Almost the very second the Diversity Project idea came into my head, came thoughts about how impossible it would be. I wrestled, for a good ten minutes, with worries that it was silly, frivolous, and potentially unappealing. Not only would I have to convince my Gaines directors and fellow Gainesians, but I’d also have to inspire real people, out in the real world to get behind the project and contribute. I needed some affirmation that this was worthwhile from people in the know–and who better to ask than the members of Ravelry. I posted a thread on one of their multiple message boards and waited. Almost instantly people were responding, excited about the idea and offering their own suggestions as well as offering to contribute. Filled with positivity, I decided to set up an appointment with my director to discuss the project.
I didn’t have to wait long. That afternoon, I was already scheduled to attend the first seminar of the semester with the other Fellows. We had an hour together first to talk about housekeeping and administrative issues, and I knew that Lisa Broome-Price, one of the directors would be present, but wasn’t certain whether the other director, Dr. Rabel, would be there. I planned to ask her to set up a meeting after our group discussion. Lisa, though, took matters out of my hands and prompted the group as a whole to start talking about their intended projects. It was great to hear some of the projects being planned–every single one of them sounded absolutely wonderful and it was clear that my colleagues had been thinking and planning their projects for a while. I felt almost a little sheepish that my idea was, at that point, about 4 hours old and still very much in an embryonic stage. I was excited and nervous presenting my initial outline to the group, but delighted that their response was overwhelmingly positive. There was nothing stopping me from making a start other than my own nerves.