When we decided on our 2021 Luncheon theme of Reclaiming Our Power, we knew we needed to partner with an impactful, local BIPOC artist. Enjoli Izidor is a Seattle-based designer who is passionate about helping elevate the stories of marginalized communities. The similarities in her perspective with YWCA’s work is seen in the resulting 2021 Luncheon scarf.
We reconnected with Enjoli to ask her more about the theme of reclaiming your power, finding connection in community, and creating art with impact.
What does reclaiming your power mean to you?
I've really felt like I'm stepping into my power in recent years and owning it instead of shrinking and putting the comfort of others ahead of my own. It's almost like I've always had long, sturdy limbs with potential to build and do great things, but never quite knew how to access the muscles until now. Learning when to flex, when to stretch, and the importance of rest have all been crucial to reclaiming my power.
Also learning what works for me, and being OK saying no to what doesn't has helped me grow a ton recently. Advocating for myself and stating my needs are two things that haven't always come naturally to me. So it's taken some time to learn my worth and be comfortable and confident taking up space in this world, but I feel more powerful now than ever.
Our theme this quarter on the blog is connection. Can you share how your art helps you connect with causes you're passionate about?
Some of my very first projects as a designer were for a fundraiser pub crawl that I helped to start in support of a dear friend Melissa Erickson (Mo) who was fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease/ALS. Ring Around the Needle Pub Crawl turned into a big annual event where we were able to raise the money to meet not only our friend's needs, but also extend the reach to meet those of many others also battling the disease. Mo fought hard for 7 years before losing her battle in 2013, but the fundraiser has been a beautiful addition to her legacy, and also taught me a lot about the importance of not only loving what I do, but striving to create real impact from my work as well. I feel extremely fortunate to get to create art for a living, and getting to collaborate with great organizations like YWCA that are working to directly improve the lives of people in hundreds of communities across the country makes it even more meaningful.
What advice would you share with someone looking to feel connected to their community?
I'd say try to figure out what you're passionate about, and then seek out local groups that align with your values and find out how to get involved. Nearly everyone is accessible these days thanks to the internet, so if there's a person or org that inspires you, don't hesitate to reach out and connect! Ask questions, tell them why you admire their work, see if there's an opportunity for you to contribute to the cause and be open to growing in new ways. That's part of the magic of community, the more you connect, the more you grow; both as individuals and as a whole. So don't be afraid to put yourself out there and make those connections to expand your reach. It's not just about the opportunities you could be missing out on, but those you may not even realize you could be providing for someone else. The more we connect, the more we get free, collectively :)
Thank you Enjoli for sharing your words, wisdom, and work with us! Check out Enjoli's website for more information.
Annalee Schafranek is the Marketing & Editorial Director at YWCA. She contributes agency news, press releases, and media coverage to the website. Annalee’s educational and professional experience has always focused on the place where gender equity and media meet.
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