This week’s organizer spotlight features Laura Abellera, an organizer with Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT):
1) What have you learned from “falling off the bike” as a leader?
It’s important for organizers (especially youth organizers) to know that working in the realm of social justice requires constant learning, growth, humility, and resilience. Unsurprisingly, I have learned SO much from the young people that I get to share space with and they are my motivator to keep challenging myself to be a better human being. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is to challenge traditional leadership hierarchies where they exist, or at the very least utilize collective processes in organizing spaces whenever possible.
2) What sustains you? Where do you get the energy to keep going?
The relationships that I get to build with students and the community. In a world filled with overwhelmingly pervasive, structural inequities, and especially with organizing, I’ve found that amplifying any and all wins that we experience as collective celebrations. I love seeing our young people win and find passion and feel their inherent power.
3) How will you be bold in your organizing work this year?
To be blunt, I hope to continue making enemies with the right people. Harm and discomfort are two different things but are oftentimes conflated. Disrupting the complacency and comfort of our oppressors is inherent to justice work, and accepting that as an imperative measure of movement progress has been liberating for me.