“We should not forsake our differences. We need to appreciate the differences that we have and focus more on being united rather than divided.” Francette “Cet” Mohamed-Moore is one of Community Tampa Bay’s outstanding volunteers. Cet has learned, practiced, and taught through friendships and volunteering what it means to embody inclusion. As an immigrant from Trinidad and Tobago, Cet faced adversity for not fitting the societal labels of the language and behaviors generalized to fit a person of color. For years, Cet has migrated toward organizations that promoted inclusion and connected diverse groups of individuals. She is motivated that these moments of intentional inclusivity can lead to something revolutionary and is inspired by Bob Marley’s music. She has adopted some of his lyrics for her personal mission: “One love – that’s going to take revolution. I think it’s a revolutionary act to say I’m going to put in the work to try to understand you and to try to have you understand me.” A world with Cet’s mission is one where everyone can disagree, but still treat each other with respect and dignity.
In high school, Cet was involved in her GSA, the Gay/Straight Alliance. She was in charge of GSA’s Oppression Week, an event that educated the youth in her school about the ISMs (racism, sexism) that are present in our society. She also modeled youth-adult partnerships by speaking to adults about measures to keep those of the LGBTQ community safe in schools. Cet mentored high school teens, volunteered with an agency that dealt with spousal abuse, worked as a youth advocate, participated in recreational and athletic programs. Her favorite program to volunteer with is ANYTOWN™, Community Tampa Bay’s lifelong inclusive youth cultivating program. Every year she applies to be a counselor and she hopes to always be one.
Cet thinks the organization’s vision is radical: “They’re taking into account what we as a society expect from other people. They don’t want you to just tolerate people. Through their programs people come to accept one another, differences and all.” Cet attended the program in 2003 and graduated feeling transformed. She entered the Navy in 2005 to train as an aviation medic. Cet returned to Community Tampa Bay as a volunteer at ANYTOWN™, in 2011 and 2012, impacting 150 teens so far. One of the youth from her session shared that Cet is her favorite counselor, a moment of unsought reward.
Cet is now finishing her penultimate year at Art Institute of Tampa where she is studying Digital Filmmaking and Video Production. “I really would like to marry art and community involvement. Instead of the media being made AT them, I want to give youth the tools to make their own media and show their perspectives using posters, raising money, or creating something for social media publication such as a documentary web series.” Cet is currently getting ready to shoot her senior film in April/May and she hopes to turn discussions of her youth created media idea into a tangible, successful reality.
Thank you Cet for bringing your many gifts to Community Tampa Bay!
Written by Nadia Rumbolt