Monique Jones is a powerful light who knows her value and calls others around her to live in the confidence of who God created them to be. She is hilarious, approachable, and passionate about healing and restoration in the world. She is a multi-passionate leader who runs Connecting People with Resources Through Life Coaching and Mentoring (CPR) as well as helping to run a food pantry and recently ran for State Representative in Arkansas House District 18. Monique Jones is one of gifted leaders in the inaugural group of The Witness Fellows. They met in person in Little Rock and she shares, “Collaboration and community really matter and this in person time was so good for true engagement.” The impact of the Fellowship program was profound for Monique, “seeing this group and the way they support me let me know there are others who are there for me and I had the confidence to run for office. Being around Black excellence uplifts me and this environment, like my son going to the HBCU gave him the confidence, I feel like coming out of here because my confidence is lifted walking out of here, I will show up differently in spaces.”
Being together for the retreat was key for being present and speaking int0 each other’s lives and Monique shared, “we have to be present here. On zoom it can be multi tasking and life but here I set my intentions and am learning what can I bring here and what can I take to my community.”
Monique reflected, “I have evolved over this year, it (the Witness Fellowship) is building me up as a leader. The money helped me be more sustainable. I needed this opportunity to build on self. I needed to grow and cultivate that and with the support of the foundation I realized in new ways I cannot do it all myself and I was not meant to.” The program throughout the year but especially the time together with other Black Christian leaders was a gift, “The fellowship with the knowledge was a gift but this was better; to step back and sit in these moments and process is real time together.”
The benefits of these leaders being together to refine and utilize their gifts is profound, Monique shared about Joi McGowan, “Joi you were the first one to tell me I can feel, I am always going in to repair or fix it and I never stay in my feelings. I have been kept in that place but you. I talk myself out of my feelings. That was the first time I was allowed to feel the feeling I needed to feel in that moment to heal.”
After the tour of Little Rock Central High School Monique shared, “I felt the Spirit say you are where you are supposed to be- move forward. How can we build? How can we live out loud for Jesus and not have fear while doing it?” She reflected, “it was like God is saying, do the work whether or not you see the growth- sow the seed even though you might not see the fruit of it.“
The group of Witness Fellows are asking hard questions like how has history shaped these barriers (food insecurity, housing, etc)? This is key for Monique as she leads a food pantry providing needed food to her community. She shared, “The pandemic did not create issues but it did open eyes to see there were many people living with issues.” She is working towards sustainability by getting others involved to care for their community, “Jesus did not call me to work 7 days a week.” Konyka Dunson leads the Witness Fellows and offers both encouragement and challenge throughout the retreat, “you’ve been a one woman wonder Monique and now it is time to expand.” As a powerful connector of people Monique also shared about life mapping and she is asking questions about what God is doing in this all. Monique shared, “My Father owns all the cattle on the hills and God didn’t tell me to depend on man.” Arkansas is still high on the list of states that struggle the most with food insecurity and Monique spends her time fighting this issue so that more people can thrive. Monique is a bold and inspiring leader rooted in the truth of God’s love for all people, “there is no barrier I can’t remove. Nothing is impossible and I want to continue to empower marginalized people. I bring my own chair to the table. “
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[…] to them. She shared with from a place of knowing their individual journeys and shared with Monique, “you’ve been a one woman wonder.” Monique reflected, “I have evolved over […]
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