Laura Abellera: Organizer Spotlight

This week's organizer spotlight features Laura Abellera, an organizer with Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT): Photo Credit: Blessing Opeyemi Photography 1) What have you learned from “falling off the bike” as a leader? It's important for organizers (especially youth organizers) to know that working in the realm of social justice requires constant learning, growth, humility, and resilience. Unsurprisingly, I have learned SO much from the young people that I get to share space with and they are my motivator to keep challenging myself to be a better human being. I think the biggest thing I've learned is to challenge [...]

2021-05-05T10:04:41-05:00April 28th, 2021|Organizer Spotlights|

Lisa Jones: Organizer Spotlight

This week's organizer spotlight features Lisa Jones, the lead organizer with Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH): 1) What did you learn from the challenges of being an organizer in 2020? I would have never thought organizing could be done by distance but, in some circles, it can be done. For those of us with computers and access to the internet, it was not difficult to make the shift to virtual. In this virtual organizing environment, it was clear that having technology is a barrier and makes it difficult in organizing those most impacted by systemic racism. 2) What [...]

2021-04-13T09:41:54-05:00April 13th, 2021|Organizer Spotlights|

Anna Dvorak: Organizer Spotlight

This week's organizer spotlight features Anna Dvorak, a labor and political organizer: 1) What did you learn from the challenges of being an organizer in 2020? While we've experienced so much trauma and loss over the past year, I've learned the importance of giving myself grace and have tried to re-focus my mind towards gratitude as often as I can. I'm extremely grateful for all of the new connections I've made, the mutual aid programs I've been a part of and the new hobbies I've been able to take up during the past year. 2) What sustains you? Where do [...]

2021-03-17T09:27:08-05:00March 17th, 2021|Organizer Spotlights|

Tony Brown: Organizer Spotlight

This week's organizer spotlight features Tony Brown, an Indigenous voting advocate with the Menīkānaehkem-Menominee Rebuilders: 1) What did you learn from the challenges of being an organizer in 2020? Organizing can be done online doing it for all people. Clean water is essential for life. Working through the road blocks was tiring at first until I realized the other side was having the same issue. 2) What sustains you? Where do you get the energy to keep going with the work? Sustainability for me is fed by my love of my tribe and my people. The thing about sustainability is [...]

2021-03-03T08:52:32-06:00March 3rd, 2021|Organizer Spotlights|

Michael Greif: Organizer Spotlight

This week's organizer spotlight features Michael Greif of the Leave-It-In-The-Ground Initiative, Sunrise Movement (Appleton Hub), Citizens' Climate Lobby (Appleton/Fox Cities Chapter), and Fox Valley Young Democrats. 1) What did you learn from the challenges of being an organizer in 2020? There is a story about Cesar Chavez saying that organizing is talking to one person, then another, then another. I don't think being in the virtual space has changed that. Making sure that people feel connected and feel a part of something bigger than themselves remains the key. The volunteer engagement in the 2020 election was beyond anything that long-time [...]

2021-02-23T10:14:01-06:00February 19th, 2021|Organizer Spotlights|

Chris Hambuch-Boyle: Organizer Spotlight

This week's organizer spotlight features Chris Hambuch-Boyle of the Wisconsin Public Education Network (WPEN): 1) What did you learn from the challenges of being an organizer in 2020? It was a year of connecting to a growing team of organizers at WPEN, who remain committed to ensuring that all children and staff in Wisconsin Public Schools get what they need to thrive. We engaged with all candidates running for the legislature in Northwest WI, asking questions about their commitment and policy asks for public schools. Sharing this information with their constituents helps educate all on the complexities and long term [...]

2021-02-11T11:09:11-06:00February 8th, 2021|Organizer Spotlights|

David Carlson: Organizer Spotlight

This week's organizer spotlight features David Carlson of the ACLU of Wisconsin's Campaign for Smart Justice: 1) What did you learn from the challenges of being an organizer in 2020? Construct a strategy, revise as you go, but stick to your plan. 2020 presented a barrage of issues, that if we had tried to tackle them all, we would have accomplished nothing. We remained focused, and came out of the year with some tangible victories that we are currently building upon! 2) What sustains you? Where do you get the energy to keep going with the work? What sustains me [...]

2021-01-28T08:39:30-06:00January 28th, 2021|Organizer Spotlights|

Carlene Bechen: Organizer Spotlight

This week's organizer spotlight features Carlene Bechen of the Wisconsin Fair Maps Coalition: 1) What have you learned from organizing "fails?" Over the course of my varied career, I've made more mistakes than I can count. I don’t consider them "fails," though, because each one has enlightened my next steps and influenced my path. Perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned is to communicate as fully and honestly as possible with the people I am working alongside, and to seek their input and ideas regarding the best path to follow. Withholding information creates power dynamics that impact trust and disempower [...]

2020-10-26T14:46:31-05:00October 28th, 2020|Organizer Spotlights|

Valeria Cerda: Organizer Spotlight

This week's organizer spotlight features Valeria Cerda, Civic Engagement Director at Wisconsin Voices: 1) What have you learned from organizing "fails?" I remember when I was a fairly new organizer and having trouble setting boundaries between work and my personal life. The result was not "producing enough" at work. Now looking back, I realize how I was not able to offer myself any grace and how I was conditioned to think that my value is tied to how much I can produce—which is not true. I had really low self-esteem as a person and organizer, and didn't have the wisdom [...]

2020-10-21T09:27:26-05:00October 20th, 2020|Organizer Spotlights|

Melissa Winker & Tom Palzewicz: Organizer Spotlight

This week's organizer spotlight features Melissa Winker (candidate for State Assembly District 38) and Tom Palzewicz (candidate for the 5th Congressional District): 1) What have you learned from organizing "fails?" Melissa: Being a candidate requires an enormous personal commitment of time and self-reflection. I have an amazing campaign cabinet, and my leadership “fail” surfaced earlier this year, when it was brought to my attention that I was not living up to the standard of appreciating the needs of others. We held a special check-in to revisit expectations and emerged with fresh commitments to the hard work ahead. I learned again [...]

2020-10-13T18:52:05-05:00October 14th, 2020|Organizer Spotlights|
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