Blog

August Design Call

Participants
Alison
Catherine
Jodie
Julia
Sharmin
Eveline
Jill
May
Natalia
Lauren
Pendarvis
Miya
  • We’re deciding on a new name for Wye River!
  • We are aligned on trying to change the system. We know the tensions about how to work with a specific constituency, and we know how it’s all connected. We are practicing how to be specific and focused on intersectionality and relationality and create structural change. We’ve had strategic questions around “centering marginalized communities”, and how that conversation connected to relationality. We are looking for the places for collaboration.
  • We are focusing on the practice element: how can we be doing more than talking? We are building up a library of things we’ve tried as individual orgs and strategic questions through experiments. Many of these experiments are focused on base building and organizing.

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August Experiments Call

Participants
Natalia
Alison
Julia
Miya
May
Pendarvis
Sharmin
Jill
Eveline
Jodie
Mehrdad
Kalpana
  • December’s Northstar Network meeting in the Bay Area from December 10-12.
  • By Feb 2018, we will have a year of experiments under our belt. STP team will be doing synthesis on the North Star and bringing the new folks’ lens into it.
  • Group Breakouts: We Didn’t Start the Fire I, We Didn’t Start the Fire II, 350.org, Forward Together’s The A Word, and Jobs with Justice West Virginia Experiment.

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July Design Call

Participants
Sarita
Judith
Alison
Catherine
Patrick
Jodie
  • June 2018 video: A Network Conversation on Relationality is live!
  • We reviewed the meaning of the Structural Threats question: How might we engage in the next series of global crisis that will keep us on our path to long term power?
  • We brainstormed ways of how we’re going to do the work. How do we address structural threats in a way that elicits something different and creates a basis for experimentation?
  • There are places in the movement where visionary organizing is happening: anti militarism, interfaith organizing, regional networks forming around immigration and labor, economic justice organizations, and state power caucuses. How do we want to connect?

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July Experiments Call

Participants
Mehrdad
Patrick
Natalia
Kalpana
Eveline
Sarita
Smiley
Judith
Jill
Alison
Miya

350.org did an Emergent Learning map asking: How might we influence youth planning and creation of work to center equity within it? Natalia and Patrick hypothesized: their youth programing could be more intersectional by centering people of color, and focusing on climate driven destruction and disaster capitalism impacts like Puerto Rico. Natalia and Patrick also practiced Walking the Talk to practice deep equity, see it here!

In efforts to create Spaciousness, every Monday, People’s Action had no standing calls scheduled. The space in people’s schedule allowed time for strategic thinking. After experimenting with a Slack channel to share ‘Big Picture Reflection,’ staff at People’s Action were happy with the model and like any new practice, will need to be rebooted and re-tuned. You can find out how to practice Spaciousness here.

In Courageous Practice, Kalpana and Eveline’s Grown Ass Wolves Experiment had so many learnings:

  • Non violent communication is a powerful tool.
  • Leaders need more time with one another. They adjusted time with directors – increasing our frequency of meeting to biweekly – so that we have more contact with one another. It’s hard to maintain.
  • Directors needed a reminder to include “internal work” as the real work. The idea to reserve 30% for internal work was an eye-opener for many of them.

Learn more about their experiment here.

Forward Together is talking about The A Word, leading an urgent campaign around abortion access in communities of color, and experimented with a few canvassing techniques with interactive ideas.

This month, Jobs with Justice examined how their membership relates to coalition work. Their experiment had some important findings: membership seems like an extra labor intensive burden, but the place that people get energy. Intentionally building a membership model has helped with campaigns for them, and they learned that coalitions don’t have appetite to hold membership base. See more on the Membership Lab experiment here.

Sarita, Judith and Jill are experimenting on the ways we do political education with the We Didn’t Start the Fire II Experiment. They are assessing political education models, and asking: How might we evolve the way we do political education to prepare for transitions?

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A Network Conversation on Relationality (Recap of the June 2018 meeting)


This video recaps one of the many conversations that took place at the Wye River meeting at the Airlie Conference Center in Virginia on June 4th and 5th, 2018. This portion of the meeting hinged on the concept of what was originally referred to as marginalized communities, but as the dialog evolved, we soon to came to realize the term didn’t specify the targeted demographic. Instead, the terms “most impacted” or “closest to the problem/ solution” became the words of choice. This is how the group got to that point.

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