Q&A with Leah Nahmias

Meet leah nahmias

Leah serves as a community leadership officer.

What excites you about your new role? 

I started my career as a teacher so I’m excited to be back in a role where my work directly impacts kids, even if I’m not interacting with them every day. Plus educators and others who work with kids always have funny and inspiring stories, so I know I’ll get to hear those as I go about the course of my work and that will give me motivation and joy even as we’re tackling really tough challenges.

In this past year, what book, movie or album resonated with you in the strongest way and why?

I was already an avid listener before the last year, but my favorite media over the last year has been a podcast called Know Your Enemy. It’s an intellectual history of the right and is very good at unpacking the evolution of ideas that are playing out in our politics now, including current illiberal anti-democratic, anti-majoritarian impulses. I revisited their episode on the logic of gunpower following the shooting at the FedEx facility; it has really clarified and changed the way I think about gun violence in America, and how we (don’t) respond. I also really loved the novel Hamnet, which is, among other things, about grief and loss during a plague, so that resonated for obvious reasons.

What’s one thing you’re learning now, and why is it important? 

I’m trying to understand how the pandemic has impacted kids in Marion County and what schools and community organizations will need to make sure this whole generation isn’t permanently behind. I’m concerned not only about learning loss but also kids’ health and emotional well-being, and very aware that students who were already vulnerable, including students of color and poor students, were hit hardest by the disruptions of the last eighteen months.

What’s your favorite way to unwind after a busy day? 

A long walk and a podcast, often followed by a cocktail on my porch!

What’s your most recent act of equity?

In my personal giving, I include a mix of environmental and social justice organizations, among others, so my most recent act of equity was probably the monthly donation I made to RAICES, which supports legal services, social programs, bond assistance and advocacy for immigrant children, families and refugees. They’ve been on the frontlines on the border advocating for and helping vulnerable people harmed by family separation policies.


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