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Honoring Juneteenth 2021 - Ellie Liggins, RN, BSN

Ellie Liggins, RN, BSN

This Juneteenth, we want to acknowledge and recognize the historic, systematic injustices and oppressive discrimination that Black Americans continued to face. While we find joy in celebrating the progress that has taken place, we also know there is work to be done. At ERC Pathlight, we want to work in solidarity to be a catalyst for change in our hearts and in our communities, working to build a world where all individuals can live without fear.

Today we are featuring Ellie Liggins, RN, BSN, a nurse manager in Huron. They share about why they work in mental health, what they learned about themselves this past year, and their goals for the year ahead.

What does Juneteenth mean to you?

Juneteenth means to me the celebration of Black folk in America finally and fully learning of their freedom from slavery.

How do you acknowledge and celebrate this historical day each year?

I typically fast until dinner and then only eat red food. It’s mostly a day for myself.

Who is your biggest inspiration in life and why?

My mum is my biggest inspiration in life because she was an orphan at a young age. She never went to college. Yet, she essentially raised two kids alone and is now living comfortably from working from the bottom to a managerial position. She also was never shown real love yet gave me nothing but that.

Why do you feel called to work in mental health care?

I work in mental health care because people fascinate me. I specifically focus in researching minority stress and other attributes of life that affect the psyche of minorities.

How do you support your own mental health and unwind after a long week?

I’m always trying to figure out what is my strategy. But I love a good podcast or a deep conversation about nothing. I also thoroughly enjoy watching K-Pop music videos.

What have you learned in the past year about yourself while experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic and the national reckoning around racism in America?

I have learned that it’s really hard being Black in America. I already knew this, but it really felt like a never-ending storm. However, with that, I also saw that Black people still existed, fought and loved.

What’s one personal goal you have for 2021 that you’re able to share with us?

I want to learn how to swim, roller blade or ride a bike.

What is one thing not many people know about you that may surprise them?

Half of the music I listen to is in Korean.

What would you tell your 18-year-old self that would have better prepared you for your life today?

I would’ve told myself that being Black, queer and nonbinary is cool. And that your braces will come off at some point.

What advice would you give to the next generation?