With the Climate Strike that happened - September 20 - the world saw the rise of many amazing young leaders. Most notably is youth activist Greta Thunberg, who recently sailed from Europe to the United States in order to protest climate change at the White House while avoiding the high-carbon impact of flying. In the Twin Cities we have Juwaria Jama, Isra Hirsi and Priya Dalal - young women still in high school, organizing the MN youth climate strike.
It amazes me that despite being a climate activist in my young twenties, I find myself looking to people younger than me for strength and inspiration in the movement. We may be on the verge of auspicious, large-scale change.Read more
Unless you are my grandma, I am probably not going to listen to your voicemail. Voicemails are clunky and awkward- I find it easier to just follow up. But recently, I listened to a voicemail I want to share with you all:
“We understand that this pre-employment assessment does not account for nonbinary individuals, such as yourself, and apologize that you will be misgendered throughout the timed exam. We have called the creators of the assessment and raised our concerns. They have assured us that they will continue to work on this problem. You have the option to forego the assessment if you wish. Please give me a call back to discuss how you would like to proceed.”Read more
Take a look at the image below.
What did you see? Where did your eyes go first? Chances are you saw an incomplete circle and your eyes first went to the gap in the circle. More importantly, I'm sure you had an urge to complete the circle.
It’s not by accident that we tend to hone in on what’s missing or what’s wrong with something. From a young age, we have been conditioned to overlook what is right and instead spend an inordinate time fixing our shortcomings.Read more
I sat at my desk, door closed, pencil sharpened, a thick ream of financial statements stacked in front of my computer monitor.
I turned over the cover of the first packet and the tiny lines of the spreadsheet printout wriggled tauntingly at me. I sighed, placed my pencil under the first line, and typed: “what is a balance sheet” into Google.
How did I get here?Read more
How effective do you feel in your ability to challenge the power structure? Where do you start? How confident do you feel in characterizing it?
We in the nonprofit sector are some of the most familiar with the consequences stemming from society’s balance of power. We hear the stories of communities most affected, we see the downstream effects of decisions made from remote places. If we are to advance social, racial and economic justice, we need to understand, recognize, and wield the power we have more effectively in our work.
P.S. I don’t have all the answers. But I believe in the premise that everyone can be powerful.Read more
I have a confession to make; I no longer work in the nonprofit sector in Minnesota, nor do I live in the state. I recently made the big decision to pursue graduate school in order to further my own passions and learning. While I am enjoying this new and challenging journey, I still find myself deeply connected to the nonprofit sector, a place where I spent the majority of my 20’s working, learning, and growing.Read more
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is big and complex. There are myriad of assessments, trainings, and articles about it--and I encourage everyone to explore the resources out there. However, it can feel impossible to know where to start. Unfortunately, there’s no panacea. It takes a lot of hard work and interrogation of an organization’s history, present situation, and the individuals within it to start making change.Read more
Would you rather travel to the ocean floor or outer space? Which type of weather best represents your personality? What fictional character would you most like to go on vacation with?
These might not seem like typical opening questions of a weekly staff meeting, but for my colleagues and I, it’s habit. Every Friday when we gather to reflect on the past week and prep for the one ahead, we begin with a few minutes of creative writing.Read more
There are plenty of articles and papers that lament the lack of diversity in the nonprofit sector, especially within leadership or board positions. While I agree that these are pertinent issues that need to be rectified, I also believe that each one of us has power in the spaces we occupy.
Sometimes we don’t need to wait for someone to make space for us at their table, because we have the power to make space for others at our table. As young professionals, it can be easy to think from a scarcity mindset and to be focused on our development. However, my mentors have both taught and demonstrated the power of paying it forward.Read more