make a difference

Intention v. Impact

2017. New year's resolutions: Health, New Beginnings, Impact. 

I went to a powerful training in early December, one of the many desperate actions I've been taking to make sense of a confusing and disappointing world. It was called, "Building Community Power and Resiliency in the Face of Adversity." In the first of six workshops, I delved into what it means to move beyond being an ally in the fight for racial, and therefore environmental, justice. 

Of the many difficult and insightful teachings, I unpacked the difference between intention and impact. We can have the best intention but simply MEANING well doesn't DO anything. The instructor gave an example. Right after the election, there was the "Safety Pin" movement to show solidarity with anyone who felt in danger because of gender, race, sexuality, disability or religion. The instructor asked, "What was the action behind this? Pinning a safety pin. Nothing more." 

True, I thought, when I simply intend to do something, nothing is changed by it. Unless I actually ACT on my intentions, there are no results. So I pass this little insight onto you. Whether you are taking 2017 by the horns and trying to fight for environmental justice and human tolerance, or you are simply trying to rally the effort to begin an application to a fellowship, know that intentions are nothing if you don't act on them. 

Fellowships are Everwhere

Once you know about fellowships, they seem to pop up everywhere. I found my very first fellowship when I was browsing for ways to work or volunteer in Senegal. I happened to come upon a post written by a microfinance fellow in Senegal who was working with "Hmm, a fellowship to do microfinance in Senegal that would simultaneously allow me to study dance . . . AWESOME!" It turned out I didn't get to go to Senegal on that fellowship (instead I was stationed in Cameroon which is where I met my husband, a sweet story for another post), but that started me off on the fellowships track. Keep an eye out for fellowships because they pop up in unlikely places. 

I was just searching for Jaclyn Friedman's quote, "After this game, everyone better start calling it 'soccer' and 'men's soccer.'" when I came upon a Global Health Corps blog written by a 2014-15 Fellow. Global Health Corps Fellowships look awesome!! If I were in this sector, I would be onto something big. If this describes you, check it out!! 

All Global Health Corps fellows are motivated, intelligent, and believe health is a human right. They come from diverse backgrounds, and vary in educational experience, professional expertise, and personal story. Whether they have a background in management, education, research, technology or another field, each fellow brings a unique perspective to their Placement Organization and the GHC community. Fellows have meaningful impact on their Placement Organization during the fellowship year, while developing leadership skills and relationships within a supportive community that will prepare them for deepened impact on global health over the course of their careers.
— Global Health Corps Fellows - What's a fellow?

Apply HERE