Afrofuturism, the Netherlands, and Planners: Meet Mimie

 
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For a small startup team like ours, a new person means that our crew grew by 20%! Last week, we welcomed the newest member of the #camelbackfam: Mimie Laurant! Mimie is a Baton Rouge native but grew up around the world as a diplobrat. Before working with Camelback, she was a teacher and earned her Master’s in Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Future 2018 Fellows, you’re lucky to have Mimie -- as our new Program Manager, she's working hard on building an excellent first Summit with Elizabeth. While I know that Mimie is a Mardi Gras expert and has two super cute dogs, I wanted to learn and share more about her.

- Amanda

Let’s start low-key. Tell me about a book or music album that you’re really enjoying right now.

I just finished the first novella of the Binti series by Nnedi Okorafor, I really enjoy Afrofuturism in general. Music wise, I am super excited about Janelle Monae’s new music.

Love her. Tell me about someone that inspires you.

My grandmother, even though she only has a 6th grade education, she made sure her descendents knew the value of education, and how to be of service to others. Something that inspires me is the interconnectedness of the world, thanks to social media. Yes, it can be toxic, but a lot of change movements are also being borne through it. I think South Africa is a very inspirational place, considering the amount of social change that has happened there in my lifetime (I’m biased, it’s my favorite country).

Tell me about an experience growing up that you felt really defined who you are today. 

This is a can of worms! But, in a broad sense, life between the ages of 9 and 18 were big for me. In that time span I lived in Benin, Swaziland, and The Netherlands. There was a lot there in terms of my identity, moral, social, and leadership development. From then through college, I learned a lot about myself, especially around racial identity. It's one of those things that's better as a conversation -- so if folks want to know more, ask me in person.

I know you did your research on Camelback and the Fellows. Whose work really excites you? 

Before I had ever heard of Camelback, I had heard of Rooted School (here in New Orleans) just through local media. I had also heard about MindRight through The Friend Zone podcast, and I was excited to see both as Camelback Fellows. I am excited about anything that is offering authentic learning to students, and expanding mental health services to people of color, and other underserved communities.

At the start of your second week, how are you feeling?  

I am excited to work at Camelback, because not a lot of teachers cross over to this type of work. I wanted to find a way to impact the national educational landscape, and I think I found the perfect fit. I am looking forward to growing alongside Camelback and making connections with past and future Fellows.

Many people swear by routines. Do you have a professional routine or habit or tactic that has totally changed your life for the better? 

My planner has already become low-key famous around the office. I was a very smart, yet disorganized kid. My grades started dropping, because I couldn’t find anything in my backpack. I had a tutor that taught me how to organize myself, and it stuck! Now, organizing and customizing my planner brings me joy, and I always stay on top of projects.

What's something that people might be surprised to know about you? 

I’m a pretty big fan of ‘70s classic rock, and roots rock (The Eagles, Journey, Three Dog Night, Creedence Clearwater Revival, etc).

I ask every teammate for their favorite book, and list it on our business cards. What should I put on yours? 

There’s so many books I love...after taking some time to think about it, I’d pick The Feast of All Saints by Anne Rice.

We’ll end with a chill question -- what’s one of your favorite local food places?  

Food is life. But, if I had to choose an all-time favorite, I could eat at Junction every day, with no qualms.