Highlights from MCH Advocacy Fellow, Ranee

Good afternoon,

My name is Ranee and I’m writing to you about my time so far with my Fellowship. The MCH Advocacy Fellowship Program has been a wonderful experience and I’m so grateful I’m part of this first cohort. My time with the MCH Advocacy Fellowship Program is something that I value and am so appreciative of. It has been very helpful to me to see how things are done on a legislative level, allowing me to connect things together on a larger scale with the many hats I wear. I am most proud and thankful for my diverse and growing network of advocates and community leaders. I also have the opportunity to build relationships with decision-makers and fellow housing and support service providers which helps me grow in my role as a leader and an advocate.

The most challenging part for me so far is building my base of advocates. I truly thought building my base would be the easiest part but I was wrong! I am still working on my building my base of core advocates to support the legislative items we are working on, but it isn’t easy. I feel that is not just about finding people to advocate, but identifying the right people with stories that have a message to deliver and align with the legislative agenda of the MN Coalition for the Homeless. I like working with so many different people and prepping them to do well with advocacy work, so this is a good challenge for me to have. I welcome challenges and opportunities that push me to do better and help me grow more than I allow myself credit for. 

One thing that has surprised me during this Fellowship is my growth in public speaking. The nervous chuckle that once accompanied me not only in the act but in the thought of speaking before large audiences has been replaced with a strong confidence! Perhaps I have avoided public speaking at all costs because of that nervousness that dwells within me, but I’m finding that I not only enjoy speaking in public, I have started to build a skillset. While I have never considered myself a social butterfly, wallflower also does not apply here; however, I have discovered a natural and effortless ability for networking which I credit towards the improvement of both my public speaking and writing skills. 

I hope that I will be able to play a small part in the larger act of preventing and ending homelessness in the Twin Cities Region. I think we still have so much work to do as a state, but we are getting closer. This Fellowship program allows us to have a voice that is louder than it has been and we can create more opportunities for others as well. 

Thank you for your continued support and guidance throughout this journey.  If you are interested in financially supporting our work, here is a link to donate to the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless. We are currently building out our number of sustaining donors, and with your support, I know we will continue doing great work together.

If I could leave you with one thing from my Fellowship:  When our voices are together they are powerful, and please understand that you also need to be seen and not just heard. This has helped me in so many ways when building out my advocacy list. Lawmakers need to hear our stories and we need to put those stories into action. 

Have a great day – and thank you for your advocacy!!!

–Ranee, MCH Advocacy Fellow

PS: Housing is a basic human right and kindness is respect.