Please tell us a bit about what you’ve been doing as a volunteer, and why you chose to take that particular role.
I currently volunteer as the Vice Chair for the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee for the CAHL Chapter of ACHE. I started my ACHE journey when I was an Emergency Medical Technician in the early 2010s outside of the Metro Atlanta area. Being one of the few Black employees at my EMS Agency in a male-dominated field, I, like many other minorities, became used to being the “only.” This continued when I advanced in my career and took a position at an EMS Agency in California. Being the “only,” I have always felt the need and passion to speak up on inequities and injustices. Cultural politics and systemic injustices in some organizations make standing up hard and a risk for many. This is when I knew I wanted to continue the fight by getting into spaces that promotes, encourages, and empowers the strength it takes to speak up and speak out. Being a member, and now, the Vice Chair of the JEDI Committee affords me to be a conduit for members to have a safe space to speak, heal, and be a part of active change.
Could you share a “CAHL Moment” with us?
Since we are slowly approaching the “endemic” phase of COVID and have had more opportunities to meet in person, networking events have been the highlight for me. For example, the Award event last August hosted in Walnut Creek, Calif. You never know how much gathering with like-minded careerists with vast knowledge, experience, and wisdom can spark a fire in ideas and intentional collaborative partnership. It is always thrilling to see and meet new faces and celebrate reconnecting with old. This is what it is about…the connection.
Reach out to Mateika for …
I’m open to being a resource to CAHL members if they need a safe space to feel heard and seen; to ask genuine questions without feeling embarrassed to learn and grow; and to brainstorm ideas as a thought partner.
What motto or quote resonates with you as a leader?
The motto I stand on is “Always remain a student regardless of where you are in life.” I lean on this motto because it keeps me humble and it keeps me at a space of learning from all, even if you’re considered the most expert in the room. You cannot continually grow and work in partnership with anyone if you are not willing to go into it with the mindset to acquire and cultivate.