Staff of the Month: Michelle Lin

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Michelle and the Fundraising Team have been hard at work planning for RYSE Center’s Annual Fundraiser, Be A Kid! This year, our theme will be “90s House Party.”


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BE A KID: 90s House Party
RYSE's Annual Fundraiser
Friday, April 27th 2018
6 - 10 PM

Details coming soon.
Be sure to check back here


Name and Title:

Michelle Lin, Grassroots Fundraising Manager

How long have you worked at RYSE?

I’ve been a part of the RYSE team since summer of 2017.

How did you first hear about RYSE and why did you choose to get involved?

I first learned about RYSE two years ago, when I was working primarily as a literary artist and educator. I've been seeking (have always been seeking) healing-centered and change-making spaces where I could put to work my skills as a nonprofit fundraiser, events organizer, and community artist activist. I was thrilled when this position opened up!

If you had to describe RYSE in three words, what would they be and why?

Brave, Transformative, Liberating

As the Grassroots Fundraising Manager, what do you do?

I build relationships with our communities, funders, and donors to sustain resources to grow the free programs we provide for our young people. I coordinate special events and fundraisers, and I’m also the communications and social media whiz. I support in all fundraising efforts so RYSE continues to cultivate a greater, radical love and justice that endures and thrives.

What do you love most about your job?

I love how RYSE is truly for young people of color, by young people of color. RYSE exists because young people of color in Richmond demanded that it did. Today, 30% of our current staff were former youth members. I love how it is our members that drive RYSE forward. RYSE staff are here to offer guidance, resources, and tools for these young visionaries, artists, and organizers. I’m very proud and honored to be working to help grow their liberatory space and dreams.

Tell us something that happened in the RYSE community that resonated with you this month.

There are so many things that I can write about here, but I’d like to take the time to share something small, but significant:

Every day, staff and members greet each other and ask “how are you,” and they genuinely want to know and care. If you feel enraged, depressed, sick, tired, overwhelmed, you’re encouraged to share if you want to, and without feeling shamed or dismissed. RYSE cares for members and staff in their varying experiences and relationships to trauma, and in their celebrations as well. I think to be wholly accepted in these ways is a gift. Since working here, I’ve learned a lot from staff and members on how true healing and self-kindness must be cores to our work, so that we can continue loving, and fighting.

What's something that other staff and youth members don't know about you?

Some RYSErs may know this already, but I’m also a poet and community arts organizer. My first book was published by Sibling Rivalry Press last year. It’s a poetry collection titled A House Made of Water, and is a lyrical examination of my Asian American identity, sisterhood, the inheritance of stories, and survival from trauma. You can follow my work as a literary artist here.

To find out how you can support RYSE, click here.