Who: Amanda Hambrick Ashcraft (she/her/hers)
What: Mother, Entrepreneur, Minister & Organizer.
01. Three words that describe you?
02. What’s your best and worst quality?
Best: I love to organize people and groups.
Worst: I don't organize my bedroom -- but I've recently done my sock and underwear drawer and it feels amazing!
03. Quality you most admire in a person?
I love anyone who skips the small talk and goes straight to scheming how to change the world. I admire the person who can hold the juxtaposition of the absolute beauty of this life alongside the absolute injustices.
04. Greatest love of your life?
Levi, Zane & Skyler my kids, and my husband Graham.
Plus pink cotton candy. On a sunny boardwalk.
05. Secret talent or a skill or trait you wish you had?
I REALLY wish I could fly. I dream about it too often.
06. A piece of clothing or item that has a story behind it, what is it and what’s the story?
I have an amazing pastel checkered romper that was handed down to me from a neighbor when I was in elementary school. I remember being in 3rd grade, wearing it, and thinking I ruled the school. I have a special memory of packing it for an overnight Mother/Daughter camping trip with my mom. I still have it -- and on certain days have been known to still squeeze into it. ;)
07. Share with us the last meme that made you laugh out loud OR What book/podcast/movie are you into right now?
I'm really enjoying Fredrick Joseph's Patriarchy Blues: Reflections on Manhood. It's a necessary and vulnerable handbook for our times. I also enjoy the Podcast "One Million Experiments" which explores how we define and create safety in a world without police and prisons. Who am I kidding though- I don't prioritize listening to Podcasts enough -- but anything with Mariame Kaba or bell hooks I highly recommend.
My brother and I send each other Youngmi Mayer's tweets (@ymmayer)- sometimes on the hour -- and it gives me so much joy. (Hey Youngmi!)
08. What’s one recent change you’ve made to live more consciously?
I wouldn't wish living during a pandemic on anyone, but we've collectively -- and I personally have – finally had to grapple with the urgency of upending the status quo. Normal never cut it, and imagining a different way of existing is upon us. I've cut back on outside-the-home obligations, spoken up about how and when I need better boundaries, and reshifted my day-to-day to live into a more sustainable routine that centers collective care, mental health, rest, and joy.
09. Place where you are happiest?
10. What is a cause you believe in and what’s an organization that supports it that you’d like people to know about?
Decolonizing, reclaiming, and reframing Christianity is a cause I believe is paramount in shifting our country's collective consciousness. Middle Church, guided by the fierce Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, leads the nation in proclaiming a faith that is inclusive, multi-ethnic, multi-faith, anti-racist, and womanist, and brings people together under the life-giving theology of love.period.
Sign of the zodiac (and what you think that says about you)
I'm a Scorpio -- and I think that basically means I'm pretty darn stubborn and that I hold onto some relationships longer than I should.
Can you describe in one sentence how faith helps get you through the day?
My faith gives me hope, purpose, and a lens that simultaneously allows me to see injustices, have my heart break because of them and organize to do something about it.
Any advice to parents who want to bring their kids along to the protest when fighting for social justice?
Do it! Kids will ask questions, bring fresh perspectives, and inspire us as we continue the long work of justice.
Once my son Zane, now 8 but 4 at the time, saw me upset after a version of the Muslim Ban passed.
When he asked why I told him “our administration is still making decisions that are unkind. They do not value all God’s people, and that makes me sad.”
“Are we going to have to go to another parade, he asked?” (Parade is his word for protest.)
I’m not sure, Zane, I think so. I wish we could just teach people to be kind. How might we do that?
Mom, Zane said, “I think we have to stay in the parade for a long time."
To staying in the parade ...
Here’s to staying in the parade with you, Amanda!!
Thank you ;-)