Hope for the Holidays: Grace Gámez

Grace Gámez

Current Work:

ReFraming Justice Coordinator, American Friends Service Committee – Arizona (AFSC-AZ)

Biggest Challenge of 2020:

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the blurring of the lines between work and family have been the greatest challenge I have navigated this year. However, challenges and conflict signify that we are alive. We get to decide the meaning we attribute to the challenges that beckon us to rise.

Biggest Accomplishment of 2020:

Maya Angelou wrote that a diamond is forged under extreme pressure and time. The confluence of challenge, time, and repetition produces brilliance, complexity, and strength. I could list out professional “accomplishments” but I would rather focus on the inner transformation that occurred over the course of this year. Namely, when I relinquished control and allowed myself to give in to the chaos of the time we are in, I realized how strong and capable I really am at shepherding my children in this life. The greatest contribution I can offer this world are beings who know how to walk in it with compassion, with the ability to think complexly and able to hold the tensions of difference. I feel so much gratitude for the deep time I have had to love my family. I have learned and taught them how to serve with love.

What have you gained from your LwC training:

I am a student and teacher of leadership. Leadership, as a term, is thrown about without much discussion of what it really means. I think the central teaching that I have carried forward from LwC, that has gained different resonance in this time is, “Leaders lean into conflict.” Conflict is the good stuff- a challenge tells you “get ready to grow.”

Any final message to the JLUSA community?

Sending you all good intentions and wishing you all peace, happiness and prosperity.