As Haile Fellows Tracy and Tamia delve into the heart of their projects, we wanted to see how it's been going so far. Here's what they had to say about the first few months of their Fellowship experience:
What's a 10-15 word explanation of your project?
Tamia: Tether connects Cincinnati image-makers to each other and to opportunities for work.
Tracy: RISE is a publication that provides currently incarcerated individuals with community resources and support.
What have been your biggest challenges and successes so far?
Tamia: The biggest challenge has been finding time to do everything! There's doing the work, but then you have to promote the work in meetings, on social media, at events...it's exhausting. And I love it.
The biggest successes are when people get excited about the project or when their ideas align with what I've been planning. It's nice to get that reinforcement.
Tracy: So far, I’ve had two big challenges: the first is personally compiling a completely vetted and comprehensive resource listing; and the second is learning to deal with the local (city and county) political scene.
I have been amazed at how responsive our community has been to this project. Because of the admiration and respect that our community has for PL and the Haile Foundation, I have been introduced to so many amazing people. Without the support and backing of PL, I would never have even met half of them!
What's your favorite part of working with People's Liberty?
Tamia: The people, for sure. The PL team is extremely helpful and well-connected. The space in the Globe Building is pretty fantastic, too.
Tracy: People’s Liberty has a unique way of making me feel comfortable and capable of pulling off such a huge project. Even when I was interviewing for the fellowship, I knew that their support and guidance would be just as important as their funding. It’s funny: as individuals, the PL staff is as diverse a group as you can find; together, they are an incredibly cohesive and effective team. What an honor and privilege it is to get to work with them everyday!
What are you working on now?
Tamia: Right now I'm promoting the Tether Sourcebook submissions (open through June 11th!) and planning the June 26th networking and team-building event.
Tracy: Now two months into this fellowship, I am working on building a team of contributors (both inside and outside of the jail) that are helping me to develop helpful, engaging, and informative content. One of our grantees, Nicole Lee, calls me the Maestro because I truly feel like I am conducting a symphony of amazing collaboration. For the first time in my life, I have the opportunity to create the kind of work environment that I have always wanted to be a part of but could never find. Now that’s what I call living the dream. Everyone involved with RISE has an authentic desire to help others in our community, and that is amazing to be around everyday. I am beyond humbled and grateful to be a part of PL and to have the opportunity to lead this project.
What excites you most about this?
Tamia: I get such a thrill out of connecting people to each other and seeing what develops because of those relationships. We have an abundance of creative talent here; it's so exciting to show what Cincinnati can do.
Tracy: Growing up, my idea of wealth, happiness and success were very different from how I view the world today. I think from being homeless, I realized how much it means when a stranger shows kindness; and from being incarcerated, I learned that my greatest currency is my word and that my most valuable resource is time. I don’t think I would have ever done philanthropic work if it weren’t for my own personal journey teaching me what a difference someone’s generosity and compassion can make in a person’s life.
For more info about Tamia's project Tether and Tracy's project RISE visit: