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Jun 172019
 
Stepping Stones - The Family Stories We Tell About Ourselves - Storytelling Part 3

This is the third part of a three-part series on storytelling and community organizing. I often tell people that while I grew up in poverty, I also grew up with wealth – a richness of many generations of my family history.  Unlike so many people who have had their family histories destroyed or lost through slavery, genocide or assimilation, I grew up knowing the stories of my family – 13 generations, in fact.   I didn’t realize until I was an adult how valuable – and comparatively rare – knowing this long history is.  It gave me a sense of belonging, even when, as the daughter of a farmworker, socially I was considered a “nobody.”  [Read More]

Jun 112019
 
Stepping Stones - After the KKK Attack - Storytelling Part 2

This is the second part of a three-part series on storytelling and community organizing. One of the things we work on in the storytelling workshop is how to make the first line capture the attention of the audience and the last line show the learning or moral of the story. I learned this lesson when I first started organizing.  Having been a victim of Klan violence, I left North Carolina under duress, vowing never to return until I could “fight” the Ku Klux Klan. In the next few years living in Charleston, SC, I met my teacher and mentor, Septima Clark.  In the brief time I knew her, she taught me to stand strong in the [Read More]

Jun 042019
 
Stepping Stones - Storytelling - Part 1

This is the first part of a three-part series on storytelling and community organizing. Indigenous communities have used stories for teaching and passing down information for thousands of years. Today, science is catching up and starting to understand the importance of storytelling.  Storytelling isn’t just a better way to connect with your audience:  It also improves their retention of your presentation. “The data shows that all audiences retain emotions and stories better than facts and figures.” (Source) I believe that to be a good organizer, it is important to use storytelling.  I’ve used stories to break logjams, to explain concepts that are difficult to understand and to help with fund-raising.  When I was first starting [Read More]

Feb 192019
 
A Remembrance of Connie Fitzgerald

Connie Fitzgerald, passed away peacefully at her home after a seven year battle with ovarian cancer on January 25, 2019.  She was Spirit in Action’s Operations and Finance Director for the last 10 years, working through mid-December 2018.  Connie was the backbone of Spirit in Action, the glue that made sure everything was working smoothly.  She will be so missed.  I first met Connie about 35 years ago when she was writing checks for Peace Development Fund to grantees like me at Piedmont Peace Project in North Carolina.  Eleven years later, she became my co-worker at Peace Development Fund in Massachusetts, when I went to work there in 1996.  Even then, her sweet nature was [Read More]

Apr 282018
 

Building Power to Win: Developing and Running an Empowering Voter Registration & Get Out the Vote Campaign with Linda Stout, Spirit in Action (Offered thru Peoples Hub, an online Movement Building School) May 17, Thu 1-3pm EST May 19, Sat 1-3 pm EST May 22, Tue 7-9 pm EST In this important interactive online workshop, learn ways to most effectively register and turn people out for the upcoming mid-term elections. To sign up, click here. Also, please forward to folks you think would be interested in attending. Voter Registration/Get Out the Vote is a critical tool for building power to win on issues affecting our communities. This training will teach you how to develop a [Read More]

Nov 202017
 
Spirit in Action's Fall 2017 Newsletter

Click here to read the entire Fall 2017 Newsletter Dear Friends, Do you feel like burying your head in the sand? I do! I don’t want to think about what the latest disastrous or obscene thing Trump has said or done. I don’t want to look at the destruction from hurricanes and droughts, or the lack of response of our government to Puerto Rico’s heartbreaking situation. I don’t want to look at mass gun shootings, or another innocent black man being shot down. I would love to be able to ignore the massive wild fires, horrific treatment to people of color and immigrants, and the loss of LGBTQ and women’s rights. I don’t want to [Read More]

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