WHY CCF for CSC (Crystal S. Campbell)?
"When I dare to be powerful-- to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid"
- Audre Lorde
My name is Crystal....Crys to most. I am Mama Bird and wifely - womanish, writer, performer, facilitator, logophile/bibliophile, connector, teacher, playwright and student with a penchant for soul music, hip hop and a deep love of Black literature and scholarship. I love Black girls/ women: Our dialects, bodies, identities, our scent in the summer time...our survival rituals, our all around fly-ness and Black girl magic. I believe that
Our very existence is resistance.
I am learning how to turn this love along with my gifts and network into something that I can make a living doing and something that can impact real change in the lives of black girls. I am choosing to dedicate my life to researching, writing, performing and otherwise normalizing the experiences of women and girls of the African diaspora in America (and around the world). I'm a recent graduate and budding communication and cultural scholar.
I found the Creative Community Fellowship website on Profellow, a fellowship database. At the time, I was finishing up my graduate program and trying to figure out my next step. I saved the page and visited nearly everyday (several times a day) for weeks. I studied it between exams, classes, performances and papers. I used it as an excuse it to procrastinate, pushing it against personal deadlines...I read and reread the "Who should apply?" and "How it works" pages, printing them and carrying them in my binder.
I meditated on it...doodled notes about it, ultimately wondering if it was something that I could add value to, something that could help me find the path of most influence with my research, art and work. "I am not really ' working' in the arts...yet", my inner critic proclaimed, "I am not a director or coordinator at a non-profit agency". "My program idea is just an idea...a good one that my committee loved, but just an idea, none-the less". My inner-critic and impostor syndrome leaned in heavily, "I don't belong with those creative professionals", she screamed. "I don't have the experience, the expertise." But in the 11th hour, literally, and after a pep talk from a good friend, I decided to apply. I decided to abandon my fear (because that's all the inner-critic really is, right?).
For me CCF is a leap of faith. It is investment into both me and my ideas. Graduate school gave me a set of skills- mostly research, writing, teaching and presentation skills. CCF, I believe with offer the tools to bring this idea and others to fruition. I believe that I'll find "my tribe", as the program description says- creative, compassionate, inspired and inspiring people who are passionate and curious. I hope to link up and learn from professionals and mentors who can help me operationalize my idea(s). I hope to learn about myself. I hope to contribute to a community that is working to BE the change we want to see in our respective hometowns and cities.
I hope to continue to create.
Wish me luck.