Sunday, May 30, 2010

Scholarships: The charitable donation loans?

There are so many reasons why people give. They care a great deal, know a friend who is involved with the cause, are related to someone intimately affected by the issue, want to see their name listed in a annual report, are unable to offer the time to volunteer but can give dollars, etc. These, amongst others, are some of the more common reasons people make charitable contributions. At a meeting of alumni of the Humphrey Institute Policy Fellows program earlier this week, we discussed the need to continue supporting current program participants with scholarships. As the program costs rise in a challenging economy, this program's invaluable opportunity to connect with other civically-minded and emerging leaders is needed more than ever. A current Fellow in the room, who stated explicitly what I've come to feel over time, shared that he views his scholarship like a short-term loan. He was given a program waiver of $1600 and his assumption is that he will, over the next four years, give $400 per year in donations to the program. And likely, more in the future, as he continues to see the fruits of his participation in the program in his life. Do you have this same sense about some of your donations? I've felt this way about the Tri-College NEW Leadership Institute, the Emerging Leaders Network, and other powerful programs I'm grateful I have been able to take part in over the years. Are we paying back (in charitable contributions) the scholarships that were afforded us so that others are able to participate in the same educational and inspiring programming that helped to get us to where we are today? Rather than calling it paying it back, perhaps we should then refer to it as paying it forward. PARALLEL || POSTS

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

[Minnesota Rising] May 2010 Update

After an energizing meeting earlier this month, things continue to move along as Minnesota Rising works with local emerging leader organizations to collaborate and develop a collective vision for the common good of Minnesota.
  • Minnesota Emerging Leader Organizations Directory Huge thanks to Trisha Reinwald and YNPN-TC for sharing their document and to Megan Powers for her work in updating the directory to include the additional organizations we mapped earlier this month. More work is needed to figure out how best to share this information and to make it a living document, but for now, we at least have a helpful sense of the whole. For the most updated copy, email
  • Minnesota Emerging Leaders Un/Conference Please RSVP to for location details if you're interested in attending our first planning meeting, slated for one week from today on Wednesday, June 2 from 5:30PM-7:00PM. It's exciting to think of the possibilities for an event like this and we look forward to your ideas and help!
In keeping in line with our theme of collaboration, I'm adding a few links below for some of the organizational announcements I've come across lately. Feel free to share and send in some of your own to!

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Call to Action in Moving Pictures: "10 Tactics for Turning Information into Action!"

In We Make The Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change, featuring Myles Horton and Paulo Freire, Horton explains, “I decided long before that I wasn’t interested in being good. I was interested in being good for something.” In this same way, education merely for education's sake is useless. With knowledge comes the responsibility to think critically, assess, and act in the interest of the common good.

On June 10, the New Tactics in Human Rights Project and the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center will sponsor a screening of the film "10 Tactics for Turning Information into Action!" The 50 minute film, produced by Tactical Technology Collective, includes stories and interviews from more than 35 rights advocates from around the world who have successfully used information and digital technologies to create positive change; highlighting their experience, tools, and advice about the tactics they have used in a variety of contexts.
  • When: June 10, 2010 at 7:00 PM
  • Cost: FREE and open to the public
  • Where: Walter F. Mondale Hall at the University of Minnesota Law School, Room 25
    229 19th Ave S
    Minneapolis, MN 55455
Following the film, there will be a discussion on how human rights activists and organizations can incorporate these new ideas and tactics into work locally here in Minnesota. This is an excellent opportunity to acquire new tools and tactics to use in your own work, learn how others have used information and technology in their activism, and network with other rights advocates from around the Twin Cities! For more details, contact Kristin Antin at or (612) 436-4885.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What the world needs now . . .

"The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Minnesota Rising Initial Conversation Reportback and Next Steps!

One year after this blog was born and many, many years after I first considered the power of building networks early on in hopes of more effectively tackling our generation's most pressing challenges, I have an overwhelming sense that the time is now right to come together and move forward. This past Saturday's conversation was both inspiring and fruitful, and reaffirmed to me that there is much potential in the work ahead. See below for a summary of the conversation and connect in the comments if you've got suggestions or want in on what's next!
1. We engaged in discussion about the importance of developing leadership, particularly amongst the Millennial and emerging generations, in order to maintain our proud history of a thriving arts community, successful business and Fortune 500 sector, the strong civic tradition of Minnesota, and so much more.

2. Through a mapping process, we realized that the list of community groups focused on emerging leadership or young professionals is quite extensive (also attached and likely not exhaustive). From issue- and sector-specific organizations to those focused on civic engagement or politics, many may not be aware of each others' existence. Additionally, though emerging professionals just entering into the workplace might benefit from involvement in any one of these groups, there does not appear to be any coordinating conversation amongst these bodies nor a well-maintained and public directory.

