Britt Meets Activist and Founder Elsa Collins
Posted on July 16 2018
This week, Britt catches up with Elsa Collins — activist founder of The Ideateur — a social impact and political consulting group focused on the sports, culture, and entertainment space.
Having grown up in Mexico, Elsa moved to the US at age 16. She received a BA in Communications and Masters in Sociology from Stanford before gaining a JD Law degree from Columbia. Once settled in Los Angeles, Elsa set up BabytalkLA, a parenting education organization where she was a facilitator and certified Parent Educator. She also worked at Fusion/Univision on their social impact strategy team before founding The Ideateur. In this interview, as part of our Sisterhood Series, she talks to Britt about the importance of activism, education how we can all do our bit to help empower others.
Elsa Collins’ #SMOOTHIE #CONVERSATION is a perfect example of WHY I have such a strong belief behind the power of a #CONVERSATION.
A #SMOOTHIE #CONVERSATION.
There is MAGIC that occurs when two people look one another in the eye and unapologetically wear their heart on their sleeve and just talk.
I have known Elsa for years and have spent more time with her than most people in my life. She is part of my Angela Soul Cycle community, so that alone bonds us together in a forever friendship type of way. Despite spending so much “time,” and countless hours together; our relationship really never went beyond group settings, sweaty workouts, and surface level conversations. I don’t say that in a negative way, and I have always admired Elsa for her work and community involvement. She is hands down my GO TO woman for information on policy and government. Her ability to A C T I V A T E positive change in her community is worthy of a round of applause. Actually, a standing ovation.
She is a driving force (and I am not talking about a sedan speeding down the freeway driving force - I am talking about a LARGE BIG RIG TRUCK going way too fast plowing down a hill type of driving force) in her community serving others in a very selfless way. GET OUT OF HER WAY. OK, you get it. Her ability to educate and empower those around her is admirable. #ROLEMODEL worthy.
I was pleasantly surprised after our #SMOOTHIE #CONVERSATION. She wowed me. She exceeded all of my expectations. And made me realize how similar our foundational beliefs are.
GO ELSA GO.
PS: Did I mention we share a love of Coldplay? I know, perfect.
The timing of our conversation was kind of ironic. I had been planning to sit down and chat with Elsa for some time and we even had a date scheduled months ago but LIFE happened, (as it usually does) and we had to reschedule. We rescheduled for this past Tuesday, days before our trip to San Diego/Mexico border where Elsa, along with Zoe Winkler, fearlessly led 30+ women on a mini road trip down south to our neighbors at the border to educate and empower and help raise awareness for #FAMILIESBELONGTOGETHER.
Do you consider yourself an ACTIVIST?
Activism is part of who I am as a human being. I would consider myself an EVERYDAY ACTIVIST in all stages of my life up until this point. As my kids started to get older I realized the importance of making the world around me better because I want to make LIFE better for them. So yes, I do have a SOCIAL IMPACT COMPANY (Ideatuer) but I also have many passion projects that I engage with all of the time.
I know you are actively involved in the movement, #KeepFamilesTogether, can you tell me why you were in Texas the other day?
I went to El Paso just a few days ago to join a rally to protest against tent cities in Texas.
I work with Voto Latino, which helps Latino voters to register and get out and vote. They put out a call to action to educate what is about to happen in El Paso and they encouraged us just to show up. Our presence was our voice. I felt like it was my duty to be there and bear witness. I think a lot of times situations that are happening in our world don’t seem real or seem so unbelievable and it’s hard to wrap your head around the reality of a situation even if you are engaged, so I felt like it was my duty to be a person who could function as a barometer of visual proof, and that was enough for me. It was to bring awareness.
To what extent do you communicate your involvement in the community with your children?
My 9 year-old can accurately describe what I am doing and why I am doing it. It is very important to me to have these conversations with my kids because if they aren’t hearing it from me, they are hearing it from someone else.
ELSA: LEADING BY EXAMPLE
That is why I say I am an everyday activist. Look, I am very much aware that not everyone can fly to El Paso and go protest. DOING GOOD IS EXPENSIVE AND TAKES TIME AND IT HAS A COST but there are little things anyone can do. For example, if you are a mom, what conversations are you having with your children? Are you talking about these issues? What is the language you use when talking about these issues? The best thing anyone can do is SHOW UP. #REALTALK
There are so many issues that need attention right now, (Immigration, Gun Control, Environment) it can be VERY overwhelming trying to be actively involved and know what is up. What advice would you give to someone who may feel overwhelmed?
Because there is so much and it is hard to be well-versed in everything, I think you just have to ask yourself what is YOUR ISSUE? What is one thing you genuinely care about? That will help inform so many other decisions. So whether it is Gun Control, or Immigration, or Voting, Social Equality, The Environment, WHATEVER… Dive into that and that will help make a lot of other things more clear.
“You can’t know everything about everyone but you can know something about someone.” –Elsa Collins
Do you have role models?
Angela Davis for sure is someone who is a great encourager. Those people are so crucial. She will drop a gem on you. For example, yesterday she said, REFUSE TO GIVE UP. Hearing that throughout my day was necessary for me. She is someone who I admire and respect and is a huge inspiration who continues to help keep me going. And I have great friends, marching in their own purpose who also hold me accountable.
Coldplay. Anyday. Anytime. FAVORITE.
I LOVE YOU FOR THAT ANSWER.
Until next week,
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Images by Holly Jo Hubbell