April 18, 2017  |  Civic Engagement Northern California

Markeisha Williams

FII has been such an amazing addition to my life since I joined in October 2016. I initially signed up thinking it would take away a lot of financial stress from my family and be a cool way to set personal goals. Though those things are true, it has become much more. It has taught me how to hold myself accountable for things I ordinarily wouldn’t do. Having the same goal staring at you month after month with no progress pushes you to push yourself!

I felt attending Citizens University would be a great opportunity to network and feel like my voice could be heard. I have always been the one to speak up for what is right and tend to be the (loud) voice for those who have things they are afraid to share. I was blessed to be able to co-teach a workshop based around breaking down fear. I felt our workshop helped crush stereotypes by looking them right in the face and hearing other people’s concerns and fears. It was an experience that was filled with laughter, tears, and learning. The workshop was everything I wanted to get out of the experience and more. It exceeded my expectations, and my team was really amazing and so helpful putting things together before the conference.

As a result of the workshop, I have felt the need to be more informed. Seeing artists and activists utilize their talents on a political platform, both young and old, helped me to see that one voice can really make a difference. I have already begun making changes by practicing open mindedness when meeting new people everyday.

Our workshop was soooo powerful! We came in with expectations that all went out the window. We wanted to make a difference and help people leave feeling impacted, but to see it come to life right before our eyes was so amazing! We had about 45 attendees of all ethnicities, ages, and religious creeds — it was so beautiful.

I got a new sense of power — after hearing and seeing so many others who felt and saw some of the things I thought I was alone feeling.

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