This is the second installation in our series, where each of our nine Board members answer the same set of questions, once a month, for nine months. We hope it’ll help you to get to know us better, and also see where we align and how we’re different.
8 Questions for Dinandrea; Ready, Set, Go!
1. What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I’m a licensed cosmetologist; to prevent burn-out from being a psychotherapist, I used to work on photoshoots and film sets, doing hair and makeup, for sport!
2. What has been a spiritual turning point for you?
It was when my godmother, Marion Miller-Levit, died of ovarian cancer in 1999. Before her death, she told me I sounded like a UU. I joined a UU church in Silver Spring, Maryland, just weeks after her death.
3. What is your greatest sorrow and/or accomplishment?
Greatest sorrow – Leaving the east coast. When I lived there, no one said that I walked too fast, talked too fast, or that I wore too much black (everyone there does that)…that snow, tho. BRRRRRRR!!.
Greatest accomplishment – Getting Ngozi Andrade Messam to marry me ⛪ and having her help me raise our amazing, (now) 24-year-old son. Lenin Vega-Webber. ❤
4. What is the best advice that you’ve received or given?
“No hay mal que dure 100 años, ni cuerpo que lo resista.” (Spanish/Cuban Proberb). Translation: “There is no evil that lasts 100 years nor a body that could sustain it. It means that evil and malice are not forever…especially when they’re orange-skinned with a yellow comb-over.
5. What book had a major influence on you?
I would say Catcher in the Rye, by Salinger, because the theme of disillusionment, as a clinician, just fascinates me, but then you’d all think I was a psychopath and that wouldn’t play well. So, officially, I’ll say, Dawn, by Octavia Butler. I aspire to evolve to the level of compassion, reason and serenity of the Oankali (alien) race.
6. What inspired you to become a Board member?
I wanted to be an active part of helping NUUC strive for diversity and inclusion in its worship services and overall programming.
7. What would you tell someone new to Neighborhood Church?
Dig in! Find something at NUUC that calls to your body, mind or spirit. From knitting for social justice, to environmental/sustainability work, to LGBTQ-centered activities, to over the 50 and single group, to being a foodie (Circle Suppers/Dining for Dollars), to just sitting under a beautful, shady tree, with your coffee and people watching…there is something for everyone, at NUUC. The best armor against the difficulties occuring in the world right now is to surround yourself with people who are doing beautiful things, in a beautiful place. It’s revitalizing and therapeutic. Do it.
8. What is one way that you try to live the Seven Principles?
When my son was little, I used to tell him, almost every morning, before I dropped him off at school, “A good person does the right thing…” and he’d answer, “…even when no one is looking.” The Seven Principles are a daily spiritual practice.