Young Leaders Wealth Redistribution Circle
Narratives Unbound’s Young Leaders Wealth Redistribution Circle is a virtual national cohort of visionary leaders under the age of 25 from around the United States that work together to transform their communities through saving, investing and wealth redistribution strategies.
Leaders learn from community experts about the history of money, race and strategies for facilitating workshops, through introspective and comprehensive trainings and walk away with a multitude of tools that will enable them to focus on their strengths while developing their confidence in public speaking, problem solving, and group collaboration.
Young leaders gain awareness around the theories and practices of racial and economic equity leading them to become the social innovators and agents of change that will transform their communities and the world around them.
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Meet the 2021-2023 Cohort
Sonja Lerner is a 21-year-old living in Washington State. They are trying to build an educational experience that allows them to learn expansively and pursue their curiosity around what it looks like to build capacity for collective/transformative/restorative justice on college campuses. They are creating an educational focus centered on combining study and action as a way to blur the lines of what gets to be called learning and who defines knowledge production.
Sonja sees wealth distribution as important because of its ability to open space for interrogation of her relationship to money as well as what it means to build communities around sharing resources. The practice of being able to ask for what you need and also give freely is at the core of building communities that are able to effectively care for and support each other. This foundation of support is what makes mutual aid, and practices of community justice possible and effective. Conversations around wealth building are so often focused on an individual getting all that they can, but focusing on a cyclical and community-based model of resource building allows for a framework of abundance and caring instead of scarcity and hoarding.
Iris is a twenty-year-old aspiring healer and natural medicine practitioner. They are most recently based in the San Juan Islands and studying at Whitman College. They are called into this space by a devotion to radical healing, collaborative education and learning, and transformative justice. They see this as an opportunity to dedicate themself to their community and gain inspiration and power from their peers. Their goal is to practice accountability through a commitment to humility and learning while building relationships centered around mutual care and justice. They believe wealth redistribution is an important aspect of building community and collective power and that it is a mechanism that can be used to heal generational trauma around money, strengthen relationships through an intentional practice of asking for and receiving support.
SALLY DEE PHILPOTT
I am 19-year-old sophomore at Mount Holyoke College and I decided to become apart of this program because I want to grow my skills as a leader within my community. I am planning on becoming an educator as I am pursuing a Psychology and Education degree. I know that my experience working alongside my peers and more experienced leaders will help me develop professionally and as a future educator.
My name is Chia Webb-Cázares, I use she/they pronouns and I currently reside on occupied Jumanos, Tonkawa, Lipan Apache, Coahuiltecan, and Comanche Land, otherwise known as Wimberley, Texas. I am a queer, non-binary, mixed race (White Latinx) person, so discussions of equity and social justice have been at the forefront of my interests for quite some time. I attend Mount Holyoke College but am currently taking the year off. I am passionate about learning and educating through sharing, discussing, and connecting with others; activities that I believe are of the utmost importance in the process of creating a better world.
Namaka Auwae-Dekker is a young visionary living in Seattle. She has worked for and participated in community organizations across the city. She has also lead workshops on topics including housing and economics, disability justice, indigenous education, and colonialism. Namaka is currently working in the special education department towards a degree in early education.
Ha’aheo Auwae-Dekker is a 21 year old artist and creative currently attending Seattle University where they study filmmaking and sociology. They’ve been involved in Seattle based non-profits, Young Women Empowered (Y-WE), and Reel Grrls since they were fifteen years old doing organizing work, interning, working on Y-WE’s Youth Leadership Council, and more. Since high school, they have facilitated workshops on imperialism, race, and migration in the world. Their hope is through their work with Narratives Unbound, they can continue the work they are passionate about. Ha’aheo is an audio technician on the Seattle podcast, the DeepEnd Podcast, and works in the Reel Grrls production company, Reel Grrls Pro. When they aren’t studying or working, you’ll find Ha’a watching and analyzing a good movie, researching their familial and cultural history as a Native Hawaiian, and painting.
Zaria is a 20-year-old student at the University of Washington. A soon-to-be graduate majoring in Psychology, Zaria hopes to work as a relationship and family counselor after completing her education. Currently, Zaria is a Programs Intern at Young Women Empowered, a non-profit organization based in Seattle. She is passionate about building community and networks among young BIPOC women. She hopes to use this opportunity to empower her community and create a safe space for learning and connection.
Ami graduated Magna Cum Laude, which means “with great distinction” from Eastern Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Leadership certificate and a minor in Design. She was awarded the Frances B. Huston Medallion Award.
Ami is a board member for Young Women Empowered, a not-for-profit dedicated to providing guidance, support, and encouragement to young women during their transition toward adulthood. She is also in the Young Leaders Wealth Redistribution Circle for Narratives Unbound as a race and equity facilitator, and a student-athlete mentor for the non-profit Strong Girls United. She was a Track and Field student-athlete at Eastern and was Big Sky Conference All-Academic.
