ILSI’s Impact Speaker Series concluded this semester with a conversation featuring the powerful speaker and human rights entrepreneur YoNasDa (Yo-Na-Ja-Ha) Lonewolf. A diverse audience, from undergraduate engineers to MBA students, filled the room to hear YoNasDa’s message. Georgia Social Impact Collaborative, Lavonya Jones, moderated.
YoNasDa, whose mother was Oglala Lakota, was born during The Longest Walk movement, which influenced her entire life: “I was born with my fist up,” she laughed as she remembered the various civil rights icons she grew up around.
When asked how students in the room could use their access to privilege to help organize and provide solutions, YoNasDa responded,
“Those with privilege have access to rooms that I cannot enter. This is an amazing thing. We need those allies. If you can get into those rooms, use that privilege to speak for those who do not have the same access as you.”
YoNasDa graciously spent time with a group of MBA student leaders after her talk and left a strong impression on first-year MBA, Leah Cabrera. She reflected:
“YoNasDa’s stories made me think critically about what true revolutionary healing looks like. She mentioned there is a point in life where you must decide what you are willing to fight for and that the basis of community development is self-improvement. As I continue my time at Georgia Tech, I will hold her words close as I look for balance on leveraging my dual degree to create meaningful change to address systemic exploitation issues while striving for radical liberation.”
You can watch the entire conversation on ILSI’s YouTube channel and revisit some outstanding Impact presentations from this and previous seasons.
The Institute for Leadership and Social Impact is an interdisciplinary institute that promotes servant leadership and social innovation that contribute to a more just, caring, and equitable world.