Reflecting on Growth, Projects, and Dreams: My Journey with CRXLAB’s Seeds of Power Fellowship

Creative Reaction Lab
3 min readMay 28, 2024

--

Ugochi Chinemere

As I approach the conclusion of my Seeds of Power (SOP) Fellowship journey, I reflect on the transformative experiences and changes that have shaped my path. The Seeds of Power Fellowship Program (SOP) is an 8-month commitment aimed at training young people to cultivate a skill set and expand their knowledge and experience in the facilitation of Equity-Centered Community Design™ to assess issues of systemic inequity and co-create concrete opportunities for change.

As an SOP Fellow, I am immersing myself in a journey of exploration, drawing upon ancestral, communal, and embodied forms of knowledge to create new worlds. This experience not only supports my future goals but also becomes a milestone in my personal, professional, and collective liberatory journey, influencing every aspect of my life. I am honing my cultural and racially historical expertise, exploring systems-thinking to dissect power structures and inequities, and translating concepts into tangible outcomes. As an SOP fellow, I am more than acquiring knowledge — I am evolving into an unwavering force for justice that society demands.

Reflecting on the question, “What is the biggest change I’ve witnessed in myself since starting this SOP fellowship?” it strikes at the heart of my experience — personal growth, impactful projects, and aspirations for the future. The fellowship enabled me to channel my creativity and ignite a journey of self-discovery as a young, Black woman, artist, and activist. Returning to the anxiety, doubt, and the urge to express and learn about myself that characterized my application process, I realize how much I’ve grown. In my application, I expressed a desire to understand how to utilize my experiences, knowledge, and passions to become a better equipped leader in the movement for redesigning justice. I sought to discover my place in this movement and understand the type of leader I aspired to be.

The biggest change I’ve experienced since then is embracing vulnerability and shared experiences as catalysts for growth. In my application, I acknowledged the challenges and opportunities for growth in making room, primarily through storytelling, for vulnerability and shared experiences. My application emphasized that …we are leaders of our stories…and I cannot do this work in isolation.” Through the SOP fellowship, I gained a community of artists, designers and activists that cared for my creative journey. I aimed to learn more about the power of my voice and how to leverage it for action.

Vulnerability has consistently marked my journey, particularly in my creative pursuits. This openness is vividly showcased in initiatives like the CRXLAB Community Zine, where I engaged in an interview with Halee Jane, delving into their evolution as an artist. Exploring their self-portrait, “Medusa,” and life narratives, I embraced vulnerability and self-discovery through art, collaboration, and self-compassion. It was also exciting to connect with another “nerdy Black girl” whose exploration of science fiction and fantasy reflects their quest for representation and self-identity in artistic expression. Collaborating with Halee Jane reminded me of the transformative potential of art and the importance of connection in the creative process.

From these experiences, I’ve learned the vital significance of being part of a community alongside fellow artists and designers who are driven by a shared dedication to creation, wellness, and liberation. Embracing collaboration with humility is key to dismantling barriers, nurturing creativity, and unlocking the possibilities art holds in advancing equity and justice.

Title: Medusa

Artist: Halee Jane, Artwork for Equity and Katherine Durham Fellow

--

--

Creative Reaction Lab

At Creative Reaction Lab, we believe that Black and Latinx youth are integral to advancing racial equity and developing interventions for their communities.