Welcome to 2012: Challenge accepted

This time last year, I wrote about how I aimed to be a better person professionally and personally.  For the most part, I’ve shown some real growth in both areas.  However, the effort to become better doesn’t end at the stroke of midnight.  Like dancing and meditation, it’s now a part of my DNA.

So what should I talk about during this first week of the new year? Well, the amazing Maddie Grant issued a challenge to blog about the topic How are you going to change the world in 2012?  A large task indeed.  I mean I’m a small spoke in a very large wheel.  What can I possibly do to change the world?  After giving it some thought, I came up with two rather simple goals.

1. Increase the number of voices that are rarely heard in the association blogosphere. In the 17+ months this blog has been in existence, I’ve learned just how rare it is to see someone who looked like me or do what I do as a regular blogger in the association community.  I want to change that.  If I can influence one new voice in this area, I’ve accomplished my goal.

2. Kick assumptions and stereotypes in the ass.  From Presidential candidates, to hip-hop artists, to the media, I have been pegged as angry, obese, uneducated, over sexed, lonely, and ugly.  In 2012, I’m going to shock, surprise, and outrage those who uphold these stereotypes of black women.  I’m going to challenge what others think I should be reading or listening to or even who I should date.  I’m going to make it downright impossible to place me in a specific box.

Obviously, these goals may not be as simple as I made them out to be.  However, I love a good challenge.

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4 thoughts on “Welcome to 2012: Challenge accepted

  1. I wish I could just have you with me during the day so I could hear your voice in my ear on challenging assumptions. I’m sick to death of feeling “less than” at any time because of other people’s views, but it is my job to challenge those feelings and views and not anyone else’s. Thanks for writing another inspirational blog post!

  2. Your goals are really gifts. To help someone find their voice, open their mind, see another perspective, throw away the box — those are definitely gifts, maybe not welcomed at first, but in retrospect, they’ll be thankful, or at least better off. Happy New Year!

  3. Love this post Stefanie – the best person we can be is the person we want to be, not the person anyone else tells us we should be. Your openness and honesty is both inspirational and a driver of personal growth amongst your readers (at least me). Can’t wait to keep reading your posts in 2012!

  4. Thanks Stefanie for another unconventional inspirational post. You have inspired me, yes a DELP Scholar, to be another voice in the association blogosphere.

    What I love about your blog is that you do not fit in a cookie-cutter mold of what a feel-good inspirational blog would most likely be. However, you give your audience a kick-in-the-pants approach to face challenges. This of course is a bold and honest approach. I can appreciate that as a Texan.

    Throughout my career I have always preferred this honest approach rather than a candy-coated critique that would not challenge me in the short, let alone the long-term. Fortunately, I have had mentors that cultivated my growth.

    There are many benefits in reaching one’s goals as envisioned. However, it can be a double-edged sword as others will be vying for your position or not really supportive as you nurture team success. Anyhow, it is crucial that emerging leaders in the association world and in the Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) support each other’s goals and cultivate longitudinal growth. I know that since I have been a DELP Scholar (Class of 2010-12) I have been inducted, with no questions asked, into a quasi-Greek letter organization. True, we are not identified by Greek letters, but we do hold similar social values and principles, such as “having each other’s back”, a mission and camaraderie. We are a sisterhood and brotherhood rolled into one. DELP members become like a second family in supporting each other’s goals, encouraging upward mobility and being the puzzle piece connector in networking situations. I have met many people in the last 18 months because of DELP scholars from previous classes. Therefore, it is ultimately my goal to be that cultivator, mentor and connector for future DELP scholars and every emerging association leader. I feel this is what a higher power called me to do. Now, I just need to put my boots on the ground and start marching to the cadence of success.

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