Micah Fellow Spotlight: Yani Burgos

1. Why did you apply to Life Together? What were you looking for?

At the time I applied to Life Together, I had spent almost half a year out of college, looking for ways to engage my passion for social justice. I had begun to play with the idea of tying faith into that passion, but had no idea how to do so effectively. Life Together, in many ways, seemed too good to be true but came at the perfect time.

2. What is your favorite part about your current site placement work?

I am currently placed at Integrity, and I've been given a lot of creative license to engage communities that might not be on the organization's radar. For example, I'm working on a project with The Crossing focusing on LGBTQ employment rights, which may lead to some more state-wide engagement!

3. Can you tell a brief story about your life in intentional community?

Because of all the snow fall lately, many of us in my house community have been working remotely. One of our responsibilities is to shovel - for some that's really exciting...but not so much for me. I noticed that on our first huge storm, the shoveling that needed to be done required more labor than my two early bird housemates. I volunteered to help, and the time flew by. There was lots to be done, but doing that kind of physical labor with people I've grown to really care about made it one of the most life giving experiences I've had in community.

4. Who inspires you and why?

As of late, I have been looking for people who I've met in the last year or so who I can look to as inspiration. Right now, that person is the Rev. Jacqui J. Lewis, who's the Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church in NYC. I just received the church's newsletter, and I'm thrilled to hear her say things like "Oh, how we need a movement for racial justice. And we now stand on the shoulders of Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Diane Nash and so many more." She inspires me to be vocal and demand urgency for change in this world.

5. How has LT supported you to grow in your spiritual life?

LT has forced me to confront my spiritual life head on. Before starting LT, my spiritual life was pretty narrow and unknown, and as much as I wanted to play and expand in my understanding, I lacked the structure I knew I needed. LT has not only provided a structure, but the program has encouraged a playful spirit that I don't think I've ever been able to reach.  

6. What's next for you? 

As of right now, I have plenty of ideas. Seminary is on the top of the list, and law school is right next to it. I have a lot of passion around engaging young people who are interested in doing work around empowerment and youth organizing. But nothing is set in stone!