One America Voices: Kathleen Durham

Written by: Kathleen Durham

You love to travel and have been to amazing places. What are some of the top areas you’d still like to include on your travel wish list? 

That’s a great question! I’d almost hate to limit myself to any place I can think of. I genuinely love people and cultures, and the idea of being open to visiting a place that hasn’t even crossed my mind yet seems very exciting! However, if I had to land on a few places, I’d say Oaxaca, Mexico, is pretty high up there, as well as nearly all the national parks of Colombia. I’d also love to go to Egypt, Turkey, and Greece someday…and definitely visit the Holy Land and other parts of the Middle East. India has also always fascinated me. There are so many places! But also, deep down inside the old-soul Poirot fan in me would love to be able to do the Orient Express. 

You are multi-lingual; in addition to your native English, you speak Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. What motivated you to learn such beautiful languages? 

Truthfully it all came about because I had to take a language in college and didn’t know where to start, but loved the Sicilian wedding scenes in The Godfather, so I decided to study Italian. Ha! They happened to have a great Italian program at my school, so I quickly got immersed in the culture and fell in love. I got the chance to study in Italy one summer and I still remember the first time I went into a shop in Assisi and I tried to speak Italian to the shopkeeper. I was very shy at the time, but I noticed her demeanor towards me changed immediately because I was trying to speak her language, rather than expecting her to speak mine. It was amazing! And then when she spoke, it hit me what a privilege it was to hear her speak in her own heart language rather than English, for me to take on the role of vulnerability that American tourists so rarely have to take on. I knew immediately it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I just wish I knew more languages!

Why did you decide to join the One America Movement team? 

I not only believe in the importance of the mission (working to address and heal toxic polarization), but I also believe that the One America Movement is one of the few organizations that has the tools and people to actually make a real and significant difference in this area. Everyone I met–from the team prior to even thinking about joining–was someone I knew I wanted to work alongside in whatever capacity because I saw their integrity, humility, and kindness. It’s such a great group of incredibly talented individuals who are committed to living into the values they profess. I’m so honored to now be a part of it! 

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