I am a small-town Maine mother and Lived Expertise Food Security Advocate who was given an amazing opportunity to speak along side Barbie during a National panel a year ago. At the time, I was only a year and a half in to my journey as an advocate, I was still struggling to figure out what my personal advocacy goals were, so to find myself next to such an amazing voice for this movement was mind-blowing. Many times during that panel I would find myself so mesmerized by Barbie’s words that I would forget it when it was my turn to speak. While our stories and backgrounds are different, Barbie and I connected over our roles as mothers and how we could balance that with advocacy. Barbie was also the first POC that I had heard speak in person about the role that race plays within this work. She ignited a passion in me to be a voice at the table, a voice that introduces those who are marginalized by more than the economic status, a voice that then goes quiet and encourages others to listen to a perspective outside of their own, a voice that understands that I am only one voice and more importantly that my voice is one of privilege. Every moment I get to use this voice that Barbie helped guide, I am immediately grateful to her, her mesmerizing words, and her welcoming compassionate way that helped me become a better advocate!
I met Barbie back in 2012 during my darkest times. She was such a light as she was about to embark on a journey sharing her story around the US With the premiere of the movie. She couldn’t grasp her reality, and after every discussion about the movie she would say – “I exist.” Idk if she said it so many times to convince herself or she said it in awe that someone from such a huge city has made the first steps towards world change! Barbie inspired me back in 2012 when she documented her struggles with food insecurity. Now, not only does she exist , but she is breaking barriers and knocking open glass ceilings for those in her community to see that she when you take your struggle and advocate for justice, you can make a change!
Barbie is an active advocate in the community. She is organized, compassionate, communicative, and diligent. She works tirelessly to get people of color, especially in low-income communities, the resources they need in order to have a fighting chance. I look forward to working together again.
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