I am in the business of light making. It is messy, very complex with turns that keep winding.
When rich countries get 40-60 percent of Covid vaccines and others, especially countries in Africa, get only 3%, you will understand why I choose light.
When racism, especially structural racism is at the heart of why we consider some youth to be deficit rather than as asset, then you will get why I fight for light.
When people are denied deep sleep for centuries, due to trauma inflicted generations ago from the sins of enslavement, then you will understand why deep healing through light becomes the only way.
What would it be like to live in light, to live in a space where the pursuit of our healing is not defined by others but us.
Audre Lorde once noted that ‘our battle is to define survival in ways that are acceptable and nourishing to us, matching it with meaning, substance and style.’
This is my attempt at a doing so, by being a burst of light for public health.
Though the road ahead is rough, I remain committed to this business. It is forcing me to reach out to unlikely partners. The public demands that we do. The public also demands that we listen as we reflect and act on this long-overdue renaissance necessary for public health.
We are convinced that the only way forward is to intentionally put the public back in health. Not in a way that oppresses them or consider them to to be the problem only, but in ways that build, ways that uplift, with every single thing we publish.
I am in the business now of doing what Petteway and Bowleg asked that those of us committed to the public’s health should purse. Not with using the master’s language only, but with using and finding tools that serve the every day realities of all the people we want to serve.
The process is messy, complex too. But I am committed to dismantling the ways we disseminate information on health to the public.
Who needs impact factor when the factor we seek to impact is more important than words that never connect to daily realities.
I am in the business of distributing light instead, not as p values greater than .05, but as people values that allow people to thrive.
I keep wanting to run away from it, to ignore it, hoping that the itch would go away. But I am drawn to it.
To become one with light is bravery undefined, love unfiltered, for possibilities unquestionably misunderstood.
So I follow the paths it illuminates along this way for the course of being different. Everything in my mind says we are on the right course. This feels right too and if I’m not sharing much yet, know that the time has not come for me to unveil all that is happening behind the scenes. But in due time, we will tell the story. Of how brave folks fought for light, with all their might in-spite of the all the fear that held them in a grip so tight.
We pushed through.
For when you are in the business of light making, the only way forward is light making, no matter how long it takes to make the light you seek to inspire.
I am in the business of becoming that leader that will work to ignite the healing and transformation necessary for the public’s health. I don’t have an answer or solution yet. But I want to keep this here for me as a reminder to keep being in this messy, complex business of making light. We just may become the burst or pacemakers for this renaissance.