Patricia McFarland - College Teacher
Why do you want to be on the Outpost Natural Foods Board of Directors?
I am interested in serving on the Outpost Natural Foods Board of Directors, for another term, because I believe in Outpost's mission and core values. During my previous tenure as a board member, I worked diligently to improve access to healthy food options for low and moderate-income families. We implemented the "Co-op Basics" program, which supported members in shopping for affordable food. I also work for our workplace equity; our staff is important and valuable.
What professional skills do you bring to a Board position of a $50 million business?
For over 30 years, I've served full time as an early childhood instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) - as an institution we vow to enrich, empower and transform lives. Additionally, I assume a professional development role - at the college - where I develop and deliver professional development offerings to my colleagues. My communication and community organizing skills, knowledge of critical social justice issues, and empathetic attitudes of inclusion have been strengthened through my work and education. Additionally, curiosity, sincerity, critical thinking and courageous advocacy motivate me.
Describe areas in which you are culturally fluent with a diverse community. This can include your personal or professional history or both.
My cultural fluency has arisen from both my personal and professional lives. It is my good fortune and privilege to teach full time for more than 30 years at MATC, a large urban community college, where faculty connect with a diverse student body. With others, we work for equity and justice, actively building coalitions, supporting equality and listening to the voices of new leaders from marginalized communities. Let's respect each other, so we can live in harmony. In an effort to nourish body and soul, I organize faith dinners that are inclusive by design. We feed our bodies with good food and share our stories, responding with nonjudgmental appreciative inquiry. We are healing racism by standing on the side of love. Diversity dialogues in Sherman Park and service learning activities are challenging opportunities to strengthen community partnerships.