Since August, I have learned a lot. So, I compiled a list of 10 learning experiences of this year:
1, analyzing organizations in-depth: the policys, the programs, the collaboration, the impact on the community all work together to give me a clear(er) picture of how these institutions work. Sometimes a CBO’s mission is muddy, and their capacity stunted. Through the work they do, their purpose is known, but that doesn’t dictate that they are doing it in the most efficient or proffecient way;
2, many organizations don’t measure the impact of their programs, like they should in order to evaluate the effectiveness, and adapt as necessary. What might be the only thing noticed is that there is a difference being made, however this should not be accepted as ‘good enough’ for true advocates;
3, plans for programs may be proposed one way but may actually follow through another way due to road blocks or newly discovered ‘better ways’;
4, the work being done requires compassion and courage, heart AND brains, and most importantly accountability, which requires that people have an understanding of the partnerships they create;
5, a common element are the people’s character who work inside these organizations. The values, or standards they hold dear are so important to the integrity of the organization, as well as its vision.
6, change is a resistant beast. Change itself doesn’t want to change. What I mean by that is in order to make a positive change, many times, you have to challenge the leviathan, the institutions, the hegemony, the culture, which requires educating and empowering, aka a lot of work;
7, harness your inner evangelist;
8, let’s have lunch;
9, I <3 this town;
and lastly, but not leastly,
10, the scariest part of this whole process is the unknowing of where funding will come from and to trust that the mission is and will be supported to sustain the organization as long as the problem still exists.