I dream of being part of a world where all people have access to the support and resources they need to thrive, while allowing the rest of our planet to thrive also. The extractive focus of capitalist economies that marginalize and exploit certain groups of people have not set up our society in a way that all people have the opportunity to thrive. By reading books like Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth and participating in a course on Regenerative Economics, I have been inspired about what the next economy can bring and the opportunities to create economic systems that are equitable and sustainable. This has driven me to contribute to shifts that can create and support these new systems.
Through my work at Remitly providing financial services to immigrants, I have learned how inequities in access to financial services, including loans and money movement, disadvantage certain people. Through reading and discussions of the book Decolonizing Wealth by Edgar Villanueva, I learned more about the financial legacy of colonization and necessary steps towards restoration, which help to guide my personal journey of decolonization.
I have been especially inspired to support programs that help all children explore and reach their potential. For example, in my volunteer work with Sierra Club’s Inspiring Connections Outdoors planning and leading outdoors trips for middle school students and with Seattle Angels Love Box Program providing support to a foster care family.
In the fall of 2023 I participated in a class on Regenerative Economics, led by John Fullerton and colleagues at the Capital Institute. Renerative economics is the application of nature’s laws and patterns of systemic health, self-organization, self-renewal, and regenerative vitality to socio-economic systems. Through the course I learned from many thought leaders and practitioners about the importance of moving beyond a reductionist mindset to holistic thinking that embraces many ways of knowing, finding a dynamic balance between resilience and efficiency that supports systems health, and the importance of fostering conditions for health that enable new collective states of consciousness and paradigm shifts.
I volunteered for six years with the Sierra Club’s Inspiring Connections Outdoors (ICO) program, a community outreach program providing opportunities for youth with limited access to the outdoors to explore, enjoy and protect the natural world. I planned and led outdoor trips for middle school students where we participated in activities including hiking, horseback riding, and visiting a salmon hatchery. I also recruited and led other volunteers. When we visited a local salmon hatchery I facilitated games to help the students learn about salmon. I volunteered with chapters of this organization in both Seattle, Washington and Washington, D.C.