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 Amazon.com, 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,
Allyson

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