Two days have passed since the Micah program has concluded. I’ve moved back to my family’s home in Union City and unpacked my things. I’ve begun to reconnect with friends that I haven’t seen all summer. Throughout this rapid change, a question has presented itself to me. What now? Does my Micah experience end after leaving West Oakland?
During our time in the program, each of the fellows was required to read the book Leadership for a Better World. In the final chapter of this book, the authors include an excerpt describing Annette Kolodny’s answer to the questions that I posed in the last paragraph:
“I think an education imposes a responsibility on you, that is, you are responsible for the knowledge you have… In other words, that body of knowledge has made you sensitive to those issues. If you walk out of that classroom without acting on those issues, then you are being irresponsible. If you see the society continuing to exclude or to ignore or to cause suffering in its own members and you do nothing to change it, then you are being irresponsible… It means finding a way to promote some kind of change. If you are not responsible for your knowledge, then what on earth are we teaching you for?”
Looking over these words again made the next step in my journey very clear to me. For these last weeks, my classroom has included my work at PJC, living intentionally in community, and calling West Oakland my home. The Micah program cannot end after leaving these things behind. The knowledge I’ve gained is something that I must take with me for the rest of my life. Knowing is no longer enough. What will define the success of this program is not what I accomplished during these last 8 weeks but instead how I will apply this valuable experience into my everyday life. I have a responsibility to live out the lessons I have learned throughout the entirety of the Micah Program. This being said, I’ve never been more excited for what the future has in store for me 🙂