"Sometimes you wanna go
Where everybody knows your name
And they're always glad you came
You wanna be where you can see (ah-ah)
Our troubles are all the same (ah-ah)
You wanna be where everybody knows your name"
A few years ago I worked for a political campaign. At a team meeting about neighborhood canvassing, there was a discussion on what dates and locations to visit. One of the members told me that I cannot go to a few towns because my skin color would hurt the candidate in the polls. Also, my safety was a concern. It set me back for a millisecond and reminded me that not everyone was as progressive as the candidate. It was more shocking that the person that said it to me was a young male in his 20s.
We made it through the first nine weeks!
I had to adjust a few areas in our life with the kids at home when I am working remotely.
Here are my top 3 tips for those whose coworkers are their children who work in different departments.
The image with this post is from 2017. It's written by a guy from Omaha, Nebraska, that I met in Chicago, Illinois, at a Rotary Zone Leadership Development Summit. I love that this popped up in my timeline today because all of the conversations that are about companies and organizations looking to build diversity, inclusion, and equity committees
We did it — four events in one weekend! It was a challenge but we organized four Community Heart & Soul picnics in local parks throughout Ambridge. We followed CDC recommended guidelines which allowed residents to have a low-pressure experience meeting our leadership team and learning about how Ambridge Heart & Soul will become the basis for building our community’s shared values and unique action plan.
I can honestly say, I love where we are at in this journey. Community Heart & Soul is about storytelling and how it can help communities build brighter futures together. The goal is to involve as many residents as possible, including those who are underrepresented and have not typically had a voice in their community’s planning processes.
During our picnics, residents were welcomed and encouraged to visit five stations to help set the stage for meaningful and transformative action plans. "
Ambridge Community Heart & Soul solicited feedback from residents at community picnics. Photo credit: Rustbelt Mayberry Photography / Ambridge Heart & Soul.
Each station had a different experience:
AMBRIDGE HEART & SOUL FOLLOWED CDC GUIDELINES FOR SAFETY AT THEIR SUMMER PICNIC EVENTS. PHOTO CREDIT: RUSTBELT MAYBERRY PHOTOGRAPHY / AMBRIDGE HEART & SOUL
It will be an uphill battle to earn people’s trust in a town where it wasn’t always easy to be heard. Fortunately, there is training and support from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and the folks at Community Heart & Soul that will help everyone join together and collectively make a lasting impact.
This is not new terrain for me as a longtime advocate for civic engagement in Ambridge. The Community Heart & Soul program builds on my own work of making meaningful change through conversations and storytelling.
We are on our way to greater inclusivity and shared decision-making with these recent picnics, which engaged those missing voices and helped us learn more about what is important to our community. The next step is identifying shared values, called Heart & Soul Statements.
We are setting the stage for meaningful and transformative plans for action!
RESIDENTS WROTE THEIR HOPES FOR THE TOWN ON CHALKBOARDS AT THE AMBRIDGE HEART & SOUL PICNICS. PHOTO CREDIT: RUSTBELT MAYBERRY PHOTOGRAPHY / AMBRIDGE HEART & SOUL
I can already envision us doing the strategic group events — that we have yet to plan but will be coming in the future — because we laid the foundation and started the conversation. I see our Community Heart & Soul events allowing safe discussions where residents want to connect, converse, and answer real questions about their community in places like the library, parks, and more.
Resident-driven starts with residents seeing themselves in positions to be heard!
Kudos to our team for being exactly what this community needs to make Ambridge what we all know it can be! Relish the process because we will see results in each event moving forward.
You never know when someone calls you for an interview how the finish product will turn out. I worked tirelessly to help change the conversation in my area by promoting civic engagement. At no point was I looking to be a voice for the community, my goal was to be an avenue and lighthouse.
Before the name 'Karen' became a social norm for a person who felt that their belief of entitlement trumped my personal boundaries and basic human decency and respect, I was used to it. It never stopped me because I moved forward in life with the unwritten understanding that I have to be emotionally stronger, educated, focused, healthy, and in sync with my morals and purpose.
EVERY TIME I hear this song I cry and smile; Now to finally see the video to it- LOVE