Ever since Sydni Makemo talked her way into a job at the ACLU of Utah in 2018, we knew she was a go-getter. As the first ACLU staff member based in Southern Utah (she lives with her husband, Hilkiah, and two children in St. George), Sydni is responsible for introducing the ACLU to hundreds of new supporters and allies. How does she do it?
Let’s examine a typical day for Sydni.
5:00 a.m.: Wake up and go for a quick run or do CrossFit depending on the day.
6:45 a.m.: Check my email and daily calendar as my kids and husband start to stir in the house around me.
7:30 a.m.: Shower, get dressed, and drink my greens—a surprisingly tasty blend of dandelion leaves, spinach, kale, beet leaves, avocado, and a banana—before rushing out the door with a car full of kids heading to school at 8:15 a.m.
9:00 am: Park at Affogato West (undisputed best coffee shop in St. George) to take advantage of free Wifi to make last-minute edits to a meeting agenda.
9:30 a.m.: Dial in to the ACLU of Utah’s staff meeting, where I explain everything happening in Southern Utah in five minutes while learning about all the work my colleagues are doing.
11:30 a.m.: Lunch with the owner of a new brewery to discuss hosting a fundraiser for local nonprofits.
1:00 p.m.: Get ready for upcoming events. Draft a speech on immigration policy for Pizza & Politics at Dixie State University. Design a “Know Your Rights” presentation on interactions with police for a Moab event.
4:00 p.m.: Work-life balance gets complicated as kids come home from school. Solution— phone meetings! While my daughter gets a haircut, I step outside to call the Anti-Defamation League about bringing a K-12 anti-racism program called “No Place For Hate” to the Washington County public schools.
5:00 p.m.: While at my son’s soccer practice, I call Niki, the ACLU of Utah’s new Voting Rights Coordinator, to plan our upcoming trip to Moab. When she offers to book the motel room, I sigh in relief. One less item on my expense report.
6:30 p.m.: Back at home, and time for dinner. But also a chance to check my phone for any local news stories I missed.
7 p.m.: Eat. Breathe. Make eye contact with my family. Rotate laundry.
7:30 p.m.: Respond to the handful of emails I missed during the day. Confirm the next day’s meetings.
8:30 p.m.: I’m done. I literally cannot do anymore. I shut my laptop and plug it in to recharge overnight. Time to get the kids ready for bed, sign homework, and help them prepare for the next day.
9:00 p.m.: Bruno, my mixed-breed rescue dog, reminds me it’s time for his evening walk. I also make sure to get the rest of my steps for the day.
9:30 p.m.: Time for bed. But before turning in, I pick up Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari, and read for a half hour to fall asleep.
10:00 p.m.: Goodnight Southern Utah. Stay out of my dreams and I’ll see you in the morning.
…from the Fall 2019 Liberty Reporter