Making Room for Others to Lead

Niaz Dorry at the Food Sovereignty Prize, NYC 2012

“It was the fall of 2009 that I had a personal revelation: if our work was to continue effectively, and if I were to continue to grow as an activist, person, mentor, director and advocate, I needed to make sure the movements I was a part of had longevity. Deep inside I also wanted to make sure I contributed to the effort to make the word “indispensible” eradicated from the social change movement’s dictionary. No one should feel or be indispensible. The responsibility is too great and stressful.

So I made a conscious decision to make room for others to lead. Looking at the communities we work with, and the fishing industry that is at the heart of it, I noticed how important it was to make sure the next generation had a chance to learn, thrive, lead and have similar experiences and learning opportunities I did.

All this led to a conscious effort to make room for the young people around me to lead. This was not done in silence. I made sure others watching our organization knew about this, and I made sure the young people coming into our organization realized this. As a result, we have changed the demographics of board, starting with our board president. And to make that even more significant, she is a woman. The significance is there are almost no women, much rather young women, leading fishing community organizations. And to top it off she fishes.

This commitment extends to our staff and the leadership of the Fish Locally Collaborative.

They are representing us, and our collective values and work in places where typically you would expect the director or someone with “more experience” to be present. They are taking their new role seriously and recruiting other young people to work with them in this capacity. The environment we have created gives them the opportunity to work with me and others to make sure they are confident in their work, words, and next steps.

This shift has provided our organization, work and movement opportunities and advantages that we would not have gained otherwise. They are the new face of the Revol-Ocean!”

Oh My Cod, It's a Revol-Ocean!