I place my recent experience as a Segal Fellow Coach in the category of things I feel guilty about. Why? Not because I didn’t show up on time or give it my all, but because I got so much out of the experience. I can almost hear Eli knowingly chuckling about the power of service to help transform those who serve.
I am grateful to my Segal Fellow Alan Ratliff who during the time we spent together gave me a window into his dynamic and highly complex work informing GBLT (gay, bi-sexual, lesbian, and transgender) policy development on the state-wide level. Over fancy salads, Japanese noodle soups, and something Thai that I am still not sure about, I learned about the disconnects between public officials and a new generation of youth leaders and activists in this arena. Alan is bravely in the process of positioning himself as a bridge. He is learning to speak the languages of multiple stakeholders and helping them find new ways to first “hear” one another and then, hopefully, work together. Like most Fellows, he is a pioneer.