Fierce Friday | Ilyssa Russ

What makes you a L I O N?

@ohilyssa: “I’m still growing day by day. Typically when we think of a lion we think of ferociousness, dominance, and power. But the lion I envision carries more subtlety–it’s prowess; it’s ingenuity; it’s steadfastness; it’s duty and honor. These are qualities that I am constantly seeking to build and embolden within myself.  The lion I want to be is the one that makes a mark by holding firmly to its core values and deepest passions. I want to be the lion that commands a space, but causes that space to flourish.”

What makes you H U M B L E?

@ohilyssa: “For me, being the 🦁 king (or queen!) isn’t fulfilling if the spaces I occupy don’t allow for OTHERS to be empowered. Whether it’s online or in my classroom, I want the words that I say to challenge others to think more critically about the world around them. I recognize that I’m not the expert or the oracle, but that the privileges and access I’ve been given necessitates the spread of knowledge that I have. I want to build a community–not an empire–where I am constantly learning from other people.

The respect I have for this woman, her voice and the way she uses it is unparalleled to any I have seen in her online community.

She is absolutely stunning, and while she could so easily capitalize on that, she instead uses her brain, her heart and her love of the human race to propel her (and everyone around her) forward.

If you aren’t following @ohilyssa, I would highly recommend you do. I just joined her #whereyouatwednesday email list and I am SO excited to see what she brings to the table. This is a community she is creating to help share knowledge and resources regarding topics such as social/racial justice, intersectionality, relationships and/or empathy and social consciousness.

@ohilyssa, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for not only taking the time to answer these questions, but for taking the time to do all that you do for countless people around the world.

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