As we eagerly anticipate our Builder’s Day celebration at the end of this month, I took a moment to consider those builders for which the event is named. If I may, I’d like to propose that this title, “builders”, can extend to more than just the incredible founders of Taller de José. This is because Taller de José is not a stagnant organization, but rather one that is constantly reiterating, renewing, and reinventing, adjusting to the needs of the community for which it was founded and the changing dynamics of the world. In fact, that is the very reason that supporters return year after year to the Builder’s Day festivities- they recognize that Taller de José’s mission continues to be relevant and crucial. And each year, the combination of interns, volunteers, staff, the Associate Board, and the Board of Directors take on the mantle of “builders” to make these adjustments, adding to the strong foundation laid in 2008. So, as we approach Builder’s Day, I would like to celebrate this year’s “builders”, and in particular, those builders with whom I am privileged to work each day- a team of inspiring, strong, compassionate women whom I call both coworkers and friends. Below, I write about these women- the people who have most shaped my experience of Taller de José.
Taller de José Is
The volunteer whose hugs mend and words fortify;
The student whose energy and enthusiasm radiate outward and light the office;
The intern whose laugh and honesty calmly reveal the joys and challenges of the everyday;
The Compañera whose wisdom and gentleness accompany a fierce passion for social justice;
The staff member whose invitations to lunch and into conversation create a sense of belonging;
The coworker whose mental health knowledge and education are offered to clients without hesitation;
The supervisor whose quiet strength and ever-available ear provide critical encouragement and support;
The staff member whose smile and multi-tasking welcome and direct, especially on the busiest days;
The Compañera whose courage and determination to help feature clearly in thought and action;
The intern whose interest in development enhances and advances the organization’s mission;
The coworker whose compassion and thoughtfulness result in advocacy above and beyond;
The student whose diligence and kind presence accomplish unseen but impactful tasks;
The level-headed leader whose focus and devotion enable others’ success.
Written by Claire Whalen (she/her/ella)
Claire is serving at Taller de José as a Compañera during her time as an Amate House Fellow.