The first time I worked with YahNé on a project together was summer of 2016 while organizing around the Democratic National Convention.

YahNé operates with a distinct grace and patience that leaves an impression. If everyone in the room is biting their fingernails and stressing, she is a calm presence that assures the team that it is all going to work out. Regardless of what aspect of the work she is bottom-lining she operates with unwavering confidence that the job will get done – and done well – no matter what it takes. Her presence helps me stay present and trust that we will accomplish what we set out to do and it will be worth my energy.

YahNé makes people feel valuable and needed. From the genius website builder to a humble volunteer… no one would ever feel like they were anything less than the cornerstone of the project. I have seen her consistently show that she will make time to hear everyone’s voice and that she believes everyone’s voice matters. It is very uncommon to see someone with such vision be driven by consensus and feedback. There is no ego in her work.

Speaking to the above statement, YahNé has impacted me by showing what it looks like to lead from a place of love. To be considerate of every person and acknowledge people’s contributions no matter how small. As a person who tends to operate alone and work in my head, I hold more value for generosity and openness with others since knowing her.

While working on Cheri Honkala’s campaign for State Rep of the 197th, I wanted to quit. But every time there was a communication breakdown, or ball dropped she stepped in to mediate. For every job that needed to be done she was able to bring someone into the fold who could do it or she did it herself. This showed not only a diverse and impressive skill set but a willingness to step out of her lane. Seeing her work so hard made me want to step up and match that effort. She never missed a deadline and was always available. These combined traits are rare enough as it is, what’s more is that they are coupled with relentless joy and a contagious love for life.

Read More

Brianna J. Jones

Designation: Activist, Organizer, Office Manager of Dragonfly Partners