Take Notice: Amplifying Black Stories

Kevin Kibet

December 15, 2020 Kevin Kibet Season 1 Episode 4
Take Notice: Amplifying Black Stories
Kevin Kibet
Show Notes Transcript

Kevin Kibet is a global villager, with Nandi, Kenyan, East African, and American influence. A curious soul, forever endeared by and applying self to justice. In this episode we discuss social justice, family life in Kenya, and how Kevin ended up living in Seattle. 


Mentioned in this Episode:
Community Passageways

ACLU

Take Notice w Kevin Kibet 



[00:01 – 05:11]

Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Welcome to 'Take Notice: Amplifying Black Stories'. I am your host Allison Preisinger-Heggins. We will begin by taking notice of the voices that are so often unheard. Land acknowledgement statements are an important part of honoring those, whose land we now live and work on. I have chosen to begin each episode this way to spark ideas and keep these conversations in the front of our minds, so that we may learn how to do better. I would like to acknowledge the land in which I recorded this recording today and the recording of the interview in this episode. I would like to show gratitude to the traditional ancestral land of the Tulalip, Snohomish, Stillaguamish, Sauk-Suiattle, Shoalwater Bay and Chinook tribes, recognizing that these names are not the original names of the people of these areas. As I continue to learn how to better acknowledge native people of these lands, I will adjust the wording of the beginning of each episode. I encourage listeners to research the land on which you live and are listening right now, recognizing this is just the beginning. 

The mission of this project is to Take Notice, to listen, to hold space by amplifying black stories, experiences and voices; conversation on family life, finding joy and interests of folks in our country who encounter racism on a daily basis. A portion of these discussions will be dedicated to holding space for guests who are comfortable sharing their personal experiences with racism. Stories help us all learn and connect; we are here to listen to Take Notice. Thank you for being here and welcome to the last episode of 2020. Thank you for your support and for listening so far to Take Notice. We are just getting started, so be sure to subscribe and review and share with your friends, new episodes are coming every Tuesday in January, starting again on January 5th. It is really been a joy and an honor to start this project. I have already experienced such powerful connections with guests, many of whom I have not yet met in person. 

And so, I am looking forward to continuing this project and also eventually hopefully meeting these folks in person. My guest on this episode is one of those who I have not met yet in person. But, I am glad to have connected with for this project. Kevin Kibet is a global villager with Nandi, Kenyan, East African and American influence. He is a curious soul forever endeared by and applying himself to justice, which absolutely comes through in our conversation. He found out about this project through a mutual friend and was gracious with his stories, thoughts and time and we had some technical difficulties with our recording the first time around, so we ended up having to do an entirely new recording. So, I was happy to have a second conversation with him and he was kind enough to take the time to do it, so thank you Kevin. 

There are still a few little bumps in the recording, unfortunately just with COVID, and not being able to record in person and navigating technology, it just is, it is happening, so hopefully that does not throw you off much as a listener. Thanks for bearing with us on that. Another quick note for this episode is later on in the conversation I mentioned a book ‘entitled the servant’ and I could not remember the author's name at the time. I also did not really describe the concept that I was reminded of super clearly. So, if you are interested in the book, it is really a book about leadership but it really has applied, at least for me it is one of those books that has come around a few times and has applied in many different situations and scenarios. So, it is the full title and the author's name is the servant, a simple story about the true essence of leadership and it is by James C Hunter. So, again thank you for joining me Kevin, two times. 

And thank you all for listening. Please enjoy my conversation with Kevin Kibet. Take Notice invites you to follow, learn from, and support the ACLU. The ACLU dares to create a more perfect union beyond one person party or side. Their mission is to realize this promise of the United States constitution for all and expand the reach of its guarantees. The ACLU today is the nation's largest public interest law firm with a 50-state network of staffed autonomous affiliate offices. The ACLU is non-profit and nonpartisan; they do not receive any government funding. Member dues and contributions and grants from private foundations and individuals pay for the work they do regarding issues, including immigration, LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, criminal justice, security and privacy, voting rights, capital punishment, disability rights, free speech, HIV, human rights, juvenile justice, national security, prisoners’ rights, racial justice, religious liberty, smart justice and women's rights. 

