Almost a week ago, I attended the Nonprofit Career Fair at UNL, and while initially I was left feeling a little disgruntled by the subtle rejections I received from a lot of the booths I visited with because I am an English major, my reflection, now, has led me to realize that I’ve actually learned some valuable lessons and even made a few surprising connections.
I had quite a bit of anxiety as I was prepping myself for this event, mostly because it was going to be a face-to-face conversation about real opportunities to benefit the community. As a wannabe activist, I am strongly interested in nonprofit organizations and feel like that is some of the most beneficial work that I can do that may also tie into my writing in the future. So off I went, in my uncomfortable dress, placed my uncooperative nametag over my heart in an attempt to cover my racing pulse, and strutted in with my best impersonation of an extrovert who knows what she is doing at an event like this. The first booth I talked to practically shut the whole thing down and snatched their flyer away from me when I mentioned English and my interest in activism. So just like my nametag, I peeled off and tried to find something else to stick to. Luckily, I had done a little research on the booths planning to attend and St. Monica’s Home was on my checklist. After a little mental pep-talk with myself, I strutted right on up to the lady and introduced myself, all the while thinking to myself, “Oh my god, who is this confident creature that has taken over my body?” Anyways, after mentioning my interest with Native American activism the woman perked up and immediately whipped out her phone, which was a little insulting at first until she explained that she was in touch with quite a few Native Americans who were involved with Nebraskans for Peace. She gave me Lin Quenzer and Renee Sans Souci’s names and told me that they were the people I should be connecting with and told me to reach out to them via Facebook.
Below you’ll see that I have Facebook stalked both of them without reaching out to them yet (oops). Renee is the one on the left and Lin is the one on the far right with the khaki visor on. Side note: I have a selfie in the same location as Lin so that’s why I chose this image, without their permission, but I’ll work on that!
So Lin is the pastor of Sacred Winds Methodist Church in Lincoln on 2400 S 11th St, and I believe that Renee is a Native American activist.
One of my favorite professors here at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is Dr. Fran Kaye, and she is heavily involved with Nebraskans for Peace. I’m currently taking her American Literature class and we are discussing Leslie Marmon Silko’s novel Ceremony which is a novel about Laguna Pueblo culture. So she’s like my favorite person, even though she terrified me my freshman year. Anyways, she passed around a flyer and Sacred Winds Church held a panel about the Dakota Access Pipeline and Lin and Renee were both going to have a song for the group. I stupidly didn’t attend, but I think it’s interesting that one conversation with a woman that I would have never have guessed would know Native American activists, ended up being one of my favorite conversations and a great connection for me to make.