All right friends, it’s time. I’m going to write my first e-book. I’m going to do it in 30 days using the process outlined here. Today is day 1. I will be posting daily updates to my Facebook and twitter feeds.
I need your help. I want to write about “teams, work and complexity,” I don’t have a title yet. But it doesn’t matter what I want to write about if you don’t want to read about it! The first two days of the process are about asking you for a topic. See what copyblogger says:
If you read this blog regularly, you’ve heard me talk about the Networks and Decentralized Organizing Community of Practice that I’m a part of. I’m continually buzzing with inspiration from this very special node in the network.
Part of our process includes a “daily practice” that is offered each day by a different member of the community. Jenny Lee, of the Allied Media Projects, recently offered this practice – she titled it “Murmuration.” I invite you to share your reflections.
Even if you’ve seen it before, watch it again and think about the questions:
If another species was observing and analyzing the shape, rhythm, contours of our movements what would they look like?
What is the most breathtaking structure and form of movement that you can imagine our networks taking? What would be the most inner-working mechanics that structure?
“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.”
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 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.
Last Friday, I had the privilege of facilitating Alta Starr’s Funder Briefing on New Paradigms in Organizing for Social Transformation. It was a rich event. Organizers, funders and capacity builders from across the nation came together to explore their work at the intersection of personal transformation and systemic change. The field is definitely shifting! We are seeing progress and experimentation towards a more holistic approach to the quest for social justice.
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.
“I just wanted to tell all of you that I feel truly honored to have played even a small part in what transpired today. In fact, I would go so far as to say you are the best, most fun, most highly evolved group of humans I have ever worked with.”
This is not the kind of email you get everyday. It comes from one of the participants in the process design group of a state-wide food system building effort with which I have been involved for the past year and for which I am the lead designer and facilitator. To be clear, the purpose of this post is not to blow my own horn. It would be outrageous for me to take credit for something the size and complexity of which goes well beyond my individual talents and contributions. Rather, I am very eager to explore what stands behind this comment, as it reflects a commonly held feeling that something special has been going on with this initiative and group since it was initiated and led up to the launch of a Food Policy Council last week.
Last week, colleagues Andrea Nagel, Jen Willsea and I facilitated the workshop, Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work for staff at the Boston Public Health Commission. One of the most powerful parts of the workshop was an exercise where participants had to listen to a view with which they disagreed without opposing, fixing or leading the speaker to another viewpoint. Challenging, to say the least! It raised a great question about not just how, but when to listen without attempting to shift anything. Like many of the workshop participants, I struggle with this practice, particularly when the speaker’s views fly in the face of realities I see and history I know, or when the very act of listening seems to give comfort to views that diminish my humanity. The struggle brought me back to a classic essay, “The Art of Listening,” by feminist author Brenda Ueland.