Follow on social media or visit aclu.org to learn about what is happening across the most pressing civil liberties issues of our time and what you can do. Well, welcome Kevin to Take Notice thanks for joining me. How are you today? 


[05:12 – 10:06]

Kevin Kibet 

I am okay. Thank you for the invitation, and the invitation and the opportunity to take part in the conversation. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Absolutely! Yeah. Maybe we can start by hearing a bit about your background where you grew up and who you were surrounded by? 


Kevin Kibet 

Sure. So, I am originally from Kenya, which is a country in east Africa, right on the Indian Ocean. I grew up in a region called the Rift valley, and of the people, of the 90 people, the KO people, we kind of immigrated and settled on that from the night with the Nilotes, the three people groups from Kenya. So, there is majorly three people grouped, maybe four, massive paper groups, the Nilotes, the cushiest, the bantu, and a bit of the Arabs are people who settle on the coast of Kenya and I am part of the people of the Nilotes. So, I kind of settled, I grew up in a small town called eldret, it is town a city of 100, 400000 people. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

And did you grow up with siblings and lots of family around or just was you an only child? 


Kevin Kibet 

No, I have two siblings; I have got an elder sister and a younger sister. And, yeah, for a few years my life, the first six years of my life, I grew up in… what you call a nuclear family. But even that I think there are moments in my life where there are family members who are going to high school, so they came and stayed with us and in two several batches that I remember, the cousins and uncles of mine who came and stayed with us and then my parents separated when I was six, and at that point my mom was went to a different city for work and I went to boarding school. My sister and I, my eldest sister and I went to boarding school. After that we used to go to the farmhouse, my mom's side. My mom is going to parents, my mom's parents for a minute; we used to go to the farmhouse. But, my grandparents were in the city doing businesses, but they used to come every day every, every other day, at least during holidays, that is in month of April, August and from mid-November, all the way to second week of January, that was holidays. 

Yeah. So, it was just, there was someone taking up the farmhouse, there are people taking care of just cows and just running the farm and we were just all responsible for us and we were answerable to them. Yeah. But the grandparents came every day and hung out with us. Yeah. Maybe twice, maybe grandpa in the evening; come on the morning or during the day and uncles and aunts. Yeah. Then we went back again, then we moved back to the city again, turtle city kid or other kid. Yeah and just lived in the urban city, made a life and then finished high school and then went to Nairobi for grad school, for school, for college and made a life in Nairobi and… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

You said your parents divorced when you were six. Did you see them equally after that or were you with one more than the other? 


Kevin Kibet 

No, mostly we stayed with them with my mom's side; from time to time my dad would come and see us maybe. Yeah. But we stayed mostly by mom's side, but from time to time also my mom's mom, my mom's side of grandmother, who send us, would tell us to go visit my dad's side of family because the way I grew up is whenever people come to ask for a hand of marriage is never just an individual, it was at least my culture, the culture that I grew up was. It was this, the individual comes and then they told, like typically at least the one I saw even with my friends, not just something I might try. But, very many tries, a friend, your friends would bring you. At least, it is mail, mostly the mail person doing it. The friend would bring the mail person to the family and say hey, we have got interest in this family and then they would say; okay, go get your family and then I would go back, the mail person would go back, and get the family, and then there would be an introduction of families and the conversation around whom, what kind of people are you. 

And then there would be this village would kind of sendoff their daughter to this other family and get adopted their family. So, there was distinct, so it was not just these two individuals coming to form a unit, it was actually families and even to a sense clans. Like I am performing of people because when I remember in high school once, I went making calls and I knocked on someone's door and I asked for water and they were like, they gave me milk and also substituting conversations was, who are you from, who are you of. So, you typically say; oh, I am son of so and so, they will ask you where you come, so people typically will say which region, then someone will try and narrow it down to like oh, son, sometimes even I know something. Yeah. 

[10:07 – 15:15]

Kevin Kibet 

So, in essence, basically I am just trying to say it was not like an individual because this sense… at least I saw it or I interpreted it to be that. The sense of communal being way of being that you are not just alone and you are cognizant of your impact because it is not just you as you, a whole group of you take you, and so it is almost like people put their word for you. Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Right. 


