A few weeks ago I had the opportunity of attending my first Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) conference in San Francisco. It was a new experience for me and learned a lot from the conference. One of the biggest take away from the conference was that there are not many people of color in this field. I felt out of place when I noticed that there not too many brown faces in the room on the first day. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to have found the table under Native American. This was when I started feeling more comfortable in the conference when seeing people who look like me in Philanthropy. We had the best conversations about colonization,decolonization, as well as the importance of people like ourselves being in philanthropy.
Another realization I had while interacting in the Native American table is that as they said it “we (humanic scholars) are a treasure. This came out because they asked us about the program and what we have been learning in the program. After they heard all the things we are learning and the hands on experience we are getting they disclosed to us that they are very new into this and that they did not know some of the material that we were talking to them about.
From these interactions, I learned that we as humanics scholars need to get away from the idea that we are “just” students but that we have philanthropy knowledge to share with community. I also realized how important it is for people like me to be in this field.