March 2021: Building Community

In our last few meetings, we’ve been focusing on building community amongst each other and exploring the BIPoC Demands.

Community Building: The facilitation team has observed the need to give committee members (and our facilitation team) more intentional time to form/reform relationships with each other. Knowing each other and cultivating trust make it way more possible to have open and honest conversations about what we want and addressing tensions that arise as we co-design solutions. Garza, co-director of the Haus of Glitter, co-director of TAPA Dance Company and one of our celebrated AS220 RJI Facilitators, did a wonderful job leading the facilitators and committee members through an exercise to help us dig deeper into the most precious pieces of our identities and to practice vulnerability by sharing them with the group. Together we developed and answered questions such as “who do you love? When do you feel alive? What practices do you tap into when you recenter?” and others.

Demands: Two weeks ago, we engaged in collective remember/storytelling in an attempt to bring ourselves and newer folx into how the BIPoC Demands were created, what that felt like and what our hopes were at the time. Then, in small groups /committees, we used one of Garza’s virtual tools to unpack a demand of our choice with a focus on expressing how we have been practicing these demands personally, interpersonally and institutionally. Next week, the facilitators will be developing activities to engage all three committees in a conversation about “strategic intentions”. We will be using adrienne maree brown’s exploration about this topic as a guiding voice as we create the path forward. We will also be remixing our timeline to fit the real life pace of our trust building. 

Emergent Strategy (ES) Workshops 

ES workshops during weekly staff meetings have been going really well, although we’ve been feeling the tension of “not enough time for all the things”. Since January, we’ve spent every staff meeting diving into ES, which has been great and this structure has also left staff craving more time to engage with “on the ground” issues or just generally catching up about what’s new with other AS220 programs. As a staff, we have since voted to schedule ES workshops biweekly, and use the alternating weeks to dive into AS220 programmatic / operational matters. In terms of ES content, we are focusing on intentional adaptation, with a focus on trying to understand how we can better set ourselves up to “intentionally adapt” VS “omg react” to big change.

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