Interview with Diana Lu, Germantown Info Hub

For this year’s International Women’s Day, our team at Slice is proud to celebrate women across the marketing and communications industry through an interview series.

This interview is with Diana Lu, the Coordinator at the Germantown Info Hub. Read our full interview series here.

How do you define your leadership?

The ability to galvanize and hold steady. To me, leaders work with a team and their larger community, so being able to connect, inspire, and organize people is crucial. But so is understanding the strategy and restraint to make decisions that will have lasting impact. I think that takes humility, to know when to lead by charging forward, and when to lead by giving others the platform. 

How has your leadership changed in the past year?

As a leader, I’ve often had the role of the frontman. Digitally, I was the voice of the team. In public settings, I was the face of the program and your go-to source. As an organizer, I was the person on the ground. 

This past year, I led the team of a nascent community journalism project. We had just started streamlining our programming when the pandemic hit. I refined ways for the team to stay connected, pivot, accept losses and disappointments, and further our mission.

I’m responsible for the most diverse team than I’ve ever worked with, and I am leading by strengthening their efforts and building a foundation of best practices that our researchers can share with other community-driven news projects. Amidst all these changes and adaptations, working remotely has given me unprecedented contemplation time.

In this leadership role, I am not the frontman, but the glue that holds this spaceship we’re building together. It feels really good.

Can you share a story that demonstrates a key learning for you in your leadership journey?

I have been working with an amazing coach this past year. I felt an immediate kinship—urban planner, grew up in L.A., I was raised buddhist and he is a practicing buddhist. He just recently retired, so he is on a different journey. When we first started, I was used to planning and was expecting to seek answers that I could understand and structure. After we had been working together for months, I shared that I was disappointed for not dedicating more time to my personal passion project, and that I hadn’t even brought it up to him at all in our various values and goals sessions. 

We talked out why it was so important to me, and what exactly success would feel like, if it can’t be measured by my usual benchmarks and data. 

He taught me how to ask different questions to understand what I wanted for myself in my leadership journey. 

When I found that clarity, for it to come out of something that was initially so disappointing, now I know the kind of gut intuition that I want to feel again.

Who do you follow on social media that you would recommend to other women leaders?

Archna Sahay (@ArchnaSahay) and most recently Melissa Alam @RingTheAlam on Twitter. Two badass WOC who kick ass and take names in very crowded spaces—spaces that were not made for us— and set the example. Take note! Ace Jackson (@crissa_ace) who plays for the Harlem Globetrotters. Her instagram videos are freaking awesome, her dance moves are phenomenal, they always leave me smiling. There are not enough female athletes playing alongside men. She is crushing it on the court at 5-foot-4. Juliana Reyes (@juliana_f_reyes) on Twitter. Under her leadership, AAJA Philly won chapter of the year at the © Asian American Journalist Association National Journalism Awards. She covers the labor movement for the Philadelphia Inquirer and one of 44 journalists of color who called in ‘sick and tired’ in protest of editorial management’s decision to run an article with the headline “Buildings Matter, Too.”

Thank you to Diana for taking part in our interview series. And be sure to read the entire series!

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