Where, What, and Why?

Greetings! My name is Natasha Ellis, I currently live in Atlanta, Georgia in the Westside Community where we face both economical and educational issues. I’m glad to say i’m embodied in history in my community and as its said all the time history can be rewritten but I don’t think it should be changed in a way where theres nothing left for you to remember. thats not history thats extinction. I’ve been apart of a non-profit organization called Raising Expectations for about 10 years and what they aim for in helping the Westside Community has become my dream and motivation as well. I heard about Breadloaf while I was still in Toulouse, France on a study abroad trip when my mother called me and told me I was flying to Vermont with R.E( Raising Expectations). Naturally I was confused I mean how am I traveling to Vermont while still in France and plus where did my permission or opinion come into this. My mother is a super engaged person in both the community and especially my education, so there was no arguing with her, I was glad I could even get out a thank you before I started to research and understand what it is that Breadloaf was and what my mission as someone newly apart of it was also.

It started then and there when we had are sessions at my after school where I started to set oil to the fire and identify the problems in my community that I as a teenager could fix and take with me to Vermont to share with peers just like me facing if not the same issues but set backs that will prevent future generations from planting the next seed of success and modernization. Arriving at Breadloaf and hearing the stories of other regions and states and how they came up with solutions and ways to fix problems has so far been a way for me to branch out and also  if not take some of these ideas home with me. With this experience I hope in the more days and years to come I can make a change in my community.

Natasha Ellis

2 Responses to “Where, What, and Why?

  • Wow Natasha. I love what you’ve written here. I think you’ve done an amazing job capturing the essence and the feeling of what it means to work with and learn from peer groups. There is this building and guiding level of comfort that we were all beginning to experience and I think that, like you said, fed oil to the flames and made us confidence that as individuals and as groups we have serious ideas about how we can address, look at, document, and know some of the most pressing issues in our areas.

    I also really love that you framed this as storytelling; we all gathered at Bread Loaf for storytelling. We shared experiences and art and ideas — and those stories alone seemed to already be forming the solutions. Wow. Storytelling as solutions. This is very interesting to think.

    What were some of the solutions that really stood out to you?

  • Natasha the world traveler,
    Thank you for bringing your perspective and understanding to our network. When you wrote: “thats not history thats extinction,” my heart skipped. My dissertation work is on women of Mexican heritage who lived, participated, and provided for their community, but have been absent in the historical annals of the community. They were at the risk of becoming “extinct” because the history of the town did not and would not include them. I am passionate about this topic and I am dedicated to working right alongside you as we protect and preserve the histories of people and places that risk extinction.
    In solidarity,
    Ceci

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