198: Alyssa Wright on Artistry in Social Change
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Alyssa Wright is an artist, activist and capacity building expert. An accomplished facilitator and consultant, Alyssa works with organizations from East Africa to New England, all focused on powerfully creating social change, especially for women & children. A Co-Founder of the Massachusetts-based Recovery Theatre and a passionate advocate for the arts, Alyssa believes that when we place dignity and love at the forefront of our change-making efforts, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish together on this Earth.
Playing Small Moment
Because she didn’t feel that she had anything intellectual, philosophical or academic to say, Alyssa felt that her story wouldn’t necessarily help others and didn’t see the importance in sharing it. Alyssa had assumed that everyone experienced the same parental struggles that she had in her youth and that her story was just too common. Ultimately, she underestimated the significance of how she came to be who she was as a person.
The Wake Up Call
In July 2015, Alyssa had the opportunity to work with women and girls in East Africa with Heshima Kenya, a refugee organization. On her flight to Africa, Alyssa was filled with doubts and felt undeserving of the amazing opportunities that awaited her until she received an encouraging text from a caring friend. Once Alyssa arrived at the safe house, she was greeted by all of the girls, holding their beautiful children. The group took turns sharing their talents and when Alyssa was asked to share hers, she realized that her artistry made her feel more herself than she ever had. Alyssa was inspired and knew how she could make a difference.
Style of Leadership
Alyssa sees her leadership style as more of a mentorship that becomes kinship that becomes a legacy of doing the right thing. When Alyssa started in the world of philanthropy, she asked a more experienced peer how she stayed motivated when it didn’t seem they were moving the needle at all. The woman replied that they were in fact moving the needle, and to pay attention to the young people that were showing up. Those young people are what keep the movement going. With Alyssa’s leadership, it’s more than just inspiring a young person to work with her, it is making an investment in that person as a whole and making sure they are enjoying the progress, not just the goal.
What Are You Excited About?
Since last summer, Alyssa has been working with Tree Sisters, which has been an inspiring leadership journey for her. One of the projects they are working on that Alyssa is really excited to be a part of is a global philanthropic strategy that unearths feminine leadership within different communities while also repairing the nature around us.
Current Business Challenge
After working for Raising Change for seven years, Alyssa became partner and just recently received a certificate to further her leadership in her field. After building a new consulting business, Alyssa is challenged by finding her own identity and voice in an that same industry as a leader and not just an employee.
“The time is is always right to do what is right.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
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