In January 2022, Artrella Cohn, Kama Mitchell and Dr. L. Marshall Washington joined the KZCF Board of Trustees. During a Q&A conversation, they shared more about how they learn and stay inspired.

Q: Who is someone you admire or regularly learn from?

Artrella Cohn (AC): The late Mrs. Dorothy P. Young. My only professional mentor. I met her my senior year of high school and served alongside her for more than a decade before she passed from this life. Although she is no longer with us on earth, she made such an enormous impact on Kalamazoo and specifically in education that I continue to learn from her contributions today and always will.

Dr. L. Marshall Washington (LMW): There are a number of people who had an impact on my life and the learning experiences that have shaped me. Many of those individuals are parents, spouse, children, siblings, cousins, godparents, aunts, uncles, students, neighbors, friends, teachers, colleagues and sometimes the lessons have come from people who didn't have my best interests in mind but I still learned from them and the situations. Each day life is a learning experience.

Q: How are you hoping to grow in your role as a Trustee at KZCF?

AC: I am hoping to gain a better, more in depth understanding of what position KZCF must exist in, in order to fully and intentionally serve Kalamazoo equitably. I plan to remain open and available to opportunities to gain knowledge from internal staff and community members alike.

LMW: I am hoping to grow by learning, listening and interacting with others in our community. I want to understand what is currently happening to impact people and what could be done to expand positive opportunities for others.

Q: Share a quote that inspires or uplifts you.

AC: The time is always right to do what is right. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

LMW: You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone any person or any force dampen, dim or diminish your light...Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won. - John Lewis

Q: What movie, book or podcast has helped you deepen your understanding of anti-racism, equity, or justice?

AC: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (book and movie).

LMW: Watchmen series (2019); Finding Your Roots -PBS series; Montage of a Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes (1952).

Follow KZCF on social media @kalfound for answers to some fun Q&A questions. See where our new trustees stand on books vs. podcasts and who prefers Michigan spring over Michigan fall.