Resting with Grief: Tributaries December 2021

December 16, 2021

In November, my brother in-law passed away. His death was unexpected. He was young. He meant the world to the people who loved him. Now there is a huge gaping hole in my family—especially in the lives of my sister and their three teenage children. My sister lost her husband, and her children lost their father. Days…

Read More

On Stress, Sabbaticals, and Systems Change: Tributaries October 2021

October 19, 2021

“Maria, I don’t have any fight left in me,” my friend told me recently over lunch. She shared the impact that years of organizing and advocating were having on her. Her exhaustion was palpable. We talked in whispers, careful not to let the people around us hear us commiserate about the challenges of running organizations,…

Read More

What a Tree Taught Me: Tributaries August 2021

August 24, 2021

The tree in my front yard has started to lose its leaves. I learned recently that trees do that to survive drought conditions. A tree drops its leaves to conserve the water it has in its trunk. Its roots reach out as far as possible to take in what little moisture is in the soil.…

Read More

A Learning Year in Review: Tributaries February 2021

February 16, 2021

Inhale through your nose. Pause and count to four. Now, exhale and blow out your breath through your mouth. Notice if your shoulders are bunched up near your ears. Relax your shoulders and stretch your neck. Scan the rest of your body. Where are you feeling tension or tightness? Don’t judge yourself. Just notice. Inhale.…

Read More

Tributaries: November 30, 2020

November 30, 2020

As I write this piece, cases of coronavirus continue to rise, both here in Minnesota and across the country. Like you, I am managing so much uncertainty. My wife, my kids, and I are all working and schooling from home. We’re stocking up on the essentials and adjusting our routines based on real time pandemic…

Read More

Tributaries: October 29, 2020

October 28, 2020
White letters against a black backdrop spell out the words "Racism is a pandemic"

Recently, one of my board colleagues at Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice talked about the dissonance she is experiencing between her head knowledge and her heart knowledge. As I listened to her, I felt like the air had just been knocked out of me. What she described was my very own real struggle—as a mother, as a…

Read More

Tributaries: September 1, 2020

September 1, 2020

Being the president of this 36-year-old institution is the honor of my lifetime. But, like so many leaders, I often suffer from imposter syndrome. Who am I to lead this amazing foundation? Why do I think I am qualified to be the President? Am I really the right person to make big bold asks for…

Read More

Introducing Tributaries

July 12, 2020

July 13, 2020 I have written and re-written this first paragraph too many times to count. This post was supposed to be the inaugural piece for Headwaters’ new project Tributaries, which aims to amplify what makes our leaders, movements, and futures so inspiring. Now that we’re living in a pandemic and an uprising, finding the…

Read More