Author Archives for Marianne Hughes

July 2, 2012

Marianne’s Celebration Remarks

While my name was on the invitation and my personal passage was the catalyst for this celebration, it really is an acknowledgement of the work of each and every one of you in this room. As you look around it is important to know that you are in the company of people who have answered that powerful question posed in the Mary Oliver poem, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?” by deciding to spend their every day making the world a better place. And for this I honor you and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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June 29, 2012

Young at Heart

There is a lot of conversation in our sector about the generations…the boomers, the x’s, the y’s, the millenials now all working together. Someone recently mentioned they read that four generations can now be found in our organizations. This phenomenon is often presented as a problem to be overcome rather than an opportunity to be seized. In fact, combining the openness and technological know-how of youth with the patience and experience of older folks may finally be just the right ingredients for real social transformation.

As the founding Executive Director of IISC and the matriarch ( I am widowed) of my family, I am continually enriched and enlivened by the young people in my life. I have always found my children to be among the most interesting people I know; Kristen HughesJoe Hughes, Brendan Hughes, Christa Scharfenberg, David Scharfenberg.

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June 28, 2012

IISC and the Paradigm Shift

It is early Easter Sunday morning before the ham and scalloped potatoes go in the oven but after sunrise and meditation. This particular holy day/holiday brims with meaning and metaphor about death and resurrection: the suffering and darkness that always precedes awareness and light, the old giving way to the new, the biblical nature of the times within which we live.

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June 27, 2012

"Only Connect"

This famous E.M. Forster quote takes on new meaning in this age of quantum waves and particles, Twitter, and Facebook.  But the depth of what he was saying is timeless: connect with one another through old and new means to realize that we are one family, one world, one universe.

At IISC, we are committed to deepening our connections, fostering collaborative efforts, and learning together in service of social transformation.  And so it is that IISC is formally announcing the launch of our blog, as another way that we can connect and learn from you in our common quest to build a more just and sustainable world.

In that spirit, I want to share with you some of what we have been learning across the three areas that we believe are foundational to the work of social transformation: network building; diversity, equity and inclusion; and, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “the love that does justice.” Read More

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June 27, 2012

“Only Connect”

This famous E.M. Forster quote takes on new meaning in this age of quantum waves and particles, Twitter, and Facebook.  But the depth of what he was saying is timeless: connect with one another through old and new means to realize that we are one family, one world, one universe.

At IISC, we are committed to deepening our connections, fostering collaborative efforts, and learning together in service of social transformation.  And so it is that IISC is formally announcing the launch of our blog, as another way that we can connect and learn from you in our common quest to build a more just and sustainable world.

In that spirit, I want to share with you some of what we have been learning across the three areas that we believe are foundational to the work of social transformation: network building; diversity, equity and inclusion; and, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “the love that does justice.” Read More

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June 26, 2012

Becoming a Hag

Today I am inspired to write about the hag. This is timely in that I am staring right into my 63rd birthday, born in 1946, the year that ushered in the baby boomers for better or for worse (depending on your point of view). It is also timely because like many others in the social sector, I am a founding executive director seeking to make room for the next generation of leaders (see future blogs) and challenged to re-imagine my continued contribution to social justice.

Not to be a caricature but again like so many of my cohort who were called to service by President Kennedy and came of age in the civil rights era, my life’s work was initiated as one of the first Vista Volunteers stationed in the border town of Laredo, Texas. It was there that I learned first hand about oppression, racism and injustice as well as hope, change and activism. I knew the work I wanted to do in the world. I was young then, not yet a hag.

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May 3, 2012

Dear IISC Clients, Colleagues and Friends,

After nearly twenty years leading the Interaction Institute for Social Change (IISC)—and loving every minute of it—I will be transitioning from my role as IISC’s executive director as of July of this year. After a couple of months off, I will return as an independent consultant to continue doing this work that I love so much—both on my own and on behalf of IISC.

It has been an honor and a privilege to work shoulder to shoulder with people like you—extraordinary change agents who labor every day to make the world a better place.

IISC is now in search of someone to take what might be one of the best jobs on earth—leading IISC as it partners with organizations, communities and networks to move from shared vision to collective action toward building a more just and sustainable world. Please pass the word along. View the job listing here.

With love and gratitude,

 

 

Marianne Hughes

 

 

 

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July 18, 2011

Testimonial for IISC by Elena Letona

Elena Letona is the former Executive Director of Centro Presente a member-driven, state-wide Latin American immigrant organization dedicated to the self-determination and self-sufficiency of the Latin American immigrant community of Massachusetts and that works for immigrant rights and for economic and social justice.

IISC worked with Centro Presente’s staff in the year leading up to Elena’s transitioning out of her role as Executive Director. Both Elena and the staff were determined to bring the organization through this period with grace and to grow together by deepening their own capacity.

The process was launched with a Facilitative Leadership program that focused on creating a culture of collaboration. No one describes the impact on the organization more eloquently than Elena in this video testimonial. Both Elena and Centro are thriving.

Our Organizing Model
Leadership development is a very important component of our mission and our work. We recognize that the members of our community bring to this country their personal experiences and capabilities and in return we provide them the space to build opportunities to develop and exercise leadership. Our leadership development model focuses on community organizing around specific themes like immigrants’ rights, workers’ rights and civic participation.

The model engages, internally, our staff, board, members, and program volunteers, and externally, allies and other community stakeholders. For example, our Board is composed of Latino immigrant workers and youth members. Through participation in our committees, the members of Centro Presente have the opportunity to be actively engaged in leading campaigns and activities that impact their own lives, as well as the lives of their families and the broader community.

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July 5, 2011

Kip Tiernan

I first met Kip Tiernan in 1970. Her reputation for no-nonsense, wise-cracking productivity had preceded her. We were all a little bit intimidated. She was older than we were and had already had a successful career as a pianist and an advertising executive. Still, she always treated us with the utmost respect…as if we, too, knew what we were doing.

We were organizing the first political sanctuary to ever have been held in a catholic church. The sanctuary was for our friend Paul Couming who was a conscientious objector and draft resister at the Paulist Center church in Boston. Kippy was handling the press, the FBI was outside the building and we were singing Amazing Grace. It was the beginning of my life-long admiration for Kip Tiernan, who died on Saturday. Kip went on to found the first homeless shelter for women and worked tirelessly with and on behalf of the poor of our city.

In her obituary, her wife Donna Pomponio is quoted as saying:
“The tragedies in the world continued to propel her to fix things and make them better. She knew that as human beings, we could do better for each other. There was a support and strength that came from that woman, and having her by your side and in your life, you knew that you could do it, too.’’

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January 5, 2011

Executive Transitions

two_sailboats

Illustration by Erin Davis

The New York Times ushered in 2011 with a front page story (below the fold, at least) titled: Boomers Hit New Self Absorption Milestone: Age 65 in which the author notes that in the next 10 years 26% of the population will redefine what it means to be older. As a member of this graduating class of boomers born in 1946, I am always humbled to be swept up by the statistics and perceptions of the generation. My own experience reflects part of its story: heeding the call of JFK to service, I was one of the first VISTA volunteers, followed by years of activism and organizing and finding myself today transitioning from my role as a nonprofit executive director.

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February 22, 2010

Freedom and Structure

In the upcoming edition of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, IISC gets a mention for our work with both Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and their Change Agent Project as well as the work we did with our client The Davis Foundation and their project Cherish Every Child. In each instance IISC partnered with our client by providing them a collaborative approach and architecture that scaffolded them in their pursuit of their collaborative goals.

P2C Diagram Blog

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