizations share a common thread; relationship building. She has met many people on this journey that have made this experience worth it all.
If her life were a book she said that she would name it “The Wonder and The Relearning” as she coins herself a researcher. She sits in silence and allows the data to speak. Many things that she has learned over the years had to be relearned. Her kids are seeing her example of working hard to carve out better paths in the community. She wants her kids to know that research and dialogue are both very important in this work.
During the early stages of the shutdown Lynesha had to juggle into her schedule this crisis as she was not afraid of this time. Lynesha felt comfortable in the fact that we are resilient. We have made it through other hard times. Her objective was to keep people informed which meant that SHE had to be informed. This is paramount to her. Being prepared by knowing the latest.
Lynesha is an active advocate for single parents. She has five very intelligent kids one of which just graduated from high school. (Way to go Bron!)
She and I sat on the patio of Southern Squeeze drinking juice. We sat under a canopy that gave us comfort. We sat and talked as the basil, sage and rosemary perfumed the air showing us what peace smelled like.
We talked about the work that we do and how fulfilling it is. We spoke about being Black women working in this capacity. We wore no fake masks to make our Blackness less Black. We are unapologetically Black women. We are valuable.
We spoke on our responsibility to the community to be forever true.
With most jobs it’s hard to have an identity within the company.
With GHC we all have very different personalities and that magic extends its fingerprints on all of our collective works.
Lynesha brings a sense of silent integrity to the work we do in the community. She is trusted and that’s an honor.
With each new blog inspired by one of my teammates, this poetic picture will grow.
Thank you yet again for reading my thoughts as we get to know more about my GHC teammates.
See you back next week. Enjoy this weekend. Find a space to just be silent.