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What Fellows Say about Their Sabbaticals

My sabbatical took me to South Africa, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. What a wonderful opportunity to explore, reflect and interact with so many amazing people in a way that will sustain me for the long haul.

MILI BONILLA, 1999 Alston/Bannerman Fellow
Institute for Education and Social Policy, New York, NY

For the first time in 30 years, I did nothing on schedule. There were no deadlines, no urgent phone calls, no crises, to meetings to attend, nothing. I moved at a leisurely pace and actually had time to stop and smell the roses and enjoy life. The Alston/Bannerman Fellowship gave me the time I needed to replenish my soul.

JANET ROBIDEAU, 2002 Alston/Bannerman Fellow
Montana People's Action, Missoula, MT

The phone kept ringing every day and that was normal; the only difference was people calling were instructed to please call back after my sabbatical. I never realized that taking time out to recuperate and refocus would prove to be so rewarding.

JAKE SWAMP, 1999 Alston/Bannerman Fellow
Mohawk Nation, Tree of Peace Society, Hogansburg, NY

My sabbatical surpassed my expectations. Not only did I learn valuable skills by working with the Confederation of Farmworkers in the Dominican Republic, but I was really able to step back. It was a wonderful experience for me and I enjoyed every minute of it.

RAMON RAMIREZ, 1999 Alston/Bannerman Fellow
PCUN, Woodburn, OR

The Bannerman was the first real break I have taken from my work in 15 years. It literally saved me as it let me reinvest in me and my family. It also allowed me space to do more analysis and strategic thinking about the work, the state of Mississippi and the region; this has helped the organization tremendously.

LEROY JOHNSON, 1996 Alston/Bannerman Fellow
Southern Echo, Jackson, MS

Being a Bannerman Fellow restored energy for me to continue my work. What I appreciate most is that it enabled me to relax a little and to visit among my own people. I did exactly what I wanted to, which was to stay home and live the way of life I have been fighting to protect.

SARAH JAMES, 1993 Alston/Bannerman Fellow
Gwich'in Steering Committee, Arctic Circle, AK

When I visited organizations in Asia I found they were dealing with issues very similar to ours. More than anything else, the Bannerman Fellowship lets you get away from the endless day to day work and see the larger picture.

YOUNG SHIN, 1989 Alston/Bannerman Fellow
Asian Immigrant Women Advocates, Oakland, CA

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