Ami is an aspiring product designer and communications and development coordinator. She hopes to get her Masters and Ph.D. and is a developer of a start-up app-based community that focuses on supporting the mental well-being of female student-athletes throughout their academic and athletic careers. Her lifelong goal is to join the peace core and work in their youth development sector. Ami is determined to become the change she wants to see within the world all while breaking generational barriers.
Wealth distribution is important because it increases opportunities and lowers poverty by reducing inequality. As a child who grew up in a low-income and immigrant household, Ami saw her parents use wealth distribution within their community. When they did this, they were able to expand their time and freedom by reducing the amount of stress income-required tasks created. Wealth distribution creates community, support, and vulnerability for people to assemble and share their needs without judgment, all while also contributing to aiding another person's needs. It is a cycle that reminds us that we are all human and gratifies each life that it touches. Wealth distribution challenges the fixed mindset that was created when communicating, connecting, and disbursing money and turns it into the growth mindset of investing.
I am currently finishing the last bits of my interdisciplinary BA focusing on transgenerational trauma, collective memory, embodied knowledge (somatics), and creativity as a space for healing and knowledge production. The pinnacle of my work in these emerging fields of somatics and memory studies has occurred abroad in Berlin, studying the political frameworks of colonialism and imperialism that allow for mass genocides to occur. How are communities shaped by these events? What spaces are created for collective memory, and whose narratives are cast out? The experience has shifted my frameworks around learning and communal knowledge production. We all have so much to learn from the experience of each individual person in the world. What does it take to sit back and listen, and not judge any person based on our own cultural experiences or expectations, especially those that come from a place of colonial hierarchy? I've learned not to judge myself- to allow myself to see my paintings, my textile work, my creative writing projects, and even just scribbles and doodles in my notebook, as critical sources of knowledge and forms of storytelling. These learnings have led me back to the importance of community. How do we express care for one another? How do we support each individual to the best of our ability? How do we cast away the frameworks of individualism that so many of us have been acculturated to? I think of wealth redistribution in a slightly abstracted sense, where "wealth" doesn't always mean money. What forms of abundance do I have that others are lacking? Food, clothes, books, a bit of time for a conversation with a listening ear, art supplies, water, and expressions of love, are all forms of abundance to me. Monetary wealth, in a world defined by money, is especially valuable- it can allow people to heat their homes in the winter months, pay their hospital bills, feed themselves and their families, and keep their lives sheltered and off the street. There are such critical consequences when people are unable to make ends meet. Sometimes I still find it difficult to engage in wealth redistribution when I don't have monetary wealth myself. At the same time, all of my basic needs are covered- I can spare ten dollars every month. My ten dollars being matched multiple times over truly can and does make a substantial difference in people's lives.
My name is Paige Osborne, and I am 20 years old and I am currently volunteering in a community for young adults with special needs in Hudson, NY, but I am originally from Philadelphia, PA. I initially came to diversity work in high school where I facilitated a lot of cross-cultural conversations and worked to help bridge gaps between different groups of students, but I don't think that I really appreciated how important this work really is to me and the world. I am continuing this work now because looking back in retrospect, I have found healing in hosting and being apart of these types of conversations, even when I have to walk away know these conversations will never end and I will never have the answers to all of my questions. I have grown to appreciate different perspectives and have challenged my ideas about the world in order to be able to find comfort in the discomfort that can arise with this work. Sharing and holding space for myself and others has facilitated a lot of healing and continues to teach me more every day, and that is what keeps me going with this work.
This is Adanech. She is 19 and goes by she/her pronouns. She is a freshman at Whittier College. Although she has not decided her major she know her path includes connecting the many different identities such as being a black, immigrant and Ethiopian women. She hopes to learn a multitude of different ways to facilitate and heal. She hopes through the training and experience that she is gaining through this program, she will take it to other parts of her life such as her educational institution and future career. Narratives unbound opens a space for unbounded ways of looking at trauma, hardships and joy. She is very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of this amazing group of people.
My name is Betelhem Muno, and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am 21 years old, and a junior in college. I am studying environmental studies and health studies with a focus on environmental health and health equity. Right now, I am in Seattle, WA, but I will be in Philadelphia, PA for the coming semester. I was part of Young Women Empowered for most of high school, so being part of Y-WE again as an alum has been an exciting experience. I am a part of Narratives Unbound because I want to be in spaces that are trying to be intentional about the work they're doing, who they're impacting, and how they go about doing their work. I want to offer healing to the people I interact with and in any work I do. Narratives Unbound will inform how I will do that and give me the agency to create a workshop to start that process of healing and growing. I am very excited to be participating!