“It’s not the right time.”
As a Black woman, it’s a phrase that I hear too often, say too often, and am working hard to unlearn, debunk, and eradicate. The idea that there is a “right time” is a myth that’s used to oppress, limit, and control.
It wasn’t “the right time” to found FaithActs back in 2015.
I took a risk that most Black women in their 20s simply don’t and can’t. People told me that I was too young, not ready and that it was the wrong move at the wrong time.
Nearly 10 years later, alongside the people of Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven, we have proven that we built FaithActs on our time— on God’s time. And, with the power of our 100 churches, 6,000 committed voters, and 11,000 congregants, we are changing the future for thousands upon thousands of Connecticut’s children.
It was never “the right time” to fully fund education at any point during this journey.
At least, that’s what we were told, time and again, by Republicans and Democrats and urban and suburban elected officials, whether we had a deficit or a surplus. For protectors of the status quo, it’s never the “right time” to do right by our children.
They said it as recently as 2023 when the governor initially proposed flat-funding education. We refused to wait for “the right time,” persisted in our campaign to finally equitably fund Connecticut’s education system, and won $150 million, the largest educational increase in a decade.
In 2024, yet again, the governor is proposing education cuts, reminding us that people will always find time to threaten progress. So we must always make time to fight for what we believe in, who we love, and how we want to live our lives.
Whether that’s funding education, starting an organization, getting married, growing a family, prioritizing our health, or doing things that make us happy, it’s always the right time. And just as power is taken, not given, time is never given to us. We have to take it.
As a Black mother, wife, and Executive Director, I grappled with when it felt like the right time to grow my family. I worried that “the right time” could not possibly be now, as we build upon and protect our historic legislative victory, and as I recently returned from my first sabbatical in my professional career.
But then I remembered, “there is always enough time for the right work (Adrienne Marie Brown).”: The only time is now. Time is what you make it. And God is in control.
I do not accept a culture that says my work must be prioritized at the expense of my family or my health. I do not accept the myth that the work will suffer if my family remains an important focus. I have seen both simultaneously flourish.
I am grateful that God has blessed me with this pregnancy and overjoyed that my husband, daughter, bonus sons and I will welcome our little boy to the world.
And I know my incredible team is well-positioned to carry this work powerfully forward.
I cannot wait to spend this precious time with my newborn and family. I am grateful for the time to rest, heal, and bond. And I look forward to the time I’ll spend reconnecting with you when I return.
This is a sister post to Jamilah’s previous blog, “The Audacity of Rest.”