Tatiana Thomas: I hope to help rebuild urban communities in dire need of attention

·3 min read
Tatiana Thomas
Tatiana Thomas

My name is Tatiana Thomas, and I am currently a student at University of Illinois at Springfield for a master of public administration degree with a certificate in labor relations. I work for the Department of Human Services at UIS as a graduate research assistant and recently began to volunteer with the Faith Coalition for Common Good.

I have always been a person who is aware of the disparities that exist within communities even at an early age. As I grew older the issues became more prominent and I could not ignore them. Throughout my life I have always been in places where I have been surrounded by all cultures and able to recognize and respect how others may be different from me. This has affected my mindset and how I view the importance of having a voice. Over time, I noticed the same issues I saw as a child, but nothing had changed. This bothered me. As I became more vocal, more prominently in undergraduate, it pushed me to really speak for those who felt like their issues were never heard.

More: Faith Coalition for the Common Good works to advance its mission in community

My time during undergraduate gave me the experience that really pushed me to vocalize on behalf of those who felt like their voices were not being heard. I hope to rebuild urban communities that are in dire need of attention due to lack of resources. I want to be challenged in my work and gain the ability to overcome multiple forms of adversity. I want to facilitate positive transformation in those instances.

The year 2020 was a tough year for everyone, as it changed a lot of people’s lives. It has done a lot for me. I fought for years with myself about what I wanted to do with my life. After undergrad, I decided to take a year to myself and figure out what I wanted to do. I moved overseas and that gave me the time to really think about my life and what I am passionate about. Fast forward, I moved back to Chicago in May of 2020, and soon after, George Floyd was killed on camera. Though I was always passionate, I never really spoke up too much, besides on social media and with my friends. At that moment, I knew I had to do more to make it known that what was happening was not OK for me and millions of other people. I had to do it louder than I normally would. It was one of the first few times I went out to take part in the peaceful protests.

More: Dominique Bates-Smith: My journey as a community organizer is just getting started

This has brought me to my degree and focus on the significant aspects of community organizing through the Faith Coalition for the Common Good. In a brief time, I have been able to define and refine my understanding of fundraising, organizing, communication and community-based needs. I have been granted the opportunity to network with the Springfield community through social events via Zoom or social-distanced in-person meetings. I have truly transformed within two years since the terrible actions that took place in Minnesota, and though things will never change overnight, I am happy to say I am being more proactive with my time of community organizing.

I am excited to see where my time with the Faith Coalition takes me and how I can make an impact in the Springfield community and other communities in the world!

Tatiana Thomas, a student at University of Illinois Springfield, is a volunteer with the Faith Coalition for Common Good.

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The Faith Coalition for Common Good will host a virtual Bingo fundraising night at 6 p.m. Feb. 10 via Zoom. It will be three rounds of Bingo, and $10 per card, with a chance to win a $25 gift card at the end of the event. Please contact the Faith Coalition’s office 217-544-2297 to purchase tickets.

For more information and to become involved in the Faith Coalition for the Common Good: fccg2208@gmail.com | www.faithcoalition-il.org

This article originally appeared on State Journal-Register: Faith Coalition volunteer hopes to rebuild communities in dire need

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