Thursday, January 17, 2013

Heading to a new address, for now

Hi lovelies!

I've been taking a break from the Wonderland to create a related blog with a slightly different intention.

Take a look at when you get the chance.  I hope you like it!

Ciao y'all,

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Granting Back: Reflections on how CIN and I Get Down

So, people!

Yogi Dada and I celebrating a new found sisterhood at the CIN conference in Birmingham. 
she makes really dope earrings.  find her on facebook.

It's year-end, and while I'll cherish lots of great memories from 2012, I can't WAIT for 2013.  Who knows what lies ahead, but a whole new calendar means celebrating and sharing ideas, practices, theories, and mindsets all over again, but in a bigger, better, and brighter way than we ever knew before. 

I'm especially thrilled about reconnecting with my CIN fam for our annual in-person board retreat in Denver this coming February, and then catching up with the whole of CIN's membership for the annual conference (also in Denver) in October (have you looked at flights?  check out Kayak for low rates!).  

Most of my posts include some kind of list - it's how I think, man! - and this piece will include one, too.   I'm so grateful to know CIN, and I've learned so much since I've been working with the staff and board of this awesome Network of colleagues, nurturers, teachers, community warriors, students, and friends.

I thought it could be a testimony to share some of what I've learned, and I'd love to collect your thoughts on how CIN has upgraded your life, too!

Some great new practices I've scooped up from CIN: 
  1. Support what you love with your heart first, then your wallet.  It's funny - when I was living in NYC, I bought memberships to about 5 different museums, but I didn't love them.  I'm truly in love with the Network and all that it advances.  When you love something like this impact-bearing work, you let it in your life and it becomes a part of you - makes your life richer than anyone's business!
  2. Let your Creativity serve others.  This was a helicopter year for fellow Board Member, Valaida Fulwood, who authored Giving Back, "a 400-page hardcover book profiling of stories of philanthropy among African Americans that was developed with photographer Charles Thomas. Giving Back, her first book, was named one of the 10 Best Black Books of 2011 and received the prestigious 2012 McAdam Book Award, which recognizes "the most inspirational and useful new book for the nonprofit sector."  Check out the accolades on, but pay full price, please.  Check out Valaida's background here.  Creative women (and gents) of the world, you rock!
  3. Collaborate with somebody on something.  I had the chance to co-orchestrate some social media projects for the conference with the fabulous Social Media Squad, and it was such an awesome way to work with folks around the country to figure out how to document and share learnings from the conference. When you pull together diverse talents, folks naturally start teaching each other...from Tweet-Ups to webinars to guest blog posts, we were in it to win it - and we did!
  4. Join and build an organization.  We don't know what lies ahead for the way that CIN will grow and expand, but it's just awesomeness to be a part of the thinking and planning.  The energy is contagious in a major way.  I'm just happy to be on this ship!
  5. Meet and celebrate like-minded folks.  In the past year, I've met and bonded with so many CIN members, supporters, and friends, and it's enriched my life in such a special way.  From all the crew of the Birmingham Change Fund  to members of the Heritage Quilters in North Carolina, to my DC homegirl Tracey Webb and team at Black Benefactors,  meeting like-minded and like-spirited creative souls rocks my world in a major way.
So, in short, CIN is something that my heart beats for, and I can't wait to do it all again in 2013.

Any thoughts on how CIN has shifted your focus, practices, or perspective?  Would love to hear from ya!

Ciao y'all,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rebirth of Slick.....(it's about time!)

So, people!

I've been sleeping for like a year. 

Most of you know that I've had two major losses - my Mom went on to be a soldier of a Higher Rank in Jesus' Kingdom last year, and my Grandma went on as Security Detail in September of this year.  Gosh, I miss them!!!  I search every day for their presence around me...every once and a while, they'll remind me that they're near.

I had an AWFUL day yesterday - deplete of creativity, love, attention, wonder, and curiosity.  I didn't see these blessings around me, but I prayed that I'd be full of all these today....and boy did God deliver!

I've been trying to build a life in Winston-Salem, NC since September, and it's been a bit tough.  It was hard to find all the hot-spots, cool wine bars, sexy cafes, and the socialites that fill them. 

It hit me on Thanksgiving when my sista-girl, Gabrielle came to town.  I've had it all backwards.  God should've really been first on my list of priorities.  I'd visited different churches in my new city, but I didn't go to church.  I prayed everynight, but I wasn't talking to my Heavenly Father. 

I changed my route (and 'tude) not too long ago, and all kinds of joy has come into my world! I've been hit with all sorts of inspiration lately, and I just wanted to share a few thoughts in case you're facing some trials of your own.......

