Kimberly A.
Contra Costa
Play. Such a simple concept, yet when our heads and hearts are deeply embedded in combating issues of inequity, it’s often hard to remember to play. Having spent twenty-years advocating for young people from San Francisco to Richmond I had strangely forgotten what it meant to embrace fun, adventure, and possibility. That is until seven years ago when I met the most amazing woman in Sonoma at a racial justice retreat, who helped me see the power of play and love as the most critical aspect of movement-building. The realization that as people of color, and as queer people we can and should laugh and love deeply was a transformational shift. It was a shift that I took to heart in my professional life, inspiring the co-creation of the RYSE Center in Richmond- one of our key values is fun. In my personal life it was a game-changer. That woman I met in Sonoma, I married her two years ago at San Francisco City Hall and celebrated with community in our home in Oakland. Our family now has two amazing boys who we adventure with at the Steam Trains or Oakland Zoo. And I really take playtime with our toddler seriously, more seriously sometimes than grant reports. Simple things like bath time become an opportunity to play and connect. I'm often left drenched, but my heart is full. Truth is, play opens up our hearts to possibilities, new connections, and new ideas. It reinvigorates us and our movements.