On Thursday, August 8, SEPO Zambia Director Mashebe Mushe Subulwa was honored to be selected as the recipient of the 2019 Daisy Frazier Social Justice Award.
If you take a close look at our mission, you will find that SEPO Zambia is committed to progress in all the communities we are connected to – not just in western Zambia, but here in Oshkosh as well. And Fit Oshkosh is one of our favorite organizations to support here in the Fox Valley.
Take a moment to read our Director’s reflections on this enormous honor:
Wow, what a night in Oshkosh! Got to spend the evening in a room full of powerful people doing powerful things (#angerintoaction) at the Fit Oshkosh, Inc. dinner. Got some doses of inspiration from Tracey Robertson, Jordan Landry, Angie Lee, Lori Palmeri, and my brother Butler Ajamou. Aluta continua (the struggle continues). In the midst of a powerful night, I was shocked and honored to receive the 2019 Daisy Frazier Social Justice Award for the work I do with SEPO Zambia. There is not enough gratitude in words to adequately thank those that nominated me (Alicia Johnson, Lori Palmeri, and Molly Norton Smiltneek). When I heard my name, the rest of the evening became a bit of a blur and I honestly think I am still processing the honor.
The work I do with SEPO Zambia comes from a deep commitment to and respect for our common humanity and a desire to enable people who may think they are not connected to experience their shared history, shared present, and shared future. I do it for my people, for kwa hae, for my community, and for my sons. I never thought of it as something to be recognized. In thinking about this honor, I am beginning to realize that there is power in being seen – because it allows others (especially little black/brown kids like my own sons) to see themselves in us. And so for that I am deeply thankful.
Last but not least, I would like to say some words about my family. Back home kwa hae, the family is large and full of love, but also living with enormous struggles – yet my family has supported my work with SEPO Zambia even when it means less time, money, and energy from me. The same is true of my family on Graber St. I would like to thank my lovely wife boma Subulwa (Ang Gray Subulwa)for her constant support. The work I do often takes me away from our family and takes its toll on us (this sort of work is not free – it has a heavy mental and emotional cost). Yet she does not waver in her support because she knows it to be as important as I know it to be. We are a team in all things SEPO Zambia and life. We do much of what we do for the two little lions at home, Mooka and Mwakamui.
I can only hope that through the combined efforts of organizations like Fit Oshkosh, Inc. and SEPO Zambia, Mooka and Mwakamui will see a place for themselves in Oshkosh and in this world.