Marja Lust

Dear Mpho & Marceline –

What a wonderful initiative; thank you for including me! I must say though that I have never really looked myself as a mentor nor have I had an ‘official’ mentor myself. I do know however that throughout my life people in my circle of friends and co-workers have often sought my advice or opinion, usually on matters of the heart.

One friend even called me her “guru” for years … In the context of my work for the Amsterdam police department and especially my work on the LGBT theme for the ‘Roze in Blauw’ team, my proudest feat has been the ‘1st World LGBT Conference for Criminal Justice Professionals’ that took place in Amsterdam in August of 2016. I had the honor of being the Conference Director for this unique event and I know that both the conference and my role as the organizer have been inspirational to many.

As a result I have been asked to manage the ‘International Relations’ portfolio for “Roze in Blauw” at a national level and to become the vice-president of the European LGBT Police Association (EGPA). I guess sometimes one can have a mentoring role without realizing it. I can imagine that even though I have never ‘officially’ had the title of ‘mentor’ that my work and the positions I’ve held have had a mentoring effect if you will, on those around me. Just as I have been inspired by – and learned from – other women throughout my life and career, I know that women, based on my accomplishments, have looked at me with similar eyes and for that, I feel grateful. I will send a video stating my support for the #IToo movement later today. You hereby have my permission to share both this clip and my story on the #IToo website.

I will also forward your invitation to other women who are – and have been – inspirational leaders. Thank you again for empowering this generation (and future generations) of girls and women. You are changing the world! Kind Regards,

Marja