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My ILI Journey

Monna Morton Hilo beach photo by Ennis Carter
I have been trying to find the time to gather my thoughts, feelings, and emotions to write about my fellowship opportunity.
 
The journey began in the spring of 2022 and lasted through January 2023. I participated in zoom meetings where we acknowledged the land we all reside on from various parts of the US and Hawaiian Island (s) that is the original land of the first inhabitants or First Peoples of this land; we held space and allowed grace for those whose gender identities are not always acknowledged or welcome, we held space for our black and brown sisters and brothers acknowledging our various cultures, practices and customs. The journey was emotional, warm, loving and has formed bonds that will last forever. Our first in-person gathering was in North Carolina at Franklinton Center at Bricks, a former “breaking” plantation, now a conference center, and our final in person gathering took place on the island of Hawaii, Kona, and Hilo.
 
The Intercultural Leadership Institute Fellowship program exposed me to the stories, culture and customs of various indigenous people and to stand on the land where the enslaved Africans were kept, tortured, buried in North Carolina; bathe in Hawaii’s pacific ocean and leave all worries behind and move forward with a positive outlook.
 
This has been quite a journey, one I will forever remember.

photos by Monna Morton & Ennis Carter

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