Directors and Organizers trained by BOLD share the impact BOLD had in their lives and their work.

Nicole Newman

Coming into BOLD I was exhausted, isolated and falling out of love with the work. The violence of gentrification in DC had made me doubt everything I knew, everything I loved and I was not sure if Black space that felt safe and nurturing like that I had in my childhood was even a possibility or something I even wanted. I was disconnected from my family, depressed and not working to be better. BOLD allowed me the space to reconnect to myself and fall back in love with pieces of myself I thought were gone. I have always struggled with confidence, even in organizing work and BOLD allowed me to strip down the false bravado of always having to be on. I could move beyond always having an answer and be fed. For once in my life, the care for myself was the priority. I always struggled to feel home in my body and BOLD gave me the courage to explore those untold stories that lay in our bones. It has forever changed my life, changed my leadership and changed my capacity to love. BOLD has affirmed my gifts and given me a chance to give back all it gave to me.

Lovette Kargbo Thompson

BOLD has been a vehicle for translating the leadership lessons of the past into useful tools for emerging and existing leaders. The strength of black community organizing is where I was able to make mental health a priority and not a weakness. Having a safe space to discuss our lives with trusted peers, meditating, and embodying our commitments has allowed me to collect my thoughts and be in connection with my community. Being empowered to deal with the challenges of motherhood, low wages and unemployment, Black organizing has increased my consciousness to build on skills and leadership development. I’ve been able to build my resilience as well as bring my true value to my organizational work. Most importantly, my BOLD family has demonstrated that we have the magnanimous capacity to LOVE and be LOVED!

Maria Fernandez

A maroon space. A Black space. An expansive space. I came to BOLD, through the Directors and Lead Organizers track, shrunk in pain, doubt, isolation, and lost in the complexities of my identity. I walked into the first retreat unsure if my Blackness was enough, unsure about my role in our movement, and longing for my deepest organizing yes. Before BOLD I had never had anyone invest in my leadership, yet alone my personal development. I jumped into this organizing work 13 years ago, as a young person from the Bronx, as a means of survival, not realizing that my existence was a form of resistance. It was through BOLD that I realized that I had a right to be in my wholeness: young, Dominican, and Black. It was through BOLD that I learned I had a right to take up space; that my body carried history, stories of struggle, and ancestral love. It was through BOLD that I stood in my contradictions and remained centered on my commitments. It was through BOLD that I learned to radiate in the magic that is Black people and Black love. I am blessed to be held in a space that is as much about our movement as it is about us. I am more connected and ready to continue to wage struggle for Black Liberation.