I’d be lying if I said dancing to live tribal music wasn’t on my bucket list. Ever since childhood, I’ve been fascinated with all aspects of Native American culture. The strong communities, the sacred traditions, the stunning art - but especially the dancing. So when Jordan Daniel, co-founder of the Rising Hearts Coalition, invited the Lab to their Round Dance & Advocacy Networking Fair, I jumped at the opportunity!
Founded and located in Washington, D.C., the Rising Hearts Coalition is a human rights nonprofit. Led by Jordan and her good friend Ariel, the group both organizes events and partners with others for peaceful activism. We love their passion for empowering indigenous people! Jordan has been incredible to us by sharing resources to help develop the Lab, and the Round Dance event was no exception.
In case you’re wondering, a round dance is a native dance where all community members gather in a circle to symbolize equality.1 This made it a perfect title for the fair. Hosted in D.C.’s funky Uptown Art House, the fair included about seven organizations in all. Each group had a chance to share its mission with everyone there. Hearing everyone else’s passion for advocacy pumped us up!
After we gave our elevator pitch, two smiling faces approached our table. I was so excited to meet Daniel and Charlene, both engineers as well as parents of the Uptown Art House’s director! I spoke with them about reservation schools’ need for STEM initiatives, and in return they offered me their encouragement and support. It’s an incredible feeling to exchange shared passion with others.
Once we had spoken with all the other groups, the round dance began! Laughing and smiling, everyone joined hands and did our best to step to the beat of the drums. None of us had elaborate footwork, but we were able to participate in something most of us had never done before. And we did it together, the same way we will further our mission.