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Erin Menne in Sapa, Vietnam

Meet Our New Program Associate

NAME: Erin Menne

TITLE: Program Associate

PREVIOUSLY: Grant Manager, Minnesota Housing

GUIDING QUOTE: Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation. — Aristotle

CURRENTLY READING: Michael Chabon’s, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

FAVORITE MOMENT OF CALIFORNIA HISTORY: When my husband and I packed up our belongings and headed West, we marveled at the determination of the settlers to endure the deep ravines and rugged mountains to stake their claim or find their nugget in the Golden State. California’s history carries that spirit of trailblazing, of risk and perseverance from the Gold Rush to Human Rights to Silicon Valley. This innovative spirit is alive and well and has captured my imagination.

AS A RELATIVE NEWCOMER TO CALIFORNIA, WHAT SURPRISES YOU MOST

ABOUT THE STATE AS YOU ARE GETTING TO KNOW IT? WHAT IS MOST

INTERESTING?

I hear different languages everywhere! I initially thought it was because San Francisco is an international tourist destination but the deeper into neighbors I venture and into different parts of the state, I’m delighted by the different sounds, smells and tastes of the various cultures that are alive in California.

YOU HAVE WORKED IN A VARIETY OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT ROLES IN

CALIFORNIA, MINNESOTA AND TEXAS. WHAT DO YOU FEEL YOU BRING FROM

THOSE EXPERIENCES TO CALIFORNIA HUMANITIES? WHAT INTERSECTIONS DO YOU

SEE?

I find that people genuinely want to contribute their ideas and talents towards a shared goal – which is awesome because I don’t think any one person has all the answers! While collaboration isn’t typically the fastest route to the finish line, I believe that the outcome is greatly enhanced by the diverse perspective of its members. Collaborative engagement is a creative and inclusive process that allows me to play the role of facilitator, teacher and leader as well as listener, student and servant. The beauty of the humanities is that everyone has a story to contribute and through sharing our stories, I believe that we can create a more connected California.

WHAT’S SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD LIKE PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Integrity is a trait that I greatly value and continually strive for in all my actions. I hold high expectations for myself to live with intention and gratitude.

For more information on Erin and the rest of California Humanities staff, please visit our staff page.

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