There are two things I do well—writing and forming community—so the Writer’s Jam made perfect sense. When I learned about the concept of a “challenge network,” at a Q&A with Tiffani Jones Brown, my first thought was I bet we could benefit from that here.
Before the pandemic, I’d spent years building spaces for folks to connect. I’d served as a minister at two small, progressive churches in California, a unique challenge as political divisions worsened after 2016. I led writing workshops and committees for Showing Up for Racial Justice, teaching people to talk about anti-racism in ways that were clear, informed, and impactful. I’m also a professional improv comedian, so I know that creativity and craft flourish in community.
At the first meeting to discuss the Jam, Dropboxers warned, “This might take a while to get started. It’s hard to get people to show up to things.”
I thought about how many pizzas I’d taken home because no one attended an event, how many improv shows I’d played to five people. I thought about how little that fazed me.
“It’s all just part of the process,” I said, smiling. “I’m ready.”