Elisabeth Butler wraps up her work at Race For Equity with some important take-aways for her future career

This post was written by current student Elisabeth Butler.

These past 10 weeks have gone by incredibly fast. My PWE is already coming to a close, but I feel like I have just found my stride in terms of figuring out my role in the organization and my relationship with my co-workers during these last final moments. There is most likely an abundance of knowledge that I have yet to tap into, but, even in such a short span of time, I have learned a lot by working for this organization.

From Zoom meetings to facilitation trainings, RACE for Equity has been very generous in terms of making sure I had plenty of work to keep me busy. I enjoyed the responsibility of serving as a Project Assistant for several projects, and I liked how the deliverables assigned to me were tailored toward my interests within the organization. For example, during the interview process with RACE for Equity, I mentioned that I was interested in community engagement and development. Due to my interest in community work, RACE for Equity worked with me to develop two deliverables that was related to my interests. One deliverable involved creating a condensed version of the Community Engagement Continuum (CEC), a training material developed by RACE for Equity, and another deliverable included researching best practices for Communities of Practice (CoP).

In addition to those two deliverables, RACE for Equity team members brought me on to help with a variety of other projects, such as creating a plan to transition from Microsoft Teams to Google Workspace and collecting documentation for clients. I appreciate how RACE for Equity tailored the PWE experience to my interests, but also exposed me to a variety of other tasks, topics, and projects that were unfamiliar to me but equally stimulating.

As I reflect on my experience working with RACE for Equity, I would say, overall, I enjoyed the work, but, even more, I enjoyed the people. I would like to use this space to say thank you to all of the RACE for Equity team members who welcomed me into the organization and helped me learn and grow as an individual. It really is a different experience to work alongside co-workers who are passionate about making a difference in the world. RACE for Equity was looking at the big picture, but also cared about the little things as well. For example, RACE for Equity would have a check-in for each meeting. The check-in wasn’t just some quick formality. You could tell that the team was genuinely interested in learning what was going on in the lives of others, and they were honest in terms of how they were truly feeling at that moment. It is that kind of openness that I appreciated. The more I learned about other team members, the more I wanted to work alongside them to do good work. Change takes time, but RACE for Equity has inspired me to remain hopeful and to do my part, to show up each day and chip away at the systemic boundaries that has held us all captive for too long.