I’m tired, grateful, and excited. I’ve spent the past two days in Oakland with the most wonderful group of people you’ll ever find in one room, investigating the question: How might we generate resources differently to enable Forward Together to evolve sustainably, with agency and autonomy, toward a future in which all families can thrive? You could see and hear a chemistry of love, wisdom, curiosity, and doer-orientation working a kind of magic. Our group photo captures a glimpse of that magic.
Each ingredient was important, and there were more in addition to those four, but love was the magic, the catalyst and the glue: Love for families—all families, our own, our allies’ and even our opponents’ families—motivates and sustains this work. That Forward Together exists is an act of love, many acts of love, by its courageous leader Eveline Shen and its 20+ member staff. That these participants came together, across sectors and from across the country, to invest two days with us, is an act of love. That they leaned in with honesty, across different skills, energies, and availabilities, to offer what they could without guilt or judgment, is because of love.
There’s a lot more to share about what happened this week, but for now, my heart and mind are still expanding to hold it. How often in your work do you come away feeling your heart enlarged? Probably not often enough. I’m grateful for this feeling today, and excited about what the next three months will bring!
Please share your reflections from the workshop here in comments, or in a blog post, iterating on Tuesday’s check-in exercise, “It’s Wednesday [or whatever day it is when you share], and _________”. I’d love to hear what’s staying with you!
Photo: (left to right, standing) Amy Wu, Moira Bowman, Carmen Rojas, Christie George, Steve Ma, Alison Lin, Jon Wong, Holly Bartling, B. Cole, Dimple Abichandani, Renee Fazzari, Palak Shah, Sarah Abelow, Robin Katcher, Rini Banerjee, Brandon Hill; (sitting) Zachary Norris, Eveline Shen, Morgan Simon, Rebecca Petzel, Yee Won Chong; (behind the camera) Eugene Eric Kim.