Tuesday, September 6, 2016

It’s so hard to say goodbye

News from NHC
by Radiah Shabazz, National Housing Conference

Since I was a senior at Howard University, NHC has been my home. I began here as a communications intern, with a strong passion for social justice issues but very little knowledge of affordable housing.  In the last two and a half years I’ve attended events, had long discussions with experts, spoken to the media, read research reports, sifted through numerous housing-related Google Alerts and did whatever I could do to gain an immense knowledge of this very necessary movement. In addition to that, I’ve sharpened my skills as a communicator—through writing, design, media relations and social media marketing. I’ve woken up happy to come to work every day because not only do I enjoy the work that I’ve done at NHC, but it’s mission driven work; work that will create positive change.

It’s hard to believe that this Friday, Sept. 9, will be the end. In bittersweet fashion, I announced my resignation in June as I go on to pursue graduate studies at the University of Chicago. I’m still in shock that in less than a week I’ll move to the country’s third largest city to take on a new, exciting challenge. But the sweet side to the sadness is that I can take all of the things I’ve learned here at NHC and apply them to my endeavors as a graduate student.

I’ll be pursuing a degree in social service administration and I’ve chosen the poverty and inequality program of study, with a social administration concentration. This program will prepare me to be on the front line of efforts associated with disadvantaged populations and marginalized people. I feel like I have a great head start through NHC. My goal is to move into community and economic development and other services and supports that can help disadvantaged communities. The advocacy for Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing that NHC participated in last year was a great starting point for me. Our annual Solutions for Housing Communications convening also gave me great insight on how to speak about and build support for affordable housing development. Research about the implications of access to safe, affordable housing for health and education were eye opening. I’m still fascinated by the numerous intersections housing has with other areas, and I’m excited to bring this perspective to class discussions and, if possible, incorporate it into some research.

So while it’s hard to say goodbye, I know that my time at NHC has equipped me for future success. I’m excited to apply what I’ve learned through my work in affordable housing to my future career in social service administration and community development.

Additionally, my departure also leaves an opening for a senior marketing and communications associate, a position NHC is currently hiring for. I encourage you to share the position with your networks and apply. You definitely won’t regret it.

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