Q&A with Jena Brooks

Meet Jena. Jena is the new data systems associate at cicf.

What excites you about your new role?
I am excited to contribute to CICF’s mission by strengthening the data systems and supporting the new MVMT10K platform. I am also thrilled about the opportunity to grow in this field, connect with more of the Indianapolis community, and join a powerful team committed to equity.

In this past year, what book, movie or album resonated with you in the strongest way and why?
I listened to the book “Red, White, and Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston on a road trip this summer, and it was the first book I have ever read that portrays a gay romance as something other than a tragedy. It took me a while to realize that I kept holding my breath during the plot waiting for something horrible to happen, and when it didn’t, I was surprised. Most of the mainstream media and narratives around queer love that I have existed during my life have included death, trauma, or hate. It is so crucial for our community to enjoy the feel-good happy ending and have representation in this way.

What’s one thing you’re learning now, and why is it important?
I consider myself a continuous learner, but one of the most important lessons I am still learning is when to use my voice. As a White woman, I sit at a complicated intersection of power. As a woman, I have been told by society that I shouldn’t be too loud or too opinionated, but because I am White, society has taught me it is okay to speak even when it may not be my place. When to listen and when to speak up is a vital lesson to learn. Everyone deserves to be heard.

What’s your favorite way to unwind after a busy day?
After a busy day, my favorite things to do are to process the day with my partner over a tasty meal and then curl up on the couch with our dog and watch a show together.

What’s your most recent act of equity?
I am a big proponent of keeping money in the community whenever possible rather than giving it to corporations that take my money out of Indianapolis and invest it elsewhere. Most recently, I found out that my neighbor details cars out of his garage. Instead of taking my business to a company, I paid him to do it.

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