A course with the Southern Empowerment Project after college inspired Chandra Gordon to seek a career specializing in fundraising and community organizing with nonprofit organizations. To Louisville’s benefit, she has been with The Library Foundation since 2007 and now, since 2016, has served as its executive director. The Foundation oversees efforts to fundraise and advocate for the needs of the library. Chandra says she got a terrific introduction to Louisville’s diverse neighborhoods through visiting the library branches and meeting their patrons.
What is the Role of The Library Foundation?
We get to support an organization — a tool for the community — that can do everything from help get a child ready to read to help people develop skill sets for jobs. It offers positive programming for teens and adults and so much more. All for free.
The Library! This is an institution over 100 years old. There is every crazy idea on our shelves. What is in these books is loud and amazing.
I had tried journaling on and off for years, but had never been successful in keeping a consistent practice going. I found that during COVID, writing things out helped me work through a lot and I have kept going. It has been very helpful in getting out of that loop thinking.
A Guiding Principle?
It’s important to determine our values and trust in ourselves to move forward in the world with integrity. To practice who and what you want to be.
Word that Describes You?
Too many books. I enjoy reading fiction. If I have a good book, I’ll just read and read. I also read on social justice issues. I belong to a book club. We are reading My Old Kentucky Home by Emily Bingham.
With 15 Free Minutes…
I would write in my Moleskine journal. I’ve created a calm journaling space in my house. I have fresh flowers, candles, maybe a little music.
My children — Brynn is 28, Rylee is 22, and Jack is 21. They’re all very artistic and intentional in how they live their lives. I like hanging out with them.
Can’t Quite Get the Knack of…
Consistently going to the gym four days a week.
Would like to Meet…
Michelle Obama. She’s the one who talks about how to practice who you are. I’d want to ask: “How did you keep yourself and your family so classy and together while you were in the White House?”
Resisting Right Now?
Doom scrolling. Negativity all around.
Learned from my Mom:
Absolute unconditional love. I never questioned her love for me. It’s a powerful thing for a child.
How has Life Turned out Differently than Planned?
Actually, I didn’t have a plan, but I had a vision. I have everything I’ve dreamed of in terms of family, friends, opportunities, this job. I feel like I can make a difference here.
The World Would be a Better Place…
…if we really loved ourselves. If we valued who we are enough that we could let go of our defenses that cause us to judge and blame and act in ways that separate us. That takes a lot of honesty with ourselves and with others. Today, I see a lot of acting out of fear.
By Lucy M. Pritchett | Illustration by Dan Kisner