Just like Asha, I've known Kelly for years -- we met back in 2006 at a blogging conference. I know that it has become popular to describe a woman as "fierce" (thanks, Tyra Banks), but that's truly what Kelly is: she's fierce in every sense of the word. As an assistant principal, she's fiercely protective of the kids in her junior high school, going to great lengths to ensure that no one is lost in the system, and that each of them feels cared for, valued, and most importantly, seen. As an activist, she's fiercely vocal about racial, gender and social injustices that she sees around her, both in the United States and internationally (she was actually one of my travel companions to Ethiopia, and wrote about her experience). And she's a fiercely loyal friend, who will do anything, up to and including fighting dogs, for anyone she cares about. (I've never actually seen her fight a dog. But I've no doubt she would, if called upon.)
Kelly has become a dear friend, and I told her many months ago that she had no choice but to be featured in my Thrive Portrait Project, since there are very few people I know who live their lives as "out loud" as Kelly does. (It's nice that she agreed to be a part of it; however, seriously, I wasn't kidding -- she really had no choice.) So back in April, when we were both at the Mom 2.0 Summit, she sat for me and my Hasselblad film camera, and last week, she shared her words with me about what it means to her to "thrive."
You can see her awesome face and wise words here. (And how about those eyes, amiright? Remind me to tell you the story one day about how she made all the men in Ethiopia swoon over her eyes.)
Also, be sure to check out the rest of the portraits. Those are some amazing women, right there.