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I Don't Like Labels

It’s about 3 pm on a lovely fall day. I’m walking along the Bay and finally decided it is time to write. To be clear I didn't really decide it was more that I could no longer focus on walking. This is one of a series of three started simultaneously October 20, 2022 and completed November 8, 2022 in bed - all on iPhone.

 

Greenish black Godzilla figure with yellow eyes and glowing red mouth and hands about to go nuclear
Greenish black Godzilla figure with yellow eyes and glowing red mouth and hands about to go nuclear

Much of 2022 was spent trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. This included taking stock of what it seems I already am or at least what I created. jdcPARTNERSHIPS is one manifestation of that clarity as now, current endeavors (I.e., Equitable Evaluation Initiative and Luminare Group) are organized under a parent entity. That feels right and it was affirming to see a through line since 2002.


But now as I meet new people and we do the dreaded introductions (ok maybe others enjoy), I find myself not knowing what to say. I have more roles than I am comfortable with and they speak more of functions I play within an organizational construct than what I am, do or are in practice to be.


In the past I have referred to myself as a consultant, not an evaluator, facilitator, strategist, etc. None of these fully reflect what exists between and among those roles or the heartbeat and experiences embodied in all of them.


I don’t like labels and yet, I understand how they might help someone come into a relationship.


And now at this stage and in this season I desire a different language to convey what I hope to do which is to inspire, invite, name, liberate, etc.


Welcome ideas. Truly. English not required or even desired TBH.


For now when asked to introduce myself I will say,


I am Jara, a descendant of free, stolen and enslaved peoples. I desire a world where - among a host of things- who we are is welcomed, honored and reflected in how we construct and use knowledge. I wish us each to move beyond narratives which limit and towards collective possibilities reflecting love and abundance. And I desire a world where dragons fly amongst us. Again.


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