3. There needs not be duplication of current efforts to engage and support the emerging professional population. There is a significant amount of meetings and programming already taking place, and that work is being done well by very smart people. Rather, Minnesota Rising is focused on identifying any gaps and whether or not there is anything our groups can do better together than we can apart.
As such, a few of the outcomes that those in attendance decided may be useful next steps in response to our discussion:
  • Development of a living public directory of emerging leader focused organizations, including contact information (To be posted on

  • Creation of a communications infrastructure or coordinating forum for young professionals organizations to share best practices, conduct collaborative work, etc. (Please save the date for Saturday, July 10 from 10:30AM-12:30PM for the next Minnesota Rising conversation on this topic)

  • Launch of an Emerging Leaders Un/Conference in Fall 2010 (Please email me if you are interested in serving on this sub-committee to plan an event to engage emerging leader focused organizations and individual members of the rising generation in Minnesota; first meeting slated for the first week of June)
All these efforts should help to support current organizations and individual emerging leaders and drive us closer to building more relationships, networks, and trust, for the purposes of a common agenda or principles about the type of Minnesota we wish to help shape and lead as our generation continues to rise.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Call for Applications: The Pew Leadership Year

Having recently played softball with the Pew Environment Group's team on the National Mall, I can tell you that these are some very cool and intelligent people - and they're fun to boot! The Pew Leadership Year sounds like an amazing opportunity to join the Pew Charitable Trust's (non-athletic) team and work towards their mission to improve public policy, inform the public, and stimulate civic life, all while developing your own leadership skills and career!
The Pew Leadership Year offers hands-on experience in public policy advocacy, research and communications to individuals who are dedicated to building a leadership career in the public or nonprofit sectors and have recently completed an undergraduate or advanced degree. The first Pew Leadership Year will begin in September 2010 and conclude in August 2011.

These year-long, paid positions – all based in our Washington, DC, office – will provide 22 exceptionally talented graduates the chance to work alongside Pew professionals, gaining valuable skills while making important contributions to our work. Pew Leadership Fellows will learn and hone essential skills that will help them thrive not only during their tenure at Pew, but in any chosen career.

Participants will work with a diverse group of Pew staff in specific departments. Through observation and involvement, each fellow will have the opportunity to work on critical issues, which may include: global conservation; U.S. land conservation; marine environmental advocacy; global warming and energy policy; federal banking regulations; financial reform; state fiscal issues; election initiatives; public safety; the healthy development of young children; and early childhood education.

Each program participant will focus on one discipline – advocacy/policy, research or communications – within one department – Pew Environment Group, Pew
Economic Policy Group
, Pew Center on the States, or Pew Health Group. While immersed in one area, participants will have ample exposure to other program areas and attend professional and leadership development seminars.

During their Pew Leadership Year, Fellows will have a wide range of responsibilities, which may include:
  • Conduct original research and writing projects.
  • Collect, compile and analyze data.
  • Provide financial assistance to advocates and other leaders to educate policy makers and the public about the benefits of various programs.
  • Become immersed in the research, planning, strategy formulation and execution of a multi-state advocacy campaign.
  • Help prepare for press and other events and attend seminars, briefings or congressional hearings.
  • Assist in efforts to educate policy makers, coordinate work with coalition partners and create fact sheets and other materials.
  • Help create effective online presentations that promote various issues and campaigns.
  • Track legislation and relevant press coverage and research public officials’ records and statements.
  • Support a broad range of advocacy activities.

The Pew Leadership Year is open to individuals graduating with a bachelor or advanced degree between December 2009 and August 2010. Individuals who studied the following areas are strongly encouraged to apply: economics, political science, environmental science, health science, communications, journalism or public policy. An applicant must have the legal right to work in the United States at the time of applying to the program.

The criteria for assessment of applicants will include:
  • Evidence of superior academic achievement.
  • Demonstrated analytical skills through academic studies and/or work experience, including an ability to synthesize large amounts of information and focus quickly on the essence of an issue.
  • A strong commitment to producing measurable results.
  • Demonstrated leadership capabilities.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including an ease in communicating complex concepts in a clear, effective manner for a general audience.
  • Demonstrated interest through academic study and/or prior full-time or part-time work experience in building a leadership career.
  • Demonstrated understanding of policy, research and organizational issues.
  • Ability to perform substantive research.
  • Results-oriented style with a focus on process and achievement.
  • Recognized ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to develop and manage productive relationships with colleagues.
Information Sessions

We invite you to learn more about The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Pew Leadership Year by attending one of our 35-minute informational webinars.
  • Wednesday, May 5, 2010 - 4:00 pm EDT
  • Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 4:00 pm EDT
  • Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 3:30 pm EDT
We are an equal opportunity employer.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day Message: When You Thought I Wasn't Looking

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking by Mary Rita Schilke Korzan When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang my first picture on the refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another one. When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I thought it was good to be kind to animals. When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me, and I knew that little things are special things. When you thought I wasn't looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I believed there was a God that I could always talk to. When you thought I wasn't looking, I felt you kiss me good night, and I felt loved. When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry. When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be. When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked....and now I want to say thanks for all the things I saw, when you thought I wasn't looking.
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