Community Spotlight: Erica King

We are continuing our project to highlight community organizers in Raleigh. We want to lift up everyday people who are doing the hard work of building a better Raleigh.

This month, we introduce you to Erica King, one of our AFAR founding mothers. Thanks to Erica for her spirit of service! 

Erica lives downtown Raleigh with her husband and two spunky girls, Madalana (4) and Sophia (7). She works in occupational safety and health for the Facilities Department at Duke University. Erica has been a Founding Mother with AFAR for one year and has been instrumental in developing AFAR’s relationship with Raleigh’s Muslim community.

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Here is our interview with Erica:

1. Who was the first political figure to inspire you?
It sounds pretty cliche but it was definitely Barack Obama.  His message of hope and forward thinking and community involvement and activism really resonated with me as I was coming of political age.  He didn't seem like an old stuffy politician, but someone who genuinely wanted to get things accomplished in Washington.  

2. What is your favorite thing about Raleigh?
My favorite thing about Raleigh is how easy it is to be a young family here.  Everything is easier here than in a very big city; parking, getting into museums, restaurants, music events, etc.  There is always a family friendly event, and it is always easy to traverse.

3. What lesson or saying did you learn from a parent/grandparent that you still live by today?
If you tell someone you will do something, big or small you do it.

4. Why is civic engagement important to you?
It is so important because we are a government of the people. If people don't keep their end of the bargain and actively enrage in their government, the whole thing begins to unravel. I believe it is our responsibility to exercise our right to participate in our democracy.

5. If you had three wishes, what would they be?
     1) For my family's health, 2) for my family's happiness, 3) and to be able to dance better:)

6. Who was your favorite teacher and why?
My favorite teacher was my 7th grade science teacher. She was wacky and kid of weird. We always did cool experiments, she wasn't bothered by typical kid shenanigans, she didn't make us stay seated, and we were allowed to talk through out class to our friends. She didn't make us do a bunch of busy work, we were always just playing. And by the time you are in middle school that is rare. I loved it. 7th period. Ms. Perry-Thibeau.

7. What is your hope for the next generation?
I have so many--protecting and helping to fix our Earth, solving hunger and water issues worldwide, woman's rights, healthcare for all.....but if I had to narrow it down a bit, I would say that my overall hope for the next generation is that they continue on the path of open mindedness; acceptance of all. Because if they cannot treat everyone kindly and with equal dignity and respect, then working together to solve any other issue(s) is going to be tough:)