April 17, 2017  |  Civic Engagement New Orleans

Sistah Rfuaw Diarra

The 2017 Citizen University Conference was an experience of a lifetime. It was very awesome to be among so many experts, professionals, and like-minded people from different backgrounds and countries, all compassionate about the future of our country and making this world a better place to live.

The conference was an opportunity for me to learn from local, national, and international leaders, activists, and advocates working to change the climate of life for a better future. It was an opportunity to network, share through exchange of conversation, best practices, workshops, and breakout sessions, as well as the opportunity to connect with FII members from across the nation. The speakers reminded us throughout the sessions that issues we were faced with in our cities and states weren’t isolated issues.

Imagine someone telling you, “YOU ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU THINK!” for 24 hours. You simply start to believe and know that you are powerful, even if you are living in a world that denies your greatness. I realized my personal power and greatness. Without a doubt, participating in FII was the seed to growing this realization within my garden, but my participation at Citizen’s University inspired me to better understand the path I need to take to live my passion. I learned from the stories of other people’s experiences – both horrifying and delightful.

I know that I am more powerful than I think and to never give up no matter how rough the road. I will stay focused for change.

“I AM INSPIRED to be the change I want to see in my community, family, and surrounding network. I AM INSPIRED to connect and build strong communities. And I remember that change doesn't happen over night.”

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