This week’s organizer spotlight features Aaron Jamal, an organizer with Carolina Federation:
1) What have you learned from “falling off the bike” as a leader?
I’ve fallen off the bike many times in my 11 years of organizing, and have learned a few lessons along the way: joyful discipline is a precondition for victory and long term commitment. Leadership is as much about your own development as it is about someone whose leadership you are deeply invested in.
2) What sustains you? Where do you get the energy to keep going?
I have sustained myself through a revolutionary politic of hope and personal philosophy of humility, both of which are grounded in deeply held religious commitment and faith. My political tradition connects me to movements and histories that give me hope, my philosophic tradition connects me to a nourishing intellectual life, but above all my religious commitment grounds me faith, hope, and love.
3) How will you be bold in your organizing work this year?
This year at the Federation, I co-lead the strategic, political and leadership development trainings for over 100 of our best and brightest leaders across the state. I am currently creating a video project on organizational structure that will be an enduring resource for new chapters and affiliates in the years to come. Later this year, I will embark on building a new chapter in a critical region of the state that will help us win massive electoral fights next year.