When thinking of your sphere of influence, every person you know counts! No matter what your project aims to do, people you know or those who know someone you need to speak with are all around you. Take seriously your connections and your potential connections and watch your idea come to life.

Sphere of Influence

As a graduate student, my sphere of influence was quite broad:

  • I could apply for funding for research projects and those projects could foresee any audience I could imagine.
  • Sharing my ideas – no matter how preliminary or fleshed out – could happen through conferences. And these conferences could be national or international in scope.
  • The option to publish articles or book chapters about my work increased as I delved deeper into the research.
  • As a Course Director I could incorporate my ideas and my questions into my classroom. I could create assignments that allowed teachers-in-training to join me in grappling about race and racism.
  • I could also join other people’s research projects – there was nothing that said that I had to be the lead in the work I was doing. Sometimes, by taking a backseat, I could expand on ideas or try out new approaches that would influence my own work too.
  • Later, after I graduated, I was able to use my social media platforms to grow my reach. For example, I shared posts on LnkedIn that challenged the idea of how we approach anti-racist work.

What is most important to remember is this: when it comes to our sphere of influence, it will change and grow as we change and grow. It is always important for us to re-think who we are connected to. This allows us to reconsider the tools we can make use of to share our anti-racist message.

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