One of my favorite things was the World Café, where we tackled racism in Cleveland and how to solve it, in one hour. What amazed me, was that this group of hundreds of people came together with hundreds of ideas, distilled into a few key areas and solutions for ways to solve the problems, in one hour through working together.
It reminded me of a few overarching things I have seen working with countless nonprofits over a couple decades:
- Status Quo means… we should probably change that. To me, the definition of Status Quo is, n. Latin: “We should probably change that.” The fact that something “has always been done this way” should really be a red flag.
- We’re not fighting for a piece of the pie – we’re making the pie bigger. We’re all working together, because the world is digital and everywhere, all the time, to make the whole pie bigger. The pie is expanding with every smartphone. Collaborate. No need to be divisive. We’re all on the same team. And resources are not scarce. Money follows good ideas.
- Self-awareness and openness is key to understanding, and tackling, racism, and other issues. We all have biases. We usually have no idea we do until we talk with people we don’t normally talk to, and that is normal. We don’t know what we don’t know. How and where we were raised influences us more than we might know. Only exploring and interrupting our little bubbles creates true opportunities to really learn about people different from ourselves. (Side note – traveling is one of my favorite things, for this very reason.)
The YWCA event was full of fascinating people with incredible ideas. It made me happy to be a Clevelander again after 16 years in Los Angeles, and made me excited to be part of everything happening in Cleveland right now.
What do you think we can do to make Cleveland more inclusive?
Please make sure to connect with me on Twitter @CharityIdeas, and also wherever you are on social media – I’m CharityIdeas (or Amy Neumann) everywhere. I would love to hear your thoughts!