Hello, Goodbye London
It has now been over a month since I have returned home from my time in London. Looking back on my trip, I can see how much I have grown from the new experiences I had. I remember being so nervous to navigate the underground whirlwind which was the tube system on my very first meeting with Journey to Justice. By the end of my time there I felt as familiar with the tube lines as the back of my hand.
Journey to Justice painted a far more beautiful picture of London for me than I ever could have done on my own. From the thrill of discovering new sights in London, to enjoying a vocal activist performance in a jazz club, to collaborating at Carrie’s darling flat with the balcony garden, over bagels and tea. From meeting with community members at a church to learn of their struggles, to visiting a school and hearing the students’ perspectives on Brexit through artistic means. I attended a conference on education in a tall building with a view of city lights that stretched out into the distance. I experienced a daytrip to Newcastle to witness the unveiling of the plaque to commemorate Fredrick Douglass where a member of parliament spoke and I even chatted with the Mayor. I worked at the exhibition and got to learn all of the inspiring stories that built the very foundation of this wonderful organization.
Through this internship I got to meet people from all walks of life and all age groups and I got to learn their experiences and their perspectives on social issues. I gained a deeper understanding of the impact story telling can have by inspiring other people to take action in their own lives. I am so honored to have worked with this organization and would encourage anyone to volunteer their time here. Not only did I learn from the stories and activists, but I also learned so much from the people behind it all. Carrie; the incredible Founder and Director, Martin; the Training Co-ordinator, and Tania; the head of volunteers, and the array of team members I met throughout my time all made sure to make me feel right at home in a foreign country and gave me some of the most fulfilling experiences I had in London.
Journey to Justice is truly a base for a beautiful and inspiring community full of creativity, passion, inspiration, and above all acceptance and equality. At the very core of its mission, Journey to Justice is a human rights movement. It’s about people finding their own power and their own voice and learning how to use it to fight for their own justice. This idea speaks strongly to me as I feel this is something I have struggled with in my personal experience and I think many other people do as well. Learning how many ordinary people have accomplished such extraordinary achievements has made me see that deep down everyone has a voice; they just need to allow themselves the strength and courage to use it.
Carrie herself has turned the American Civil Rights stories that once inspired her into a well-thought-out traveling exhibition and nonprofit educational organization. I feel so blessed to have joined her team on their journey the past three months and I urge anyone who is considering joining the team to take that leap and experience it for themself. We all have a story, we all have a journey, but they are not written in stone. You can pick up your life and improve the outcome at any time. And with that, I wish you all the best on your own journey to justice, and I extend my gratitude to London for giving me the journey of a lifetime. As the Beatles wrote, “Hello, Goodbye”.