Kevin Kibet 

Accountability of thoughts… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

So, when your parents separated then it was more than just the two of them separating, it was kind of the both sides intermingled but then kind of navigating that afterwards. Yeah. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins

Interesting! 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah, because even I remember, like my dad coming once unless they came and talked, there was some conversation of sorts but then they were interpreted and probably it is just my projection or this people sat down and decided, man, it is good for this to and it happened several times. So, it is good for you people to live out separately and the kids will be taken care of basically. An essence of almost like the kids are not just yours, the kids that belong to all of us, and we are all responsible for them, and so this in seeing the individual, you are seeing in the individual in the bigger context, and not just the individual and stuff, and then totally seeing you. There is this question of what the best thing is for the people involved and not just the individuals. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Right. Yeah, that is interesting! So, different from American approach, the American approach to divorce and separation and things, it does seem very isolating for people. 


Kevin Kibet 

Totally! Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Which maybe is still isolating in your culture as well but, yeah, it just seems very different, very different. Yeah. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah. I would wiggle, maybe less so isolating because then you are not just alone, there is even maybe a bit less shame, and probably I have got not any academic computer as research around it. But, I would think like since it is a community all, like come together and agree or this is it, it is agreed and then it is just bees. Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Right.


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Maybe more communication around it… Yeah. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah.


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Or probably not even maybe, definitely more communication around it, so… yeah, that seems like a, you know, if things happen in life and that seems like a really forward approach, like a positive approach to something that is probably hard, no matter how you approach it, so… 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah and you see now that it is a very interesting thing, now I think about it because then there is this westernization… and that has bled all over and this quote-unquote superiority complex of the western way of doing things because it is like, it is not like, for example it is not like African societies, it did not have systems of government, there were systems of government that helped underway, they innovated to respond to the need and the way of being and so then there is this conflict with the superiority complex that comes, that is embedded on other people, then we missed the value of what was there, and I am not saying that whatever systems were there, were perfect. But, there was some wealth, there is some evolution that helped that context specific evolution and innovation to best suit the people that were. 

So, right now the expectation, the shroudedness around shame of this expectation of the nuclear family, and shame around it. Yeah, it kind of tears the fabric of society apart more vis-à-vis, the more essence of let us talk, let us see, if it is incredible differences then the community decides, we will support you in this journey and we will honor this fact that probably, the two of you are this in this season of your lives, you live separate lives in a sense. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

What did your parents do when you were younger? 


Kevin Kibet 

My mom worked for the telecom industry and my dad was a driver. Yeah. Driver and a farmer maybe, but mostly a driver but then also alcoholism came in place and he… Yeah. He had issues struggles with… we have struggled with alcoholism for quite a while. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, okay. Yeah, a driver as far as… how do you mean a driver? What kind of driver? 


Kevin Kibet 

A truck driver… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, okay. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah. There were portions of times where like you would truck driving for cereal and stuff like that for companies. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Sure. Yeah. So what ended up taking you out to the United States from Kenya or was it, now forgives me is Nairobi in Kenya or…? 


[15:16 – 20:25]

Kevin Kibet 

Yes, it is. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Okay. 


Kevin Kibet 

Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya. So, it is somewhere in the central. Yeah. Yeah, after six years of work, I did work… my first piece of work was to; at least career was to try and increase access to the internet. I argued that access to the internet is almost like a human right because then as a basic human right because then that gives you information, for example what produce, what the price of produce, what is available in the market. Yeah. So, I did not think if I could apply myself to increase access to that. That would have been nice. So, I did that for five six years and then I got to a point where I was at a precipice or a juncture, a crossroad and I was one wondering what is next and I thought something to do with waste or something to do with water or something to do with energy would be the challenge of our day. 

And I did some research, a bit of research and a friend of mine; a journalist friend of mine challenged me and asked because it was a technological company asked what was you doing to make energy, a sustainable energy. So, I did my research and that picked my interest and so moving to the states, I moved to do a password graduate study in renewable and clean energy and I was fortunate to move to Dayton Ohio, for renewable muscles in real clean energy and I was also a muscles, I was then married to someone who was from Minneapolis, so that made it easier. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, sure. Right! Yeah. Is it that when you marry someone from the states does you automatically gain citizenship or do you having to still? I imagine you still have to do some paperwork and all that stuff but it must work differently. 


