I have been very excited to hear about what is going on in Cleveland, not to mention how it is serving as a model and inspiration for other cities in this post-industrial age, including Springfield, Massachusetts and various communities in my native Michigan. What do you take and make of this? How might the efforts and aspirations of Evergreen inform your collaborations?
Archive for November, 2011
“Stamp [the facilitator] jumped up and down. Her voice was hoarse from three hours of yelling. ‘Everyone is beautiful!’ she shouted. ‘Everyone is awesome!’
That’s some hard core facilitation. I am struck, profoundly affected by, what is happening in our country. I am inspired. I am moved. I have a deep sense of resonance.
“[T]he point of Occupy Wall Street is not its platform so much as its form: people sit down and hash things out instead of passing their complaints on to Washington. ‘We are our demands,’ as the slogan goes.”
I’ve thought a lot about how either/or thinking reinforces hierarchies of oppression. As Tema Okun recounts in The Emperor Has no Clothes, “Inherent in western culture is the very act of defining ‘us’ in ways that claim superiority over an opposite and increasingly threatening ‘them.’”
Poetry is what you find
in the dirt in the corner,
overhear on the bus, God
in the details, the only way
to get from here to there.
-Elizabeth Alexander (From “Ars Poetics #100: I Believe”)
Let me start by saying that I am well aware of the inherent irony of posting a piece with this title in the blogosphere and furthermore tweeting about it to my “followers.” That said, I offer this in the same spirit of the saying, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill the Buddha.” In other words, thanks in advance for reading/sharing, and then let’s get back to the work of being our own lights.
As I turn thoughts to this week’s holiday, I am thankful for so much: for health, for family, for friends, for the opportunity to do the work I do, where and with whom I get to do it. And I am also grateful to be living in these uncertain, trying, and exciting times. If we would believe history and the views of certain amateur and professional philosophers, we might see our current circumstances as the makings of a great age and evolutionary leap forward. Read the rest of this entry »
The Interaction Institute for Social Change remembers Margarita Muñiz, educator, leader, champion- as well as one of our beloved Barr Fellows. The following is reposted from the Boston Globe column written by Yvonne Abraham. We could not have said it better.
How do you turn an abandoned school in a crime-ridden neighborhood into a gleaming beacon drawing children and grateful parents from across the city?
The answer is Margarita Muñiz.
IISC Senior Associates gathered this morning to prepare for our future in this leadership transition-We began with this poem….
“You know that the antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest?”
The Acting Steering Committee list reads like a who’s who among U.S. civil rights and social justice activists: James Lawson, Vincent Harding, Dolores Huerta, Nelson Johnson Joyce Johnson, Mel White, John Fife, Phil Lawson, Arthur Waskow, Grace Lee Boggs, Joan Chittister, George Tinker, Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, Bernice Johnson Reagan, Marian Wright-Edelman.
OCCUPY BOSTON SUMMIT
IISC is proud to be supporting the facilitation of todays summit!
Speak Up — Add Your Voice — Join The Conversation
Where is our movement headed?
What opportunities and challenges are we facing?
How do we think creatively about the future?
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 19 @ 2-6 pm
885 Washington Street, Chinatown
A 15 minute walk from Dewey Square
or Orange Line to Tufts Medical Center
Planning to come? Need childcare or translation? Want to volunteer? Let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org
“Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about . . . . You are not alone.’”
- Kurt Vonnegut
I’m feeling some Michigan pride, in the midst of some important work with the Council of Michigan Foundations and the ongoing economic struggles of my home state. And I’m even more impressed after seeing this video, which was produced by the community of Grand Rapids after it was named earlier this year as one of America’s cities in greatest decline by Newsweek magazine. A local visionary, artist, and rabble rouser pulled the community together to film this show of solidarity in ONE TAKE! There is a story here, about collaboration, about collective leadership, about what it takes to galvanize people. Check it out, and watch the whole thing if you can. It gets better and better.
Ida B. Wells was an African American journalist, newspaper editor and, with her husband, newspaper owner Ferdinand L. Barnett, an early leader in the civil rights movement. She documented lynching in the United States, showing how it was often a way to control or punish blacks who competed with whites. She was active in the women’s rights and the women’s suffrage movement, establishing several notable women’s organizations. Wells was a skilled and persuasive rhetorician, and traveled internationally on lecture tours.
A few months ago I posted a piece entitled “Negativity and Self-Limiting Advocacy,” which seemed to get a lot of play in the 2.0 sphere. The gist of the entry was that negative mindsets limit our view of possibilities and can wall us off into tried and not so trustworthy ways of being and doing on the social change front. John Hagel, author of The Power of Pull, posted the entry below on his Edge Perspective site this week, which extends this conversation to thinking about how our responses to the prevalent uncertainty surrounding us have a lot to say about our future economic and ecological well-being. I really appreciate his focus on narrative, especially on the heels of attending New Ventures West’s introductory course on integral coaching, and I am excited to think more about how we can co-create new and liberating narratives and “platforms” that bring into being the regenerative future that is waiting to emerge more fully. I would also add to Hagel’s assessment at the end by suggesting that beyond young people, there is much hope and wisdom to be found in those who have been most marginalized by the dominant culture and yet have found ways to walk in and hold onto two worlds, to survive and to thrive. And to take note of and learn from the wisdom of life.
We live in a world of increasing pressure and uncertainty, driven in large part by digital technology infrastructures. These marvelous infrastructures bring us unprecedented connectivity and opportunities to better ourselves. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week, Tema Okun of the dismantling RacismWorks, spoke about her new book, The Emperor Has no Clothes-Teaching about Race and Racism to People who Don’t want to Know at an event hosted by Community Change (see their website for a video of the talk) in Boston.
Marisa Rivera-Albert is the former President of the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI), a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and leadership development of Hispanic Women. Before coming to NHLI, she Rivera-Albert worked in higher education as Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Community Relations at Black Hawk College in Illinois, she managed the Hispanic Program for Educational Management and the Learning To Lead Program for Hispanic students at Western Illinois University, and she served for the U.S. Information Agency and the U.S. Embassy in Panama. Marisa Rivera-Albert is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, has a B.A. in Communications from American University and a Master’s degree in Education Administration from Western Illinois University. She is also a graduate of the Harvard University JFK Executive Programs, the Center for Creative Leadership Institute, the Texaco Management Institute, the Gallup Leadership Institute and the Mexican American Solidarity Foundation. She is a Board member for Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia and for the U.S. Committee for UNIFEM- United Nations Development Fund for Women. She is a frequent keynote speaker on women’s issues, Hispanic Affairs, multicultural and leadership topics.