Today we are speaking with Rosie Allenson. She is the founder of Non Traditional.
I first met Rosie when she was barely in middle school. I met her with her mother Jodie (she's the owner and founder of Curvy Girl Studio in Noblesville, IN) at a Bead & Tea class we were hosting in Downtown Noblesville. Just as a heads up, we are offering jewelry and cultural immersion classes virtually now because we've received too many requests. Rosie and Jodie happen to be some of the clients I have been meeting with for cultural immersion classes. I digress.
I think Rosie is brilliant and a breath of fresh air.
She is conscious and ready to work on making her portion of the world a better place. All this will be done while pursuing a higher education program that will allow her to pursue a career in acting, music theatre and business.
She is open to new ideas and new voices and is ready to listen, learn and apply herself.
I share Rosie's story today because we are never too young or too old to apply ourselves.
I share Rosie's story because being inclusive and being an ally can take various shapes and forms.
Today, we share a portion of our cultural immersion sessions as experienced through literature.
We are reading Nervous Conditions by Zimbabwean novelist, playwright, and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga. Nervous Conditions was first published in the United Kingdom in 1988. It was the first book published by a black woman from Zimbabwe in English. The BBC named Nervous Conditions the top 100 books that have shaped the world, in 2018.
We've had a wonderful time reading this book. Not that it has been an easy read, but rather that it has allowed us to have hard conversations. Now, pardon me for a bit while I am me and explain the usefulness of hard conversations as I mean it.
Hard conversations are unpleasant but can be immensely useful for mankind to have because the tomorrow available to others (most of whom would be considered minors or unborn), depends on what we do today as the living. We are all living in "borrowed spaces" or a "borrowed existence" of sorts. This borrowed nature will have to be passed on to others.
What we do, while here matters immensely.
Hard conversations, when birthed from ethical angles, allow for sturdy roots to be established. Those sturdy roots allow for shade trees to be established that we might never sit under but that others will one day be grateful we fought for and/ or established. Our borrowed presence is not a right, but a privilege. We need to be aware of this borrowed presence with the same attentiveness we might give to a tender houseplant that we want to live.
I take it as a form of worship.
I take it as one of the most critical forms of worship.
So when I gather for these cultural immersion experiences, I am not just gathering for the sake of gathering. I don't know everything. I am open. I am willing. I am available. I am present. I want whatever divine power allowed me life to allow us a space for growth and human connection that can continue to do good long after I am gone. I attend those meetings with the same humility I might tithe before a deity I have reverence for. During those meetings, I am doing work that he/ she/ they might ask me about.
What we do today as the living, requires an awareness birthed a lot of times by hard conversations. Jodi, Rosie and I have sat down together, shared with each other, taught and enlightened each other as we continue to find ways to establish the shade trees we are actively working to leave behind.
Are you a reader?
What version of the arts do you consume (especially in these covid times, we are all consuming the arts somehow)... so, what form of the arts do you prefer?
Is anything you consume inclusive and/ or challenging of your view of the world?
We have a tendency to want to engage across social media when it comes to growth, politics, religion and any other major world views. Perhaps, the best place to start could be personally through the content you consume before reaching out to try and dialogue with others. Are you willing to engage in learning or viewing the world from a lens you might not prefer and/ or agree with? Why or why not?
Happy Thursday and let's keep growing together,
Stay HEALTHY and safe,
The LHo Team (The Empowerment Initiative)
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All the selected artwork would fall under the non traditional banner that Rosie has chosen to embrace and highlight. We have artwork made from butterfly wings (no butterflies were injured), banana bark or people floating in umbrellas. The pieces capture artistic expression in an unexpected manner and we'd love for you to gift a non traditional art piece to someone you love or tell a friend about us. As always, if you have questions, concerns or comments, get in touch. xo.