Kevin Kibet 

There is a process but it is an option you can take. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

So then you were in Dayton Ohio and then what took you to the Seattle area? 


Kevin Kibet 

So, there in Ohio, after grad school I moved to Lansing Michigan for work but I always wanted to move to the Seattle area and after one half years doing energy efficiency in Lansing, there is an opportunity to work on wind and solar from the Seattle office and I was fortunate enough to get a position out here. So, we are removed about six seven years ago now. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Okay. Do you have any comparisons of the areas in the states that you have lived from Ohio to Lansing to Seattle as far as, you know, the culture or just your experience in general? 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah. There is an actual bumper sticker say, they do not go right, if you have never been anywhere else. But, Dayton was alright, I mean it was a small city, it was a city surrounded by suburbs, the motor city then it is got a history, a legacy in innovation. So, like the NCR was there, national cash register corporation or something like that was invented, the wright brothers were from there. So, there is quite a bit of innovation that came from Dayton and so, also the auto industry was there, at least a plant was there, and there is even a shore kind of think, I think on the last truck or something it was from Dayton Ohio, and then Lansing Michigan because this Lansing thing was just right there and so, MSU was there. My humble opinion, I think, Lansing, when people saw you was different, and they scrapped you to college and figured you had your own community over there. 

And you are not necessarily, not out of here but it is just probably an assumption that you already had a community and your transient anyway. Yeah. So, Lansing was a bit tough, Seattle was supposed to be this progressive city, at least from the outside. Progressive city I was eager to come and join and be part of pushing the envelope and pushing the conversations and trying to figure solutions. Yes. I am still doing. Well, I am still waiting for that anyway. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah, I guess, I had high lofty dreams for Seattle but I am glad to be taking part in it, so… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

You are definitely not the only one, even from me I grew up, I did not grow up in Seattle but I grew up north of Seattle and even I had that misconception of Seattle, only recently have I learned the whole, I mean, not the whole but a lot about the background of inequality in Seattle and all these things that nobody ever talked about when I was younger and so you just assume that Seattle is a progressive city, and doing all these cool things and so, there is no issues, when you are younger and for myself I am not a person of color, so you do not see it, so it is… Yeah. It definitely, I do not know what it is about Seattle that there is this like veil over it, that is like here is what this is but it is really not. So, even as someone very that grew up very close to the city, that illusion was there, so… 


[20:26 – 25:30]

Kevin Kibet 

At least that description, I hope it is a dream that we can call ourselves too to try and make a more inclusive, equitable city, a more a city that works for everyone and as like if I can borrow a friend's phrase that people might actually see power to seed. So, seed powered, like relinquish, to plant to seed. Yeah. I hope that the people as either transients or new guests or people who grew up here could be more of an invitation to what does that want to be, how we can dream of Seattle being a more inclusive, vibrant with the arts and stuff like that and we can all apply ourselves and even better still, can we say, what does this mean to be human in Seattle and then ensuring that everyone gets that quality of life as a human because one of the things that and still grips my heart after today. I could not believe how much the amount of homelessness and that was just 2014, right? 

When I moved to the city and I was really tired all prosperity in the city; and homelessness being like almost as an accepted thing, and almost nothing being done to it, I worked, my office was in Fourth and Pi, I tried and I used to like coming out of it, so you had a choice of entrances, there was one on fourth and there is one on third, if you come out on fourth, it is a different world, if you come up one third, it is a different world, completely. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, yeah. Is not that crazy just a block away? 


Kevin Kibet 

Yes. Just one block, and it was very interesting that sometimes we want to just go through four… but for me, it used to be interesting that I, maybe it is just craziness but anyway. I used to like coming out of third to remind myself that my reality is not everyone. So, they are people who are struggling that and the solution we need to apply ourselves towards the solution to ensure that everyone, at least get a decorum as for what it means to be human, just because of the humanness, some dignity of what does it mean to have good health care, to have a roof over your head, to have security to meals, to feel safe. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. I think that is a smart thing to do and oh what is the word I am looking for? Empathetic is not the right word but to have empathy and an awareness of what is reality for our city and for our country, you know, to walk out on third or to go that different route and see. Look at it and be aware of it instead of try to just avoid it and ignore it. Yeah.


