You wouldn’t think it would be hard to write a few paragraphs about yourself until you’re asked on your sixth day of work at the Diversity Council to do just that. So I have been staring at a blank screen wondering, what would anyone want to know, how deep should I go, where do I start? How do I make this the most profound introduction of all times? Then I realized I should just start with my name.
So here goes: my name is Heidi-Mae Wilkins. I grew up in Menomonie, WI; spent some time in Dallas, TX; but realized the Midwest was home. I lived in Winona, MN, for about five years and then moved here to Rochester about seven years ago. I fell in love with this town and can’t imagine living anywhere else.
My husband Kamau Wilkins and I started Rochester For Justice after the shooting of Michael Brown. We started with a protest downtown against police brutality, and since then we have hosted numerous town hall meetings, facilitated panel discussions during the elections, and participated in several protests in the Midwest against police brutality and gun violence. We held a donation drive for Standing Rock in which we raised thousands of dollars and packed a U-Haul full of clothes, tents, sleeping bags, and medical supplies that we drove out there. We also participated in a meat drive a couple months later that sent about 500 pounds of meat to the protesters. Rochester for Justice has also been very involved in the Community Focus Team within the school district. Most recently, we hosted a youth empowerment event with a 14-year-old business owner from Madison.
Along with having worked full time as an event planner while running Rochester For Justice, I am the mother of two amazing children. My son will be thirteen in a couple of weeks. He is a fencing champion, great student, and all around wonderful human. He is patient and kind and rarely complains when he has to sit through ANOTHER community meeting. (Poor kid sat through that twelve-hour City Council meeting last year. You can find him on Twitter tying and untying his shoes together at 1am.) He is also the best big brother to his 4-month-old sister.
Our strong infant daughter rarely cries, laughs freely, and has also gotten an early start at Community Involvement. In her short 4 months earth side she has already attended a handful of school board and City Council meetings as well as an event hosted by the Rochester Police Department and the FBI.
Don’t even get me started on my husband. If anyone could single-handedly change the world, it would be him. I get a little gushy when I talk about my husband, so I will spare you all. If you know him, I am certain he has influenced you in some way or another.
I am passionate about civil rights and advocacy. I am so excited to be here at the Diversity Council. I look forward to being a part of the important work they are doing here.