Our RVC Block Party has been postponed to fall 2024.

Ask Me Anything: Shalom Cook (she/her), Capacity Building Lead

We are excited to welcome Shalom Cook (she/her) to our team! Shalom has joined RVC as a Capacity Building Lead. Read her full interview below to learn more about the power of compassion for self and who inspires her the most!

1. What drew you to RVC?

I was unaware of RVC even though I’ve worked in Seattle nonprofits for a long time. When I came back to Seattle, I was really burnt out from working in white patriarchal nonprofit settings and folks that love me and knew what I was passionate about mentioned RVC which piqued my interest. I read about the org and the work they do in the community, and the Partners RVC works with. The values the org holds and commitment to authenticity spoke really loudly to me. All of those things drew me to the org. Once I saw there were positions open that fit my skill set I was really excited to join the team.

2. What is your favorite part of your job?

So far, it’s been meeting the team and getting to know them. It’s been warm energy. All team members seem to carry different gifts around this work and I’ve been able to connect a lot with them since I’ve gotten here. Learning more about the Partners and the lives they’re impacting I can imagine will be my favorite part moving forward.

3. What does being “rooted in community” mean to you?

For me, I’m in a chapter of my life that I understand the love and compassion I show to myself reflects how I show up in community. In the past, a lot of the care I showed to the community drained me, and now I know that being rooted in community really means being rooted in myself. To be rooted for me is bringing my best self and to bring my best self I need to show myself the same kind of compassion I’ve shown others. At the heart of what I do, it doesn’t really matter what job it is, is to be of the greatest service and the greatest good; to always be learning and curious and open and vulnerable.

Shalom with a black jacket and blue scarf standing firmly in the street during a protest with two signs in her hands. The sign on the left has a woman with braided hair in a red shirt that says "we the people" and the sign on the right side has a yellow background that says "womanhood" behind a woman sitting with a sign that says "achieving our full selves by fully embracing each other". Behind Shalom is a city street filled with other protestors in pink hats and large signs with tall city buildings on both sides.

4. What is your vision for the future?

I feel there is a real spiritual shift happening, and the people who are operating in a love frequency are finding each other easier. People stepping into radical shifts of liberation and love for the planet, one another. That’s my vision for the future and I try to vision through small acts in my own life and people I meet and resonate with. There’s times I get really sad about the world, and then I tapped into different communities of strangers who wanted to build together and that was really inspiring about what could happen in a time when the world that felt really heavy–what was happening to Black and Brown bodies; hate crimes towards all communities. If you don’t intentionally tap into and connect with people who pull you into a different space and consciousness can really drain you so I’m carrying that intention into this next iteration of my life.

5. What is your favorite lunch?

I am notorious for not doing something twice. So I don’t know if I have a favorite lunch but I made a coconut curry veggie stew. It feels hearty and warm. I also go with the weather; if it’s cloudy I go with something that warms my body and when it’s warm I go with something that feels light.

6. What is the theme song of your life? And why?

Freedom by the Isley Brothers and Beres Hammond’s Survival

I’ve been redefining over and over what freedom means to me and how I can be an instrument in creating a world where other people feel free.

7. Who inspires you?

My mama. She really inspires me. She just insists in growing through her discomfort and its rare to find someone who doesn’t settle into a very specific definition of who they are as they grow older and she is always changing and growing through her discomfort into new versions of who she is. My kids also inspire me. I love seeing them grow into the resilient, kind, compassionate beings–it’s been a gift to watch them evolve.

8. What is your favorite local business to support?

I’m a great supporter of good food. I’ve been re-learning Seattle and I think I’m going to have to find a new favorite. 

9. Any closing remarks? 

“Everything Wanna Be Loved. Us Sing And Dance And Holla Just Wanting To Be Loved. Look At Them Trees. Notice How The Trees Do Everything People Do To Get Attention …Except Walk.” – Shug from The Color Purple

You can welcome Shalom to the team by emailing her at: [email protected]