Kevin Kibet 

I wonder if it is. Yeah, true, I have always wondered like why am I drawn to that or not… yeah, why am I drawn to it or why what does it bug me so much? And I have a theory around that, I can see myself in those people, not even I can see my loved ones, like I can look and like I can see, I can see, I can, oh well I am curious to see what is the story behind and not in an accusatory way, not in a voyeuristic way, but to witness that person and so to try in giving them at least in being part of that solution, it is not just this a top down but almost a bottom of the pyramid going up, where you meet the person, where they are at and you figure out, what ideas about the solution would be and then you walk towards that and build it up or do we sometimes choose to deny ourselves of our humanity or even actually I had a conversation around, are we busy chasing the ladder, that we all just want to ascribe to this ladder that we are going that we forget our own humanity. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Right. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah, absolutely! We all have, and maybe not we all but, you know, at least our society, our culture has this, like here is your route, here is where you need to go, and then the people that fall off of that for this way, this reason or that reason, it is like well you did not get there. So, it is the feeling, though there are many people who are trying to make it improve upon it, but, yeah, it is. There are again many layers to why third is the way it is or as a small example but… 


Kevin Kibet 

It is interesting in this time. It sends me thinking in this time and especially since I take part in design quite a bit, I have had in this season, I have had and it is true that the system is not broken it is just working the way it is. It was designed and it is working for whatever it is supposed to work for and it is not working for the others and now it is a question, like how can we design, how can we take appropriate system and replace it with something better, something hopefully that will work for more, for more people, more of us. I wonder how that would look. 


[25:31 – 30:30]

Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Absolutely! Yeah, with the requirement of more people, I think seeing that the system just needs to be set aside and rebuilt into something better for more people. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Just curious how… if you have any thoughts on your experience as a person of color either in the states compared to being at home or in Seattle compared to maybe when you are living in Lansing or Dayton? 


Kevin Kibet 

In last thing, in Michigan generally, I guess, and so like what curiosity have always been being a guest in this country or such as making choosing to be a citizen in this country, it was just like looking at this country for the truth, for who this country is, and not just the true picture of who this country is, it was so sad driving around and in different places, and I was fortunate in the sense that in the first three and a half years, and living in Seattle, I used to travel a week of every month, and I traveled to small town America, I got quite a bit from Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, California. I got a breath of places, I have visited and it is sometimes very sad seeing, where segregation half still happenings is happening today, where neighborhoods are all segregated, and it is all either divided by a bridge, a road and you are like the reality of the left side and the reality on the right side is not the same. 

And the funniest thing is with a little bit of investment on the… on where people of color live, it would be beautiful spirit spaces. It would be vibrant spaces and then to look at people of color and you look at what they are able to do with whatever resources they have and you are just like the resilience that you see is flow you because you are like wow! Like the system has actually been designed to discourage you, to put you out, but know the places where the fun places to be, the places where there is life, that is where there is, and not necessarily sterilization of uniformity and conformity. But, there is an appreciation of the full spectrum of it and look at that and you are like whoa! And so this and you are like, you wonder like what are we missing by being very sterile and pushing people away. Personally like, right from you are flying into this country a pesticide or insecticide, something is a categories of stuff is blown in the airplane. As you look into this country you are like whoa! Okay, okay, and then… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, Right. Yeah and that is because you are coming to the country from Kenya, is that right or…? 


Kevin Kibet 

From Africa, Yeah, then it moves, you are at work places, and you are in a meeting, you are actually leading the meeting, and when someone else is talking, people without paying attention and then when you are talking, someone is busy on their phone and you are like… or someone who is in your team and you are like, you are the one who is, you know where money, you are calling the shots on this one and someone says; no, I have got to talk to this other white person to tell you, to tell you what is going to happen, you are like what? 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Hold on here! 


