Emily Warren

When I am in SEED spaces, I feel at home.

SEED is a space that invites one to participate with their full self: head, heart, and body. And in my experience, not many spaces, particularly professional ones, offer this kind of balance. I am challenged, loved, encouraged to learn, and valued. For all of this, I have been, and continue to be, extremely grateful.

I was born and grew up in Indiana. While I was surrounded by a supportive and open-minded family, I didn't have many windows and mirrors to understand my own experiences, much less the experiences of others. Growing up, I was never a big reader; I much preferred being outside, digging in the dirt, and climbing trees, understanding the natural world around me. But the experience of going to college and starting to understand how big, vast, and beautiful the world was, changed me. I began reading voraciously, and that hasn't slowed since. I remember reading Another Country, by James Baldwin, for the first time, and being changed profoundly. Reading gave me the windows and mirrors I was so desperately craving. I began to pay attention to and reflect on my own lived experiences, as I tried to make sense of the world. I became humble and curious about the constellations of different identities and experiences that each person carries.

In my professional career, I spend most of my time with teenagers, teaching high school math. I love their enthusiasm, passion, angst, and visioning. I learn as much, if not more, from them as they learn from me. I love exploring how teaching and learning math is also a beautiful balance of head, heart, and body. It was through teaching that I came to find the SEED Project. I worked and trained with incredible colleagues and friends from my school. Even though we have all gone different directions in our careers, we remain dear friends and strong SEED family.

One person I have been inspired by is Grace Lee Boggs. adrienne maree brown wrote this about her: "Grace was difficult, exacting, funny, furious, curious, and believed in her right to assert her ideas, her critiques, her visions of the world." In my life, I work toward living my values like Grace Lee Boggs did.

— Cheryl Robinson, Supervisor, Office of Minority Achievement, Arlington Public Schools, Virginia

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