My name is Dyaami and I am a 2014 alumni of the DDCSP University of Washington program. My major was Environmental Studies with minors in all things food, gender, politics, and justice. Presently, I am an apprentice in Spiritual Herbalism, a fellow in the Freedom School for Healing and Health Justice, and am launching a freelance career!
Since completing the UW program, I feel deeply bonded and connected to my DDCSP peers. Martha Groom, one of our mentors, puts a lot of effort into getting us to meet at conferences and growing our relationship outside of Seattle, Washington. Over time, my relationships have deepened and evolved with many of my peers!
My love for my friend-alums led to participating in the Alumni Leadership Cohort (ALC) in March 2018 where some of us wanted to organize regional meetups for alumni, scholars, and conservationists to get together for fun, connections, and getting to know each other.
Meeting up with you all in person is the highlight of my experience with the alumni network. I get to witness your growth, fan the flames of your visions, connect you to people I know and to other alums who have helpful information. In turn, you all support me in my dreams, organizing, jokes, and evolution of spirit. Without getting together every few months, I would have felt lost, incomplete, and uninspired. My peers and mentors through this program have held me together at really crucial times, coached me through getting amazing jobs, and are now supporting me in this next phase of my journey.
The best part about regional meetups is that YOU ARE ALREADY DOING THEM! Anytime you get together with your DDCSP friends it counts as a meet up! The difference happens when we share the experience with the larger network so that everyone is encouraged to reach out to alumni that create opportunities for friendship, laughter, collaborations, amazing food, community support, information, resources, etc.
So far, I (and you too!) have participated in over 20 regional meetups.
Saloni and I have hung out over 15 times for meals, events, nature walks, and relaxing over the last 5 years! We have even more if we count the ones with Chris, Chigozie, Vanessa, Viraj, Olivia, Robin, Lacey, Steve, Amy, and many more amazing alums.
Chris, Steve, Dyaami (back to front), UW ‘14 at Barcade circa 2017
Our first ALC led meetup happened during the summer of 2018 in Central Park with some DDCSP alumni and a few guests. It was awesome to get together, catch up, and meet new people.
I organized a second meetup at Governors Island in New York City this past August - an adventure in a giant park. Kai Blatt and Kelly Lam joined me and we spent a few hours eating homemade berry cobbler, visiting an urban farm, and walking in the summer sun.
Kelly, Dyaami, Kai (left to right) on the Govenors Island Ferry August 2019
Meeting at conferences (PGMOne, New Horizons, and SCCS), events (Green Spaces, Queer Faces), and reunions (ALC, Homecoming) throughout the last few years have created relationships between more cohorts and program years to my circle of friends.
Virtual Meetups: The alumni bookclub is a place where we get to know each other through books, co-learning/teaching/facilitating, and inspiring conversations. I will also be hosting some virtual meet ups this fall to discuss our network generally...please come through!
If you’d like more information or want to organize or be part of a meet up, it’s way easier than you think and you should join our zoom call on Sunday, November 3 at 6:00pm EST!
I’d love to see you via the interwebs, share some laughter and visions, and link up :)
New Moon Blessings,
2016, SCCS, Saloni, Olivia, Lacey, Dyaami (left to right to front)
2016, SCCS, Jordan, Robin, Chigozie, Dyaami (left to right to front)
Saloni and Dyaami, 2017, #love
Dyaami, Saloni, Viraj for Saloni’s Birthday in D.C. 2019
Homecoming 2019 UW ‘14 Reunion Pic
Joseph (hat), Vanessa, Chigozie, Chris, Naanibah, Robin, Steve, Dyaami, Saloni (left to right and right to left to front)
Saloni and Dyaami, pre-Homecoming 2019
Frances (UW ‘16), Dyaami and Amy (UW ‘15) in Seattle Summer 2019 for Alumni Panel with 2018 and 2019 Cohorts!