The Class of 2019

Finley Janes

Education Specialist, Amherst Cinema; Age 28
Education: Hampshire College (BA)

Finley Janes

Finley Janes

How do you define success? I define success as being able to bring engaged compassion to every interaction I have. When compassion and understanding are missing from our workplaces and community, people end up being sidelined and devalued. I think work can be successful only if all people involved or affected by the work feel empowered and supported.

What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? Every day, I try to set myself up to be as present as possible. It’s really easy for me to get swept up in the fast pace of day-to-day life, so a goal I work on is slowing down, listening more, and observing more. I feel like I owe it to the people in my life and the projects I work on to show up and bring my whole self, and I think our communities are safer when we are more present because we are better at noticing what is going on with the people around us and are more likely to pick up on situations that our friends, families, and colleagues may need help with.

What person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why? I would love to go out to lunch with Angela Davis. She is brave, insightful, and deeply justice-oriented, and has spent her life shining light on the injustices of the world and fighting for the rights of those in our world who are most oppressed and taken advantage of. Her book, Women, Race, & Class, was formative in helping me understand the history of how systems in this country have been set up to block certain groups from accessing power, and this knowledge was a big reason why I decided to go into education. I look up to her and would be honored to spend time talking with her over a meal.

What actor would play you in a movie about your life? Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye. He emanates playfulness and kindness, and I would hope the person who played me in a film would have these characteristics. He also has great style and has a way of making everyone around him feel comfortable and cared for, all things I’d hope for in my Hollywood self.

Photography by Leah Martin Photography

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