After two very busy years, my time with the Housing For All Campaign has finally come to a close, and my title as the Housing For All intern will soon be passed on. I never thought saying good bye would be so hard, but it has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. When Elizabeth asked me to write this post I had no idea where to start or what to say. I started jotting down details about my internship and why I enjoyed it so much, but the truth is: it was extremely difficult to frame my two year experience into a few short paragraphs. Not only have my tasks been completely varied, but after a while I developed a passion for community organizing that even the most elegant words can hardly express. I will truly miss the enthusiasm-filled town halls, hours of phone banking and Saturday outreach shenanigans. Each task, including the sometimes hours of data entry, has been humbling, rewarding and enlightening, and I will forever be grateful for these experiences. I have learned a great deal during my time with CNHED, and I will be able to contribute an enormous part of my future success to this position.
My time with the Housing For All Campaign showed me the real power of organizing, and for this I will forever be grateful. Gathering people in numbers and putting pressure on government officials to react have become my key to understanding how to achieve change. I wasn’t reading about movements in textbooks or standing on the sideline, I was a part of the action. Interning with the Housing For All Campaign ignited a spark that had previous been extinguished. For the first time in my life, I was challenged to talk about the problems I saw in the world and develop strategies to resolve them; I was reminded that standing up for what you believe in sometimes meant going into the streets equipped with picket signs and fancy dresses, but above all I learned that demanding change is the only way to truly achieve it.
To say the least, my experience with the Housing For All Campaign has been extremely memorable and life changing. As I have grown with the Campaign, I have watched our supporters’ and volunteers’ enthusiasm grow and that has been my greatest inspiration. Each person I have met has touched me in their own way; each testimony I’ve heard has provided me with another reason to continue the fight towards equality. After our most recent win, I know there is no stopping you all. I know that you guys will continue to work until DC becomes a place where all residents can have decent and quality housing at a price they can afford, and I am happy to have been a part of the movement. Because goodbyes are always way too hard, I’ll just say see you later and thank you for everything.
CNHED Outgoing Intern Shaunte Wilcher