1.  Pray honestly and boldly.  And faithfully.

2.  Be honest about what you've been through - when you're ready.  Your testimony will give someone else faith (shout out to Yogi Dada!)

3.  Surround yourself with people who know what to do.  Angela, who put a roof over my head /Jami, who planned a weekend getaway the anniversary of Mom's passing / Gab, who planned a trip to see me on Thanksgiving / Missy, who mapped out all of my Christmas  

4.  Find a church that you really like.  Winston Salem First has seen a lot of Allyson Reaves lately. 

5.  Reach out to someone else who may be going through the same thing to help them through it.  This one, I haven't quite mastered yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Ciao, y'all!
ps - A very humble and sincere prayer for the families in CT.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Flower Bloom Soon Comin'

February 21, 2012

Hey Fam,

It's been more than just a minute, but I'm collecting lots of great things to share soon.  I took a break from life after my last post in June. 

Last summer, I lost my best friend, spiritual prayer warrior, life cheer leader, and Mother.  God called her Home, and I've spent some time figuring out how to navigate life after.

I'm back in the US, new job, new city, new energy....same hair:)

Will be back soon.

Ciao y'all!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When the tax man cometh, what are you gonna tell him about your charitable deductions?

Throughout the development of US civil society (and credibly, the non-profit sector), citizens have had the unique privilege to decisively care for, protect, and preserve the institutions that have enabled the growth of American society, and the charitable tax deduction has been a significant part of this social exchange.

The non-profit community consists of hospitals, universities, libraries, museums and theatres, civil rights organizations, community development organizations, and a myriad of other social assistance providers. Creating this protective layer within our society has enabled this country to supplement government services in a way that is unmatched in other nations, and charitable contributions have been an essential part of building such a strong sector.

The Revenue Tax Act of 1917 ensured that Americans would be able to receive attractive tax benefits as a result of offering contributions to government recognized charities. While this model has been replicated in different corners of the world, the early century timing of this legislation enabled the non-profit sector in the United States to grow during times of both economic growth and hardship, political celebration and uncertainty, military peace and warfare, and both decline and regrowth in the private sector, as we are now observing.

In every aspect of preserving the values and advantages of civil society, our national history points us to the time during which leaders encouraged citizens to create organizations (and provide resources that support them) so that we may enjoy healthy communities and the standards of an excellent quality of life. Supporting non-profit organizations was not simply an act of generosity and benevolence. Instead, it marked a time when strengthening the voluntary sector was a privilege of those who were able to do so – and more importantly, it was a responsibility.

As shareholders guide the success of corporations in the private sector and elected officials direct growth in the government sector, the onus is on us, the general public, to drive progress in the Third Sector – the voluntary world of non-profit organizations. While volunteering, donating, and serving on the boards of non-profit organizations are certainly the most well-known ways to strengthen the sector, there is also the opportunity to partner with policy thinkers to think though how we can ensure the continuity and expansion of legislation that protects the sector and the key component that sustains it - the charitable deduction.

Conversations are currently underway in Congress about how laws regarding charitable tax deductions may be altered, which would severely impact the system of 1.6 million public charities, private foundations, and religious congregations governed by current legislation.

Here are a few ways that you can be an active participant towards ensuring that these conversations work towards a most beneficial end for the Third Sector:

1. Stay informed – Organizations like Independent Sector have a strong grasp on the conversations that shape policy related to the non-profit sector. At the very least, checking the website once a week ( will enable the non-profit community to remain aware of relevant news.

2. Add your voice – In 1976, Congress passed legislation that outlined the types of nonpartisan lobbying activities that non-profits may conduct. With guidance from the non-profit organisations that mean the most to you, be sure that your voice and presence are part of the important conversations that are happening now.

3. Do something…and NOW – The economic messiness of the past three years places us in a unique position: with the devolution of government programs and services, the non-profit sector has the opportunity to strengthen the laws that govern its impact and ensure a much more sustainable voluntary sector. By being in touch with your elected officials, offering support to the non-profit organizations in your community, and actively convening to build knowledge and familiarity with proposed changes to legislation, your voice can be part of the movement to further protect and preserve the sector that has added tremendous benefits to Americans.

By strengthening the support for legislation (like the Revenue Act of 1917) that ensures the wellbeing of a strong Third Sector, we as a national community can continue to provide and benefit from the superior services, care, and human connections provided by healthy and sustainable non-profit organizations.

Know that you can be a part of building something big, and be sure to take steps now.

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