Kevin Kibet 

Right. Exactly! Then you exceed, when you even explain again, and you are like, Yo, I am actually the one who determines what is going to work, and let us makes matters worse. I actually understand the industry where you are because I used to do it and they still do not get it. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Well! Yeah. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah, which makes it a just an everyday, potentially an everyday struggle to just fight for being able to do your job or it sounds like, it would be pretty exhausting. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah and even some other things you are just like, okay, yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. I am sure. Yeah. Countless examples! Yeah. Did you have any specific story around that that you would like to share? 


Kevin Kibet 

Nothing really that would be very controversial, it goes between the systems and how we have set up, chosen to set up family, and it is like the system is so set up for this monolithic nuclear, whatever. Vis-a-vis there is a different way of being where anyway, it is just, it is a different way of being where people can be set up communally and you can split spread the lord and figure it out. So, in a sense, yeah, but it is different. I mean it is different way of organizing; it is again, systems again are not necessarily set up. 

[30:31 – 35:04]

Kevin Kibet 

And then you wonder; this then triggers on like you wonder if we organized ourselves around the least of us, then we would design a more inclusive city. Yeah, a system, then people would have more, I think we would have a more, a better life to lead, people would need more better more fulfilling lives, because then there would be this spaciousness and the whole this whole tapestry of beauty of different way of doing things and not necessarily just expecting conformance, and having this one prescription on things. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Right. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Kind of flipping that pyramid like you were saying, it reminds me of this book that I read a while back when I coached cross country for a while, a bunch of writers. 


Kevin Kibet 

Okay. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah and one of the other coaches suggested that I read this book, it is called the servant, and I cannot think of who it is by right now. But, one of the main things that I grabbed from that book was, it has this example of a business, you know where you have got the top, the CEO or whoever and then the customers are at the bottom but really if you flip that upside down and you are serving the customers first, like what do they need. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

And then from that is your employees and things like what do your employees need to be able to serve those customers and from you and things like that. So, as an example or an analogy of, you know, if we, what you are just saying of kind of flipping that, flipping what we are already doing and thinking of the people who have the least right now, and who need the most. It would change so much. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah and the funniest thing is it would not take from us. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. Right. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. There is probably a misperception that it would but… 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah, you actually make it easier for people who have not have power, it would actually make it better for them, and it makes it better for us, for everyone anyway. Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. Well, one of my questions that I ask everybody is what brings joy or fun into your life? 


Kevin Kibet 

Huh! Yeah. This typical connection, like just randomly connecting with people and forming community and just seeing each other, I am generally a curious person. So, hearing people's stories and just taking learning’s with me. It is interesting you mentioned cross country, out of shape runner, so when I can get out there, do some trail running. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah. I co-parent two humans, so partly they bring me a joy, all joy, no fun, a book to say that. Yeah. It is worth raising them but it is fun, it is joy. Yeah and connecting with people yesterday, yeah, but majorly, oh and good food, good food. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Absolutely! How old are your kids? 


Kevin Kibet 

I got an eight-year-old and soon to be ten years… I know six, I am doing pool. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, okay. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yes eight and six. Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Nice. Yeah. Wonderful! Trail running… oh man! If I had a good trail by me, I would run way more. 


Kevin Kibet 

What distances do you? What do you enjoy? 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

I would never, I, oh okay, so I did one, I did one half marathon but other than that it was all 5k and then I did track, I did the 800 in the mile but… yeah. 


Kevin Kibet 

Wow! 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

How about you? 


Kevin Kibet 

Oh, I enjoyed business, I think the half is my favorite race, if I have to exhaust race, marathons and yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Wow! That is awesome! 


Kevin Kibet 

There is a good race in Kenya, running a nature conservancy, and so you are running, and there are all kinds of nature and elephants and, like it is just really good and it is really nice, slower marathon is really good. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, my goodness, that sounds amazing! I would love to do that. Yeah. I think I would forget about how I felt in those surroundings and just run forever. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Just looking around… 


Kevin Kibet 

Exactly! 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah that is awesome! Yeah, for some reason I could never get myself, my brain to think about a marathon, so mid distance I think for me but yeah… 


[35:05 – 40:03]

Kevin Kibet 

It is cool and I guess right now I have gotten to a point where it is just the joy of running. So, I get on there, just run until my body feels, I feel good though. I feel nice, just for the joy of running. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Sure. Yeah. No pressure, no necessarily any goals, yeah, it feels nice that way. Yeah. My next question is what would make you feel genuinely equal. 


