As a white Minnesotan and American, I feel I must acknowledge this blog is being published shortly after eight women, six of whom were Asian, were murdered in a mass shooting in Georgia (if you haven’t already read it, the YNPN-TC statement is available here). Rather than thinking of this as an isolated tragic incident, we must recognize what UMN Professor Erika Lee testified to Congress on Friday: “...unfortunately, [anti-Asian discrimination and racial violence] is very American.”
White Americans have stood by and benefited as Anti-Asian and xenophobic rhetoric have been strategically weaponized throughout our nation’s history. To support and stand with Asian communities now, we must feel an individual and collective responsibility to vocally reject and condemn anti-Asian racism, to intervene in and report any instances of xenophobia and racism we witness, and join with others to change the white supremacist culture and institutions that allow this hatred and violence to continue. Only then could we hope to declare violence against Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders “un-American”.
As I discussed in my earlier blog, I chose to do my final research for my strategic communication masters on the need for ethical/equitable storytelling practices for communicators due to questions that have come up during my career about the power and responsibility I hold as a nonprofit communicator. When I’ve talked to other communicators, I found others who (like me) have an uneasy feeling about the way our sector takes an individual’s words and story, repackages it, and then uses it as a story of our organization’s success. However, as I’ve had these conversations, I have found that many of these individuals are no more certain than me about what to do about this. How can we create the types of short and tight stories and messages we need in today’s fast-past social media world while also sharing everything an individual wants in a story? Additionally, even if we are convinced, how can we get buy-in from our supervisors and organizations?Read more
Content Warning: Readers should be aware that this blog includes references to the topic of sex trafficking. Alternately, you can review Alyssa Scott’s earlier YNPN-TC blog on responsible storytelling or the resources listed at the end of this blog.
Communicators have the honor to interview and share the stories of people around us—both those who have lives like our own and, when appropriate, those with experiences that are far different. When sharing stories based on the words and life experiences of another person, we should feel two responsibilities.Read more
NOTE: This blog is an expansion of a speech I gave at “5 Minutes in Hell,” YNPN-TC’s annual event for people who want to practice public speaking (my slides are available on Google Drive and a video of the full speech is at the bottom of this post or on YouTube). For those considering submitting a speaking proposal in future years, I highly recommend it! You won’t find a more supportive practice venue.
There is no one answer to what a communications job looks like, especially when it comes to nonprofits. While large organizations can have entire teams where each person has their own subject area or expertise, small nonprofit organizations often have only one staffer (or part of one) who is responsible for getting the word out about everything the organization does.
Communicators have all kinds of duties: writing, social media, websites, emails, graphic design, media outreach, among other things. For some organizations, the communications staff is also responsible for development and fundraising, while others house these duties in separate departments.
At our core, however, all communications professionals have the same goals: We want to make sure the people who need our organization’s information get it in ways they understand, and we want to make sure our organization looks good.
These goals can mean that communications professionals care about strange things like fonts and colors and images, and we sometimes say certain words should or should not be used.
In this blog, I am sharing some of the largest “pet peeves” communications professionals have in the hopes that non-communicators can learn and work more effectively with their communications staff, and we can eliminate the communications-programs-development divide.Read more
Author’s Note: I want to be clear that nothing in this blog is meant to imply that anyone (liberal or conservative) should feel forced to participate in the conversations that I propose here. It is up to each person and organization to decide if these types of conversations are appropriate for their cause, and they should consider what they will do to create an expectation of respect for and from all participants. This decision should be made only after organizations have conversations with their members and/or those in the communities they serve.
I recently watched President Barack Obama's panel with young leaders in Chicago. It was a 90-minute discussion with a tone of hope that has been missing from the news lately (if you haven't, watch it now).
When I said in 2004 that there were no red states or blue states, they're the United States of America, that was an aspirational comment. But I think it's ― and it's one thing... that I still believe [you see] when you talk to individuals one-on-one — there's a lot more that people have in common than divides them.
I, feeling inspired, volunteered to write my first YNPN-TC blog on an issue I've been thinking about a lot since the election: the need for people of different political ideologies to talk with each other and the role that nonprofits can play in purposely making spaces for these conversations. I was pretty nervous to write it given today’s heated political climate, but I strongly feel we must find ways to get out of "own little bubbles" and create meaningful dialogues through which we can recognize that the "other side" is human and not, just, a faceless enemy.Read more
Have you always wanted to write a blog but didn't know where it could be published? If so, you should sign up to be an YNPN-TC blog writer!
We hear all the time from people across the country (and even people across the world!) that love the YNPN-TC blog, so this is a great opportunity to get your name and ideas in front of a whole variety nonprofit professionals.Read more
We hear all the time from people across the country that love the YNPN-TC blog, so this is a great opportunity to get your name and ideas in front of a whole variety of people.
Still undecided? Here are answers to some of the questions we most often get:Read more
Strawberry? Vanilla? Mint chocolate chip? No matter your favorite ice cream flavor, we know you'll like this month's Scoop!Read more
Playing Jenga … drawing birds … writing song lyrics with your non-dominant hand … defending an unpopular viewpoint … what do they have in common? They are all activities from the “Fail Lab” that happened during Taking the Alternative Route: The Upside to an Unexpected Journey, YNPN-TC’s June event.
In addition to some light-hearted failing, the event featured a conversation between Diane Tran (Founder of Minnesota Rising, Damon Runnals (Executive Director of the Southern Theater), and Pa Thao (the panel moderator and Assistant to the President and CEO of the Northern Achievement Zone).
Some of the best quotes from the night (in no particular order):Read more