Three Center for Global Policy Solutions Public Voices Greenhouse Participants share their takes on connection.
As a policy specialist, I usually think that my brain is straight and narrow. The second convening of Public Voices Greenhouse helped me tap into creativity that I didn’t know I had. One of our exercises was to take a news hook out of a box and tie it to a piece we had in mind. Mine was an ad for the HurryCane, “the world’s biggest coupon for the Internet’s biggest selling cane.” First, I thought it was a joke. Then my brain froze. Then I let myself open up and started to play with the headline. The result was how we really needed the world’s biggest coupon for our democracy and a call for campaign finance reform. It was so great to hear how my other colleagues used their creativity, too. Thank you, Deb and Michele!
J. Mijin Cha is Associate Director of PolicyLink.
Let’s face it. Connection is a powerful word, but it’s just not that sexy. Not when we live in a world where individuality increasingly reigns supreme and it’s always “I”, “me”, and not “we.” Given those dynamics, who could blame any one of us for glossing over the word’s significance and believing that good ideas are somehow singularly created in a vacuum of isolation? That was my mindset. But this week’s Greenhouse session changed it. Like a much needed reality check, Michele, Deborah, and my fellowship colleagues reminded me of the importance of connection and the true power of not only seeing– but seeking– the relationships between people and ideas. I finally feel connected again and, for that, I will forever be grateful. For me, knowing that you don’t stand alone is empowering.
Mitria Wilson is the Director of Legislative and Policy Advocacy at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.
At the convening last week we wrote our “hunches,” sought input, and fleshed them out into pieces. We left armed with the tools to produce writing that not only speaks in needed voices, but writing that is enriched by the input of a network of talented and thoughtful peers of color. The point: Just write already! With each session, Michele and Deb help to chip away at the fears that cause those of us who think we have something to say, but doubt that anyone wants to hear it, to silence ourselves. So here’s to banishing fear and to speaking truth to power.
Chanelle Hardy is Senior Vice President for Policy at National Urban League and executive director of the National Urban League Washington, DC bureau.