Collective Village

Collective Village

Sorry for the wait but we are back again with our last installment for "Community Promotes Love". Dr. Ikeranda Smith is back again with a great post speaking about the Collective Village and how sometimes our villages are not intentionally made but by mere chance. We always have to remain open because we never know who is watching, listening or inspire by us. 


“If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.” African Proverb

The older I get the more I value introspective exchanges around navigating how to integrate my purpose in life with a meaningful career. Being an educated person of color has taught me to rely comprehensively on my village. I empathetically understood that once I graduated from college I needed more than a salary, but a place where I could utilize my transferable skills. More than a glorified title; I desired a position where I could impact lives and make a difference simultaneously. Furthermore, I realized that I required a place where I could begin to grow into the fullness of who I am while strategically positioning myself in a way to help others. Ultimately I knew that in order to accomplish these goals, it was necessary for me to have a collective village.

Finding a community to help me be successful was more accidental than intentional; nonetheless divinely orchestrated. Somehow my daily ritual of reading for an hour at Starbucks before I start my day became a beautiful exchange of mutually respectful people looking for the same thing…meaningful work. It was the guy who was taking coding classes to feed his family, but furtively desiring to be a writer; yet he told me about a school he believed would be a great place for me to work. It was the lady who worked in higher education; however she told me about the Teachers of Color Fair, several positions at Charter schools, and set up an informational interview to assist me in my career search. It was the guy who worked in sales, but desired a job that didn’t keep him away from his family all the time; yet he connected me with a recruiter to update my resume and a networking group for people of color.

Connections are interesting in that you never know where you will find them. Sometimes you find them through LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter; but sometimes you stumble across a job because someone overheard you talking in line at Starbucks. Occasionally, you land an interview from a chance encounter at the grocery store because your mother mentions you are looking for permeant work. From time to time, you hear about a networking group while being in the right place at the right time. Now and again, you get an informational interview just by volunteering at your favorite organization. Every now and then, you gain a friend just by traversing the perils of unemployment together. Every so often, when you least expected you get a call about a job you applied for months ago, and they want to interview you. On occasion, the stars line up beautifully and you get the job of your dreams.

In spite of all the lessons you learn while finding your bliss, every person you meet, or friendship you make is a collective member of your village. A mere person intentionally placed in your life to enrich every aspect of it as you wait on your next assignment. I believe as Paulo Coelho so eloquently puts it, “when you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

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