Congratulations to Tiffany Kieran, our August ONE Member of the Month!
Tiffany is a Congressional District Leader for ONE in Dallas, TX, where she works in marketing for Reel FX, a feature film and production company. In addition to helping ONE with concerts, petition deliveries and meetings on Capitol Hill for the Power Summit, Tiffany was instrumental in solidifying the relationship between ONE and Reel FX. This partnership resulted in the amazing new PSA, “Halfway There.” In addition to her work with ONE, Tiffany is passionate about yoga, pets and volunteering with loads of other local nonprofits. Learn more about Tiffany in her interview below!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’ve had a lifelong draw to human rights and I’m blessed to make human rights part of my career. I work for an amazingly supportive animation studio, Reel FX, in outreach and marketing. The studio has been incredible at supporting causes ranging from child abuse to clean water rights, disaster relief and anti-trafficking.
Lately, I have also been volunteering with the Dallas High Risk Victims Task Force, DigDeep.org’s Navajo Water Project and for ONE. In the past I’ve volunteered with the International Rescue Committee, Free the Slaves and crisis shelters.
How long have you been involved with ONE? What prompted your involvement?
I’ve been involved with ONE for about five years now, since I replied to a ONE flier about extreme poverty. A local ONE volunteer, Kyle Talkington, was organizing film and speaker events and writing letters to the editor. He was all over the place, incredibly kind and likable, and treated volunteers like gold. I just liked the other volunteers and ONE staff so much. They are smart, funny, dedicated and inspiring. We make fast friends. I love that it’s bipartisan; all races, religions, walks of life and political sides.
To me, that’s extremely hopeful; seeing people put their differences aside because they recognize something is far more important: human rights and dignity. That’s a hopeful message. I love that ONE partners with hundreds of aid groups like Doctors Without Borders, the International Rescue Committee and the Peace Corps, and that their work is inspired by Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. ONE excels at gratitude, intelligence, hard work and kindness. I’ve been treated with so much respect and appreciation and that means so much to someone who is giving time and resources. I believe strongly in volunteering locally and globally. I’m privileged to be able to work on both.
Is there a community of ONE members in your area? What are they like?
YES! They are amazing. There’s Kyle, who I mentioned; Nigerian-born Chijioke, who we dubbed “the machine” because he’s so passionate and amazing at getting people to take action; Ciara O’Modhrain; Phil and Stephanie Shepard; Kendsie Hunter; and Karen Betty Kelly. And then there’s our fearless leader, Mike Hogan. I can’t say enough great things about Hogan.
I also keep up with more distant ONE volunteers and staff. I was just talking to Kekoa Cambra out in California. He and Paulina Sosa took us under their wings at my first ONE Summit and made it such an amazing experience.
What has been your favorite experience with ONE?
The Power Summits! I described them to others as like Beatlemania for humanitarian policy wonks. They are truly stunning experiences. There are all these amazing talks, from current and former Capitol Hill and White House experts. Panels with former Clinton and Bush staffers talking about why they disagree on a lot but totally agree on ONE issues.
When we went to Capitol Hill we would run in to former Clinton and Bush staffers on the street and they would give us tips on how to talk to our Senators and Representatives. When they see your ONE shirts and run over, it’s amazing. I’ve experienced film and music festivals and humanitarian conferences. ONE kind of merges the vibes of both and mixes it with all this political intention and ONE/(RED) leadership. It’s SO empowering. People have this down idea that politics cannot affect change. ONE teaches you that it absolutely CAN.
What are you most passionate about?
Who inspires you?
My FRIENDS. They are ridiculous. When your friends are testifying to the Senate on domestic and global human rights issues, giving TED and TEDX talks, saving at-risk kids and risking their lives to save trafficking victims, it will make you step up your game.
I’m just trying to keep up with them! Doctors Without Borders and anti-human trafficking advocates, who are often former trafficking victims themselves, were some of my early inspirations and continue to be. I was so amazed by them. Then it occurred to me: if you are so impressed, get off your bum and HELP them. So I did.
Also Rosa Parks; that quiet person who no one expects to be the defiant one who sparks the great change. I read that she was described as shy by people who knew her. Never underestimate an introvert.
And Facebook COO and “Lean In” author Sheryl Sandberg. She’s inspired a lot of my recent leaning in.
Do you have any advice for other ONE members?
Hang in there! Find a great mentor who is grounded in optimism. Do right by your mentors. Take breaks when you need them. Let people help you. Find someone genuine and trustworthy who you admire in human rights work, and ask them how they got there.
Kevin Bales (a modern slavery expert) was one of those amazing pivotal mentors for me. I thought he was too busy and important to approach, but after meeting him at a book signing I took a friend’s advice and reached out.
I was showered with generosity, strategy lessons, a compassionate ear and advice when I was feeling overwhelmed. Mentors are key; someone who has done it before you, better than you and knows how to help you. Let them help you, but rise to the occasion to be worthy of the help.
Congratulations again to Tiffany! Want to nominate someone for the next Member of the Month? Email Emily at [email protected] with the subject line, “Member of the Month.”