Our team at the Building Movement Project has grown in the past few months, and we wanted to introduce you to our newest staff members! Read on to get to know Adaku, Camryn, and Jasmine.
Meet Adaku (all pronouns) – Adaku Utah is the Senior Manager of Movement Building Programs at BMP. Along with the Solidarity Is team, Adaku will be expanding BMP’s work with various social change movements to support short-term rapid response efforts and long-term projects to deepen solidarity within and across networks and ecosystems.
Meet Camryn (she/her) – Camryn Snell is the Race Equity Assessment Associate at the BMP, where she serves as the first point of contact for organizations participating in the Building Blocks for Change (BB4C) process. Camryn is responsible for monitoring survey participation, troubleshooting process-related issues, and providing solutions to technical issues.
Meet Jasmine (they/them) – Jasmine Leeward serves as the Communications and Operations Associate at Building Movement Project. Jasmine develops communications strategies, performs operational and administrative tasks, and supports various projects across the organization.
What drew you to BMP?
Adaku: I believe that our liberation is bound by each other and in order to make this a reality, we need solidarity within and across movements to meet and surpass the impacts of fascism, colonialism, and globalization. In order for our communities to continue winning and creating change, we must keep building our skills, capacities, and networks. I have long admired Building Movement Project’s commitment and work in making this possible through their research, resources, and relationships. BMP has served as a model for me and so many on how to shorten the distance between our values and our embodiment.
Camryn: Building Movement Project’s evident commitment to not only helping nonprofits confront racial and generational gaps but also ensuring alignment of organizations’ principles and practices. Additionally, I found that BMP internally practices exactly what they promote throughout the sector which is not always the case.
Jas: Building Movement Project drew me with its clear, long-standing values to build a sector that supports leaders and movements of color. I looked at the team and knew this was a place I wanted to lend my energy to.
Thinking about the next six months in your role, what are you looking forward to the most?
Adaku: One of my goals on this path of healing, justice, and liberation is mastery and this requires consistent, continuous, committed practice. I feel excited by the opportunity to continue sharpening my skills and competence within an accountable and values-aligned community. I envision BMP allowing our whole to be larger than the sum of our parts where we can tap into interdependence, strategic partnership and inspiration (as well as nitty-gritty models, tools, and resources), learn from each other’s lessons, and amplify each other’s growth while developing and reflecting on strategies that can build liberatory joy, resilience, and power.
Camryn: I am most looking forward to supporting the expansion of the Building Blocks for Change race equity assessment! I am also excited to grow in my role as REAA as the BMP national team grows!
Jas: I am looking forward to supporting our ongoing projects, from the Race Equity Assessment to sharing our Race to Lead results. I am always looking for opportunities to find the people who need our tools but haven’t found us yet.
With no advance prep, what could you lead a 20-minute presentation or discussion about?
Adaku: Oooo I love this question. My go-to is something centering healing, the body, and our connections with nature and ancestry. Probably a playful, embodied, cypher/ritual on the landscape of joy and desire.
Camryn: With no advance prep, I could lead a 20-minute presentation on The Nutcracker (the story and its use of pantomime and the composition by Tchaikovsky)
Jas: I could lead a 20 minute TED Talk on how we have grossly misunderstood the bonds of sea mammals, whales in particular, by attempting to attach human relationship dynamics to how they operate. In my opinion, we should look to the whales on how to build and be in community!
What brings you joy?
Adaku: I could go on and on about this….when I think about joy, what arises often falls into these categories::: meaningful connections, accountable love, audacious creativity and authentic living that feeds back to the planet and the generations to come.
Camryn: Self-care (centering intentional restfulness, laughter, learning, spending time in the sun, belting my favorite songs while dancing, indulging in reality TV, pilates, and supporting the College of Charleston Cougars Basketball Teams) and self-discovery bring me immense joy.
Jas: My friends! My friends and the kinship I’ve cultivated with them brings me joy. Seeing the people I love smile, watching my do, Lucious get riled up with his toys, and staring at the moon. I also love to dance and move to feel the kind of joy that Audre Lorde often speaks of.