Being a part of a community means investing time to grow the community. You've got to keep a pulse on the voices, ideas, and themes, and look for way to continuously contribute. Sometimes, it could be a blog post, other times, maybe an open dialogue. I was organizing a panel on DevSecOps and CyberSecurity in government and looking for a well balanced set of experts. The panel's list was shaping up though I noticed a trend of going to the same old folks. Reaching out to a colleague for ideas, we realized the community had some early warning signs of stagnation. We need to have a constant influx of new ideas and perspectives.
My colleague said, "I have someone you must meet! Her name is Lonye Ford and she's gonna blow your mind."
A few clicks later I had a facilitated intro. Email led the way to a Zoom call. My colleague was right... Lonye joined the call and immediately, we could simply feel her presence. She's a mix of grit and grace. Articulate with an accent hailing from Chicago, Lonye experienced, level headed and determined.
Lonye grew up in Chicago's south side. Her predominantly all black community was underserved, surrounded by high crime rates and limited opportunities.