As we get closer to the kickoff of NCG's inaugural Communications Cohort at the end of this month, we asked Cohort faculty member Vanice Dunn, to share her experience with mid-career growth and how her identity has changed over time.
Q: What are you hoping to learn by participating as faculty in this experience?
A: I’m most excited to learn from the folks in the room, both faculty and participants. I believe that in every room, each person brings embodied experience which can turn into insight and learning for everyone around them. I’m looking forward to seeing these experiences emerge as insights during our time together.
Q: How has your understanding of your own identity changed in the course of your life?
A: As a black woman, from an incredibly white, racist Southern town, I think the shorter answer is how has my understanding not changed, haha! But really, my identity has changed in so many ways and the most exciting part is that it continues to evolve constantly. The more I make space to allow my relationships and interactions to impact me, the more I give myself the opportunity to change. I often think of this great line from Octavia Butler, “All that you touch you Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change…”
Q: What is an experience you'd most like to forget from your mid-career? (i.e. greatest learning opportunity?)
A: I once decided it would be a great idea to make a sudden career change and become a nonprofit recruiter -- I love people, I love connecting people to great opportunities, and I love the idea of creating equity by connecting folks that are not traditionally recruited with exciting change-making positions. Sadly, the cold calls, mandatory back to back interviews, and the requirement that we engage with people as little as possible made those aspirations tricky. Needless to say, I ran out about as fast as I started. The biggest lesson I learned from this experience was to be more thoughtful in my job searching process, interview the company, do my research, push back on assumptions, and really work to be sure our values and vision align.
Q: Favorite form of procrastination?
A: I’d love to say something less predictable, but I value honesty too much, so I must say Netflix. I love binge watching Netflix when I’m in deep avoidance mode. Netflix is so adaptable, it can be a great collaborative experience or perfectly exciting solo -- something for everyone!