Lakeesha Harris

Lakesha HarrisAudre Lorde once wrote, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” After graduating I immediately started working toward my graduate degree in Political Science. Upon reflection, I needed a break between undergraduate and graduate school to reevaluate where I was headed. I took a hiatus, traveled to New Orleans for an extended stay and used the knowledge that I claimed during my years as a Women's and Gender Studies major to reclaim myself for myself.  While in New Orleans I wrote Spirit House, a play on housing discrimination through a gendered lens after Hurricane Katrina. The play was funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) and staged for the residents of New Orleans for free. I also learned about Black feminism and spirit work from the diaspora of Black women who reside in New Orleans. They gave me community and a safe environment to investigate and grow.
I’m back in Chicago, and I work as a health worker at the Chicago Women’s Health Center. I’m also continuing my socio-political, creative writing and I’m currently the Run group leader for the West Side of Chicago chapter of Black Girls Run! I’m certain that my work has to be centered on the care of women, including myself, and bettering our lived experiences. This fulfills me and helps me to flourish. This is how I use my degree in Women's and Gender Studies.