Kevin Kibet 

That is a tough question. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

It is a big one. Yeah. 


Kevin Kibet 

Yes. I guess when I see more movement towards sending black and indigenous work, like seriously and consistently considering and drawing from black folk and asking what works and doing policies, setting up policies that work for people and I am not even… yeah, it will be nice to see it in the legislature but in every person because people we all have power in us, in a sense. However, small, we all have power, for example people who set up policies around businesses and stuff, we all set up, we think around, we think about business models, and all that we can set up things that will drastically shift how we do things, how we define success in school to be more inclusive, how do we make right, wrongs, like why is it that in the crack pandemic, it was illegal and now it is a medical emergency and in seeing that probably, we cannot all agree that I was so excited of us and then how does recompense come back to people who we took their lives just for having weed in their pocket and sent them to jail. 

And then if we can do those things to start, just too truly start, looking at ourselves as a society, and as an icon saying the ills that we they are great things we have done but also there is quite a bit of ills we have done and without looking into that. Because then that will allow us to start cascading and going even to be like wow! How are we doing neo-colonialism today in the world? And let alone that people we might want to absorb ourselves from it, but no they we… how you feel in the military complex, they are going through the world in our name, doing things in our name, we are party of that. Yeah. How can we be different from our forefathers and ensure that we do stuff, we do different things. Yeah. That is right. Partly I hope like Seattle, we can rise to the occasion and truly do showcase what it can look like, to center on a marginalized group. 

And actually truly do and put investments and because we have chosen to be a capitalistic city in your system, then our values is our money, right? So, let us put our money where our mouth is and let us invest in bringing up the marginalized and correcting those wrongs. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. 


Kevin Kibet 

I would feel scented. Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. I like that, thank you for sharing that. 


Kevin Kibet 

You are welcome.


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Thank you so much Kevin for joining me. Before I say goodbye, are there any specific businesses, organizations, and artists, anyone you want to highlight before we are all done? 


Kevin Kibet 

Organizations, there is a community passageways, who are doing a really great job in looking at how does a different system to… because when people wrong each other in a society, we need to have ways so that the person who was wrong can say this is how you wrong me. The person who wronged the other can be able to see and can take ownership of what they did and show and take action as a society with holding them in place for them to make corrective actions and actions that will show that they are remorse or at least trying to be in right standing with one another. So, community passageways have attempted to do that and are doing that work and I applaud them. I want to upload different voices that are bringing up issues and education, because of like many things that people do not know, many people have taken up and used platforms to do that. I upload because that is a conversation has kind of increased wealth of subjects to talk to. 

[40:04 – 41:22]

Kevin Kibet 

And I upload people who share whatever is close to their heart using different platforms. There is something to be said about crowdsourcing knowledge and wisdom. Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Definitely! 


Kevin Kibet 

The few people who are gate keepers or at least the few of us who are find ourselves in spaces, where we are holding stuff that we just know that we are just holding in trust. But, we are not the voice that we can point back the camera, the mic to the many because there is a lot of wisdom and wealth from the many. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. That is very true. Thank you for that. 


Kevin Kibet 

You are welcome, thank you. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah and thanks for joining me, I really appreciate your time and sharing your thoughts and I really enjoyed our conversation. So, thank you so much Kevin. 


Kevin Kibet 

You are welcome, Allison. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Thank you for joining us for 'Take Notice: Amplifying Black Stories'. Please subscribe and follow us on social media, we are at Take Notice podcast; it would really help us out if you could take a couple of minutes to review our podcast. Thank you for your support. 'Take Notice: Amplifying Black Stories’ is produced, hosted and edited by Allison Preisinger-Heggins, co-produced by Amanda Rae, music by Version Big Fi featuring Darius Heggins. Thank you for being with us and thank you for taking notice.