Celeste Robinson, ‘06

Community Organizer, $15 Minimum Wage Campaign, Minneapolis
"FCS gave me the tools to manage conflict by remembering that all I can do is assert my truth and listen compassionately to others."

These days, I'm living and working in Minneapolis, where I never would have expected to find myself but now love. The community organizing I did in college around labor and housing issues in the Twin Cities gave me a strong social network and familiarity with the city, so I stayed after graduating. Those same connections led me to a job as a full-time community organizer on the campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Minneapolis. In my free time, I do a lot of reading, cooking, and sitting on my front porch (when it's not snowing).

I am really excited about the politics of translation. I'm studying Arabic, and in the next couple years I hope to dig into the ways American media and political discourse deals with translations of texts, speeches, and terms from Arabic into English. I think it's a vital point of inquiry about Western and American conceptualizations of Islam and the Middle East. 
The most important thing I learned at FCS was how to use "I statements." They drove me crazy at the time, but I think they ultimately framed the way I think about conflict, difference, and integrity. I'm a passionate and enthusiastic person, and I think I'm naturally inclined to bring that energy into disagreements. It's easy for me to stop listening, but FCS gave me the tools to manage conflict by remembering that all I can do is assert my truth and listen compassionately to others.
It's hard to pin down just one important teacher at FCS; I remember feeling like I had such a deep relationship with each teacher every year. Each was formative to my sense of self and my experience of being a child. Mr. Mark deserves a special shout-out, though—his catchphrases are still part of my vocabulary.

Sidwell Friends School
Macalester College, B.A. in English and Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies
Located in College Park, MD, Friends Community School is a progressive Quaker K-8 day school, founded on the belief that every child is a valued member of our community. We offer a challenging curriculum imbued with strong values of equality, integrity, community, environmental stewardship, simplicity and peaceful conflict resolution, rooted in our Quaker heritage.
Friends Community School
5901 Westchester Park Drive
College Park, Maryland 20740