October 11, 2011
Photo By: Zach
We take stances. Some are weak, some are empowered. Most often, they are habitual. There are stances that have powerfully served us but might no longer be helpful. These might be our habitual stances, our automatic postures, our best known ways of reacting. It is important to become conscious about our stance. To be awake as we take a stance. To loosen the grips of our habit. To make room for new possibilities.
Adrienne Maree Brown, my dear friend and colleague and one of the facilitator’s I most admire, wrote a beautiful post about her visit to #occupywallstreet. She invites us to consider our stance. It is re-posted here:
October 5, 2011
I too, sing America
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
I’ll be at the table
When company comes
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed –
I, too, am America.
I write this on a train to New York City, after a whirlwind half-weekend in the nation’s capital a/k/a Chocolate City. My time spent in DC is always edifying — good for my soul. Monday, I attended the opening day of what I expect will be a history making event – the Take Back the American Dream Conference 2011, sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future and the Institute for America’s Future. Read More
October 4, 2011
I made it out to #occupywallstreet last Friday night. Here is how my experience unfolded:
1. Culture Shock
I’m into showers, they’re not. I’m in my mid-thirties, grew up in a working class Puerto Rican community and I’ve been yupified over the years. I didn’t see a lot of people of color and I wasn’t feeling the vibe. I wondered how people from my community could ever make a link to this crowd. I was welcomed to walk around, curiously browsing, checking out the scene, the art and the people.
September 29, 2011
The whole globe is shook up, so what are you going to do
when things are falling apart? You’re either going to become
more fundamentalist and try to hold things together or you’re
going to forsake the old ambitions and goals and live life as an
experiment, making it up as you go along.
I’m blown away by #occupywallstreet. And I am thrilled by the conversation it has unleashed – sometimes amused, sometimes frustrated and often moved. I’ll be at Liberty Plaza this Friday.
I’m appreciating the political discussion, the strategic questions, the desire for racial inclusion in this emergent process. However this turns out, it is way bigger than a protest. Something is changing, Kevin Kelly points to it: Read More
September 20, 2011
Photo By: Procrastinations
I spend a lot of my time plotting the next revolution. Considering what it will take to usher forth the next movement. Preparing myself to participate. Sifting through the preconceptions of what movement has to look like. Calling forth the evolution of revolution itself. Instigating, prodding, inviting, conspiring, hoping.
August 9, 2011
I am honored to be part of a listserv called “The Gamechangers Salon,” there is brilliance and passion in it. There is also a lot of anger these days, particularly given recent events in Washington. Following is my recent contribution to the conversation, coincidentally, my colleague Cynthia Silva Parker, just wrapped up her blog series on Power & Privilege with a post on Pursuing – something in the air at IISC! Here is my post:
June 27, 2011
Spurred on by my colleague, Jen Willsea, I recently submitted a piece for the “Walk the Talk” zine/book project. The organizers describe the project as being about “exploring power and exploitation in nonprofit organizations, alignment of our work with our vision, and what role nonprofits have in radical social transformation…[because] even in the most grassroots and progressive organizations, working on the most radical issues, we may find a deep dissonance between the world we want to create, and what it is like to be working in the organization day-by-day. Read More
May 25, 2011
|Photo by wwarby|http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwarby/2310975386|
A friend recently relayed the following story about how some baby elephants are tamed, for cirucuses and other forms of work. As part of its training, the baby is tied it to a steel stake in the ground, strong enough to prevent it from breaking free when it tries to do so. Eventually, the elephant will give up and stop trying to escape. I imagine that this is not the complete story, but keeping with this trajectory . . . At a certain point, the trainer can replace the steel stake with a smaller wooden one, despite the fact that it would never hold the elephant if it tried to break free. An elephant trained to believe that the stake is strong will not try to break loose and run. Read More
April 18, 2011
Photo by: i-loot-i
I write from vacation in Puerto Rico, my place of origin. I am amazed by the fact that I left when I was 12 but the place still feels like home – in a very deep way. I’m on vacation after facilitating a retreat for the Barr Fellows Class of 2009 in Vieques, PR. It was a phenomenal experience, certainly for me but most importantly for the Fellows.
I have witnessed the significant deepening of relationships among these fellows since they first came together as a cohort during on our learning journey to Brazil in June of 2009. We have had a number of retreats and events since, some as a class, some with the larger network of Barr Fellows. At this mid-way point through their three-year process (though their being part of the network has no formal end), it becomes absolutely moving to witness powerful shifts towards greater possibility. Read More
April 12, 2011
Photo by: Phoester
I was inspired to write this post after reading and seeing the pictures on this post on Bureaucratics: A Global Portrait of Red Tape
Bureaucrats get a bad rap. Which is not always fair. They do serve an important purpose. If you’ve been to Singapore, you find they can be so efficient it is almost exciting. However, I do think it is important to take a critical look at organizational form. We have to pay attention to the way we structure ourselves when we aim to do things together. Read More
January 31, 2011
Photo by: Dionyziz
Akaya Windwood, President of the Rockwood Leadership Institute is among the newest members of the IISC Board of Directors, the following are her reflections:
I’ve just about had it with the vitriol and saber-rattling lately. Our world cannot sustain much more bellowing from those on one end of a spectrum at those on the other, with no room for nuance, ambiguity or the unknown. Enough!
So much of our current day “discourse” is framed (at least in the mainstream media) by discussions of who is right/wrong, right/left, bad/good, holy/evil. As long as we are limited to these extremes, we will be doomed to the tyranny of righteousness and posturing. This will not, and cannot, sustain us.