Happy Birthday, Be Data Lit!

Be Data Lit is officially a year old. On January 26th, 2021, I posted our first blog post and announced our existence to the world. We are formally toddlers and act as such. We have learned to walk, run, and have had some crying jags and emotional outbursts, but we’re growing. We’ve had milestone achievements and great guest writers. Now that we’ve had the passage of a year, it feels like an appropriate time to reflect and gain perspective. If anything, it can provide context which can be lost – cause, well, 2021. Here’s what I have found.

None of this would be possible without my data BFF Allen Hillery. 

Allen is the soul behind what we do and our ongoing engagement and articles. He has a way of encouraging people, seeing them, and being so incredibly brave. If you know Allen, you know he has the biggest heart of anyone out there, and he opens it up to everyone. We would not be here today if it weren’t for him. I thank the powers that be that he and I are friends.

Not everyone will agree with your mission. 

A mission-driven organization or philanthropic goals aren’t for everyone. If anything, I’ve confirmed that Be Data Lit is mission-driven. Over the past year, the stories that resonate the most with me are ones of service mindsets. Data literacy is about acknowledging barriers and helping to break them down, so everyone has a fair path forward.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep moving forward. 

It’s in those moments that the people you depend on, and partner with, like my data BFF Allen, help keep you going. Over the past year, I have found I have to surround myself with people who inspire me and see value where I suddenly am blind. Being in the middle of it all and research sometimes blinds you and overwhelms you simultaneously. Your data BFFs keep you honest and moving.

It matters.

What we are doing matters. It matters when I see the emails we have, the people who follow us, and the stories we highlight on the podcast and through guest writers. The goal of Be Data Lit wasn’t to be a website telling my story; it was a site inspiring communities and building communities and showing that we are better and stronger when we work together. We connect when we share our vulnerabilities and fears and how we overcome them.

We rest so we can keep moving.

In December, we rested. We rested so we could come back strong. And we will be. We have big things in motion, and I can’t wait to share what they are.

In the past year, we built this website; we started a podcast, we had guest writers and guests on the new podcast. And so many stories of representation in the world of data. We want to continue bringing you stories of representation. Of how data skills have created resilience levels or helped fight for social justice, of career changes. Inspiring stories that show data is a new language, and we have an opportunity to teach others how to use it properly and ethically.

I can't believe we made it this far, and I can't wait to see how far we go. Thank you to all of you have followed us and continue to support us on this journey. 

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