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Kellogg Fellow Launches Nation’s First Racial Equity-Oriented Financial Institution

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Southern African Kellogg Fellows Team Up to Address Challenges

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Latin American Kellogg Fellows Collaborate Closely for Common Good

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The Kellogg fellow is in her third term representing North Carolina 12th Congressional District

March 11, 2019

Kellogg Fellows Examining Equity through Food

How can issues of societal and racial equity be better understood through the lens of food?

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I write. It is something I have done since I was a child though it was not until I was an adult that I recognized that it was a gift. Having early learned to read, I recognized in the written word a special quality. Words are varied, beautiful things that are, in their own realm, like notes are to music.

I write. It is something I have done since I was a child though it was not until I was an adult that I recognized that it was a gift. Having early learned to read, I recognized in the written word a special quality. Words are varied, beautiful things that are, in their own realm, like notes are to music. As a writer, I massage them into form, forms that are asked of me, and those that are called out of my spirit. Why do I do what I do?

  • Because I have no choice. Though this seems simplistic, it is true in this sense: Words flow out and through me compulsively. There are stories I must tell, mine and others. In my work as a psychologist and health care advocate, I have been known for writing nontraditionally, for creating word pictures that allow readers to see the people about whom I write. That is the power of words.
  • Because it is my legacy. There are many forms of writing and I have been blessed to do several of them well. Along with the ways that I love my friends and family, words are something that I will leave the world. As says DooWop™, the blues singing dog, from my yet to be published children’s stories, “I have learned from my lyric and melodic ancestries that life is best when you find your hearts' true voice.  For me, (writing) is colored blue.  Like the azure sky that shades my path.  Like the well deep water that I drink… (Writing) make(s) me happy and (it) make(s) my friends smile. That is why I (write).
  • Because words are beautiful. I write because it brings the possibility of sunshine to the grayest of days, provides texture to my life’s journey, enlarges the story of love that human beings share with each other and, in all of these ways makes my soul dance! There are few better reasons to wake up each day.

This essay and portrait is part of a community-art and leadership project called “wdydwyd?” Tony Deifell (KNLP-16) invited his colleagues in the Kellogg Fellowship to reflect on what motivates them to follow their personal and professional paths by answering the question, “Why do you do what you do?”


“wdydwyd?” has reached over 1.5 million people worldwide and it has been used for team-building at Google, Twitter, many colleges and universities, nonprofits and K-12 classrooms. And, according to Wired Magazine, “In Silicon Valley, that question has been the hottest team-building meme since Outward Bound – and it’s spreading.” For more information: http://wdydwyd.com/leadership.


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