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Inspired BlogLeaning Into Authenticity: What We Learned at Kindred’s 4th Annual Black History Month Uplift Panel

How do you lean into authenticity?

That was the central question posed to our speakers at this year’s Uplift Panel – an annual Black History Month capstone event led by our Kindred Employee Resource Group (ERG).

Kindred – which serves to support Black and African American RVers – created the Uplift Panel in 2020 with two goals: to provide a platform for Black thought-leaders to share their experiences with the RV community, and to foster learning through discourse. 

Under the theme of this year’s panel, “Leaning Into Authenticity”, our speakers reflected on how being true to yourself can create lasting impact in both one’s personal and professional lives. 

But wait, what does authenticity really mean? As defined by our Kindred Co-Chairs – Laurin Mayes (who also moderated the panel!) and Erika Farmer – authenticity is about accepting who you are and living in the moment with the conviction, confidence, and courage to share your full self with the world. As a result, it enables you to perform better, take more risks, and approach tasks with optimism, excitement, and a renewed sense of intellectual curiosity.

Meet our panelists below, then explore the inspiring stories and wisdom they shared at Kindred’s 2023 Uplift Panel by watching the event recording or browsing our top takeaways!

Event Moderator & Panelists

Top Takeaways

  • Being your most authentic self applies to more than just your character. Self-expression can be reflected through your personal style or the ways you lean into activities and communities that reflect your interests.
    • BONUS: Being yourself will show others that it is okay to be themselves!

“The more that I am me, the more other people feel comfortable and confident coming up to me.” – Jason Streeter

  • Understanding yourself, your identity, the environments you thrive in, and what you need to show up as yourself helps you to be authentic in everything you do.

“Me understanding what my Blackness meant, what that looked like, and how I wanted to express it, is why I’m able to be authentic in everything that I am.” – Hailey Mangrum

  • Be somebody that you want to work for, and be yourself while doing it. 
    • TOP TIP! To find your authentic leadership style, identify your strengths and the direct impact that those actions can have on others. If the impact is positive, do more of that! If negative, do less.

“Never forget that others advocated for you to get where you are. As you are moving up, be the leader and boss you always wanted.” – Maulan Byron

  • Accepting feedback is a powerful way to be your most authentic self. When you understand your limitations and challenges, or what people perceive them to be, you can be your most authentic and successful self.

“Accept feedback in the way in which it is offered: to help you get better.” – Andrea Jackson

  • Lift others as you climb. One of the best ways to take advantage of personal successes and wins – in your authenticity and your career –  is to share that with others and ensure that they are being celebrated for their identities and strengths.
  • Building authentic relationships is key to finding a support system that will lift you up, open doors for you, and help you understand what you need to be happy and successful. Reaching out to others can also help you build up confidence over time to take up space and be who you are. 

“I’m always trying to figure out what is this person doing, what are they doing in the organization, how can they help me, how can I help them, or do they need a friend to just talk to today.” – Jason Streeter

  • Do not be complacent. By making sure that you are constantly valued in your role and bringing value to your team, you will help yourself shine and ensure that your teammates are able to shine doing what you all do best.
  • If you are struggling, you are probably not alone. Be willing to ask questions and reach out to others. Community can sometimes be the best medicine.

Loved this article? There’s more where that came from – check out our latest stories from around the RV-sphere here!

About the Author:
Jules Nasco

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