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The Frisbee Effect


To successfully throw a Frisbee one must look at the trajectory. That is important. While its

distance relies on both velocity and angle of flight, if the Frisbee is sent on the right upward path, both straight and steady, not too high or too low its momentum will carry it almost twice

the distance.

In 2010, my peer-mentor, Maisha, said, “When you know your purpose Kristal, you don’t have to compete with anyone. There’s a path for you to succeed.” Those simple words helped me find focus and have kept me grounded as I move in and out of political spaces. Focusing on my trajectory and maintaining the right posture has allowed me to maintain a steady pace forward.

While there have been bumps and twists in the road, it has certainly led me to where I am today- recruiting, training and inspiring women to run for elected office. My current work is fueled by the passion I have to see more women-- specifically women of

color get involved in the political process. I often reflect on the advice and remember to tap into my own confidence in my ability to perform and succeed in every role.

While my career is still in the building stages, I reflect on the purpose of Maisha’s words. It’s easy to get caught up in what others are doing and where you think you should be in life. It’s more important to focus on what your purpose is serving where you are planted. Her words remain true in every step even when I am unsure of the plan. More than tapping into my inner confidence and purpose I am constantly reminded of another piece of the Frisbee effect, in which Maisha suggested, that I look forward with a steady eye, but also reach back to help another woman find her path. As I reflect on how her advice has helped me, I recall how she consistently reminds me to fill my time focusing on helping other women of color who will seek and take my advice, lifting as I climb.

Thank you Maisha for helping me focus on my own Frisbee.

Kristal Knight is the executive director of Emerge Tennessee, which recruits, trains, and provides a powerful network to Democratic women who want to run for office.

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