Written by Erin Murphy, Director of Community Engagement, YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish (for 2 more hours!)
This is a first for Firesteel. It’s a goodbye post. After four amazing years with the YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish and Firesteel, today is my last day.
I can’t believe how lucky I am. Four years ago I interviewed for a job that had the long and awkward title of “Director of Education and Advocacy Network” because the program that I would manage did not even have a name yet! Seems like forever ago and the name that emerged was Firesteel.
I have always advocated for causes I believe in. I started as a 5 year old, lecturing my adult neighbor on the hazards of smoking (yeah, I had a lot to learn in way of respectful and persuasive advocacy messaging!), grew into a teenager defending immigrants’ rights in high school debate class, and then found myself a fresh college graduate racking up unpaid advocacy internships. When I landed this job at the YWCA post graduate school, I was able to make money doing what I loved, advocating for a cause that really mattered to me. Almost too good to be true.
But it was true. Along the way, I have been fortunate enough to be a part of some incredible experiences. From our Google + Hangouts with governor candidates, to working alongside this fantastic advocate, to the Finding Our Way StoryCorps project, to advocating to end homelessness on national cable TV–wait, why am I leaving?
Oh, right. I’m leaving to take my own advice and do some self-care. As much as I love the work, advocating to end homelessness is hard and can take an emotional toll. To ensure that I can keep advocating for social justice, I am taking a break to rest so I can continue to advocate in the long run. So that means a summer break! I am very fortunate to be in a situation where I can afford to take time off and am going to do my best to truly appreciate it. I don’t actually know what will follow at the moment, but whatever it is, I plan to be well rested!
I have met so many incredible people and am still committed to being a part of the housing and homelessness advocacy community in Washington state. You can follow me on Twitter at @erin_tapatia and I’ll now have that much more time to tweet and have awesome online conversations! Firesteel is fully in Denise’s very capable hands and I am so excited knowing that there is this wonderful advocacy community and space where I can continue to advocate and speak up for change regardless of my role shifting. Here’s to good things in the future!