"I know the biggest crime / is just to throw up your hands / saying 'this has nothing to do with me / I just want to live as comfortably as I can.
You got to look outside your eyes / you got to think outside your brain / you got to walk outside your life / to where the neighborhood changes." (From Willing to Fight, by Ani Difranco)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Growing Pains and Gains

"...but what
what if no one's watching
what if when we're dead, we're
just dead
what if there's no time to lose
what if there's things we
gotta do
things that need to be said

you know I can't apologize
for everything I know
I mean you don't have to agree with me
once you get me going
you better just let me go
we have to be able to
what we love
say what we have to say
'cause if you're not
trying to make something better
as far as I can tell
you're just in the

-Ani DiFranco, "What if No One's Watching"

The last two days have borne important conversations about the growth and growing pains of CLP. This year has been the beginning of important new projects-- multiple-college internships, year-long local programs, year-long international programs, international visitors and a $25K budget. Amazing achievements and lots to learn.

I know I have a lot to learn, and I sit here writing this feeling like I'm finally getting through some of this muck of the learning and seeing the clarity of the lessons. Last night with CLP@NoVi team and tonight with the intern team really helped me clarify the ways I need to grow to be a better a CLP member, a better facilitator and mentor, as well as a better friend.

(SOME) Key Lessons for Samantha:

1) I need to hold people to higher expectations-- the same expectations I have of myself. And, when they meet those expectations with their own authentic standard of quality-- I need to recognize and value them for their hardwork and leadership.

2) I need to hold people accountable for expectations that are not met. I need to recognize that this is not me being a "bossy bad lady" but being in right relationship with people who are an important part to an important vision. We need them, that's why we need to be accountable. All of us need to be accounted for because all of us are valuable to the process.

3) I need to be a better, more gracious friend. I need to slow down and listen and value the time "to be" just as much as our time of "to do." I need to recognize that this is hard work for all of us and that we are deserving of time of care and relaxation. High standards of excellence in our work and coalition-building are only capable with high standards for balance and self-care.

4) I need to let people own their process in a public and valued way. We need time to air out our despair, anger, fear, grief and frustration. Furthermore, I need to let people own that process-- what is true for one person in CLP will not necessarily be true for the whole organization, nor is it an attack on me. Creating the space to own our individual experiences as members of the organization is essential to individual and collective health and clarity.

5) I need to be better to and gentler with myself. I have run my own body, mind and spirit into the ground, resulting in a projection of my own fatigue on to the people I am partners with around me. I need to respect my own limits and embody healthy commitment-making, excellence and accountability in my own life in order to practice that (and struggle alongside others who are working on that) in CLP.

I'm thankful to all the incredible friends--the volunteers and interns in CLP-- who have taught me so much this month. From Shiva's visit, which required a greater level of honesty and integrity of me than ever before, to my colleagues and peers in Riverside who have taught me more about people-powered organizations in the last two days than I have learned in years.



With this reflection, time for everyone else:

1) A reading from the Boston Globe, "The Truth About Grit." You are welcome to comment on this in your reflection question, below. (The reading: http://www.duxbury.k12.ma.us/highendpilot/TheTruthAboutGrit.pdf )

2) Your reflection: What is your re-commitment to or from CLP? What do you plan to get out of this experience to make the next two months the most valuable two months in your entire internship? What are you letting go of to make room for CLP... or how will you let go of CLP to make room for things in your life that are more meaningful?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Constant Contact and Email Marketing

CLP is about to take the next step in newsletters/email marketing: the email newsletter with fancy HTML-ness via Constant Contact.

Em did some good research on email marketing.
One in particular: http://www.fundraising123.org/article/14-tips-making-your-nonprofit-email-more-effective

I'm trying to consider some of my practices in reading "weekly" emails... I read the ones that are (1) relevant, (2) don't constantly bug me for money, (3) have opportunities that I can get connected to, (4) include interesting information I can refer to.

What keeps you reading?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Grants and Community Development

The "craft" of grantmaking:

GrantCraft: http://www.grantcraft.org/index.cfm?

Community Development and Grant Making: http://www.hewlett.org/uploads/files/CommunityDevelopment2.pdf

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Youth-Led Organizing Follow-Up

My favorite youth-organizing website: http://freechild.org/

An interesting website outlining Nagpur (North Indian city) and its development as a "Human Rights Sensitive" city: http://www.pdhre.org/projects/nagpur99.html

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

[CLP-Interns] Preparation Entry (Jan 31)

26 Jan 2011

Next week's intern meeting will be Grant-Writing 101 as we prepare to submit for a second year with the Community Foundation and their Youth Grantmakers granting program.

In preparation, please see the following grant information from the Community Foundation's upcoming Youth Grantmakers Grant...

The Youth Grantmakers Program (2011): http://www.thecommunityfoundation.net/TCF_Initiative/YouthPhilanthropyInitiative.html

The upcoming grant opportunity (due February 15, 2011):

Grant guidelines: http://www.thecommunityfoundation.net/downloads/grants/2011/YGC/2011_YGC_Grant_Guidelines.doc

Grant application: http://www.thecommunityfoundation.net/downloads/grants/2011/YGC/2011_YGC_Grant_Application.doc

Last year (2010) CLP received $2225 from the Youth Grantmakers Committee. This grant is our funding resource for the CLP@NoVi and SU2I Program. A press release about this grant is available here:http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_W_wgrants15.46289c9.html

For your review and preparation for our meeting Monday, please take a look at the grant that we submitted last year: http://bit.ly/ygfund2010. At our meeting on Monday, I will show you an example of a different grant I have written that will influence how we change our approach to the 2011 grant.


Other (vaguely related) resources:

How to Write a Grant Proposal from About.com: http://nonprofit.about.com/od/foundationfundinggrants/tp/grantproposalhub.htm

From E-How: http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Grant-Proposal

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

[CLP-Interns] Reflection Entry (Jan 24, 2011)

18 January 2011

For next week's reflection (Monday, January 24 from 6:30-8:30), I would like you to watch this 19-minute TED talk on the Slow Movement.


One of the CLP Core skills is our ability "to hold process as important, if not more important, than product."

What insights do you make regarding going slowly and "quality"-- quality of life, quality of relationship, of work, etc? Consider your pace (personally, socially, academically, in CLP, etc). Why that pace? What does it mean to you? Where has it "taken" you?

Slowness | quality | process | outcome| participation | attentive | prepared | fully present

Friday, December 10, 2010

[CLP Interns] Goals and Visions for Winter 2011

Hey all!

For our last meeting of 2010, we are going to be little planning fools.

Follow this link and print out a visioning/goal-setting/planning tool format you can use to assist in this process: http://bit.ly/clpinternplanningtooldec-mar

Please come prepared on Tuesday (5PM-7PM) with your calendars and plans for programs in the next three months (or more, if you are visioning that far!)

Together we will make one main calendar to set us up for Winter quarter.

See you Tuesday!

Samantha Wilson's Coordinating Notes

This page is a continuous blog by Samantha Wilson that will serve as a space for updating the process of the Child Leader Project and the experience with international community organizing-- it'll be a space for notes, ideas, ramblings, videos and photos of the life-long process of organizing.

To comment, email samantha@childleaderproject.org