Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

2013 December

27 Dec

By

MLK Day Of Service 2014

December 27, 2013 | By |

IMG_0103

This MLK Weekend, IMPACT will continue the tradition of honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through service.

This year,  you have two opportunities to serve!

 

1) MLK Memorial Beautification Project : Hands on project at the MLK Memorial. ( January 18, 2014)

2) MLK Pro Bono Dream Lab: Pro bono consulting for non-profit organizations continuing the work Dr. King lived for. (January 20, 2014)

 

Get more info and sign up below! We look forward to joining you in honoring Dr. King and making a positive IMPACT on our community!

01 Dec

By

IL:: REBECCA THOMPSON

December 1, 2013 | By |

Rebecca Thompson

Congratulations to our December 2013 IMPACT Leader of the Month,  Rebecca Thompson!

Rebecca  is the Senior Director of Engagement at the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, which mobilizes the caring power of Detroit and the region to improve communities and individual lives in measurable and lasting ways. In this role she oversees the organizations community engagement and public Policy and advocacy efforts.

She is also a 2014 candidate for State Representative in Michigan’s 1st District which encompasses Northeast Detroit, Harper Woods, Grosse Pointe Woods, and Grosse Pointe Shores. A native Detroiter, Rebecca recently relocated back to the city from Washington, DC to contribute to the city’s revitalization. Since returning home, she has been active in numerous organizations including the NAACP, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the 13th District Young Democrats, and the Michigan Democratic Party where she serves on the State Executive Committee.

Prior to joining the United Way, Rebecca served as the Director of Young People For (YP4), a strategic long-term leadership development initiative that works to identify, engage, and empower the newest generation of progressive leaders to create lasting change in their communities. She also served as Program Manager for the District of Columbia Youth Advisory Council in the Executive Office of the Mayor and as the Legislative Director for the United States Student Association (USSA). Rebecca has provided trainings to change agents nationwide and has been featured on C-SPAN, in the Washington Post, and the New York Times.

Rebecca has undergone extensive leadership training including the Women’s Campaign School at Yale, the White House Project, the Center for Progressive Leadership, and the Michigan Political Leadership Program, among others.  She also serves as a national trainer for ElectHer, which trains college women to run for student government and elected office. She is a graduate of Northern Michigan University and lives in Detroit.

 

INTERVIEW | Getting to Know Rebecca Thompson

What inspired you pursue a career in Public Service?

At 19 years old I was inspired to pursue a career in public service by our then Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. I had never seen someone so young (he was elected mayor at 31) making such a difference in Detroit. I decided after college that I was going to move to Washington, DC to learn everything I could about politics so that one day I could return home to help improve my community.

What is the key to balancing your professional, philanthropic and social commitments?

The key for me has been prioritizing self care. Now that I’m working full time and running for elected office my days can be extremely long. I’ve found it especially helpful to schedule everything, including time for myself (even if it’s something as simple as getting my nails done). Lastly, I also give myself permission to be human. I won’t make every meeting or event but that’s okay.

What is the biggest mistake young professionals make, especially when pursuing elected office?

One of the biggest mistakes I see young people making is starting their campaigns too late. Though I officially started mine one year before election day, I actually started more than 10 years ago. I have been very strategic over the years building relationships, working on campaigns, etc. The most important resource to a campaign is time because you can’t get it back. If you’re interested in running for office don’t wait. Even if the election isn’t until 2016 start today.

What advice would you give other young professionals who desire to excel in the political realm, especially young African American women?

First I’d say remember to be kind to yourself. From our weight, to our hair, to our resumes and degrees we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect and to measure up to other peoples standards. The second is to not wait your turn. When I initially announced that I was running I heard from both men and women that I needed to reconsider running, run for a different office, or even wait 4 years! I doubt that people would have said that if I were a man. If you don’t believe in yourself you can’t expect other people to.

What’s been the best experience of your career thus far (or the most rewarding)?

Honestly, the best experience of my career so far has been making the decision to run for office. It sounds cliche, but I’ve learned more about myself in the last few months than I have in 30 years. Leadership is indeed lonely and it’s been beyond humbling to see who’s really in my corner and to test what I’m really made of. Regardless of the results of the election, I’m really proud of myself for finding the courage to do such an important thing for our community.

What’s next for you in your career? What should we look out for?

I’m working hard to become the next State Representative from Michigan’s 1st District. The election is August 5th, 2014 so sign up on our website for updates at www.rebeccamthompson.com!

Lastly, give me three words that sum you up?

Authentic, go getter (I know that’s two words), and blessed

What is your Twitter handle? What email address can people use to reach you?

Twitter: @Rebecca4rep Email: thompson.rebeccam@gmail.com