Windcall Residents Speak

 What do past Windcall Residents have to say?

“Organizing is grueling, public, conflictive and draining work. We tend to believe that we want neither thanks nor recognition. But a long distance social justice runner needs balance and self care. If we value the people who do social justice work, then we must invest more in the doers.”

  • Josh Hoyt, United Power for Action and Justice at time of Residency, now with Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, Chicago, IL

“I have made some major life decisions that are all efforts at taking care of myself and doing what is truly important to me. I firmly believe I have been able to take these steps as a result of being at Windcall and starting a healing process that is manifesting itself in my personal and professional life.”

  • Marielena Hincapie, National Immigration Law Center, Los Angeles, CA

“Because Windcall is not directive in the way most other spaces like this are, it is a unique place for folks to ask themselves, ‘What do I need to be sustained and renewed in my life and work?’ – and be supported in answering it. Without Windcall, many activists would not have found a way to take care of themselves and think about how to do activism in a more sustainable and effective way.”

  • Taj James, Movement Strategy Center, Oakland, CA

“Many activist leaders deal with grief every day. We see human and ecological injustice. And it hurts. Ideally this pain is transformed into the energy that fuels our work. But often, the intensity of our lives keeps too much of the pain buried deep in our hearts and in our overstressed bodies.”

  • Dianne Bady, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Huntington, WV

“I have been inspired by the essential beauty of wilderness, of a genuine silence, of a comforting darkness, but even more by the deep compassion and sense of humanity of my fellow residents. Windcall allows us to surround ourselves not only with trees, flowers, birds and streams-but with the deep-rooted strength of freedom fighters.”

  • Bill Gallegos, Los Angeles Alliance for a Drug-Free Community at time of Residency, now with Communities for a Better Environment, Los Angeles, CA

“I believe that my Windcall experience made me a calmer individual. I incorporated the need for my staff to spend personal time on themselves and not focus 24/7 on the work. I tracked how much staff is working and if I felt they need time away, we negotiate it.”

  • Janet Robideau, Montana Peoples Action and Indian People’s Action at time of Residency, Missoula, MT

““For the first time since I can remember, I was being taken care of.  Time and space far away, with no agenda, no pressures.  I couldn’t believe how quiet it was.  So the emptiness and silence of the first days of Windcall was the greatest gift of all.  I went out on an evening walk, and I thought, as I looked over the rolling Montana hills as the sun was going down, how different the politics of this country would be if the people of color really believed that this land was theirs, that they had earned it, and have as much a right to it as anybody.  Maybe that was a goal worth working for.”

  • Carl Anthony, Urban Habitat at time of Residency, now with Earth House Center, Oakland, CA

“Windcall is where I first thought about starting a statewide progressive coalition. I had time to reflect on the previous eight years I’d spent doing environmental work, how I couldn’t stay engaged in that for the rest of my life, and thought about what was next for me as an organizer in Nevada. Talking with my Windcall cohort gave me some ideas about tying issues and constituencies together and the seeds for PLAN were sown.”

  • Bob Fulkerson, Citizen Alert at time of Residency, now with Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Reno, NV

“I think one of the greatest challenges facing progressives is the longevity of our staff and leaders. Windcall is one of the very few institutions that addresses this issue directly – not in words but in providing the experience for committed activists. I’ve been able to bring the lessons I learned at Windcall in to my mentoring of young and not-so-young organizers.”

  • Donna Parson, Demos, New York, NY

“I came to Windcall needing something desperately. Before Windcall, I felt like I was just spinning my wheels It didn’t seem to matter how hard or long I worked, how much time I gave up with my family and friends: nothing could keep me from this downward spinning motion. At Windcall, I found the beginning of what I was looking for, something that would give the strength and the courage to carry on.”

  • Conny Ford, OPEIU Local 3 & SF Labor Council, San Francisco, CA

“At Windcall I realized that I needed to move into something with a broader progressive agenda. The wide-open space fueled my creativity and I began the idea for the SPIN Project. Then the other Windcall residents helped put flesh on the bones of the idea.”

  • Robert Bray, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force at time of Residency, Founder, the SPIN Project, now with Public Interest Projects,San Francisco, CA

“The air, the breeze and sun, mountain water, instant storms and just plain colors, stop you dead in your tracks.  It’s not that you take it in.  It takes you in.” 

  • Fran Barrett, Community Resource Exchange at time of Residency, New York, NY

“Whether we are ‘promoting’ or ‘preventing’ in our work, whether we are ‘supporting’ or ‘opposing’, we are using tremendous amounts of energy.  That energy – without disciplined rituals of renewal – becomes depleted.  Time often becomes enemy rather than a natural friend.  Being at Windcall – just being – was the beginning of renewal.  Out of the task-and-purpose orientation, I found a clarity of mind and thoughts blossoming like the flowers around me.” 

  • Mac Legerton, Center for Community Action, Lumberton, NC

“Because of the oppression in our society, it is difficult to remember, as a poor person, that I have something of value to say.  Being at Windcall helped me to remember the value of ‘my own words.’”

  • Linda Stout, Piedmont Peace Project in North Carolina at time of Residency, now with Spirit in Action, Palmer, MA

“When mindlessly racing through the day, it is important to ask: ‘How important is this?  Can I cut out some of this stuff and make the quality of my life better?  Can I be MORE effective in my work if my life works better?’  This experience has been good for helping me to decide to reorder my priorities, to decide what and who are important in my life.”

  • Richard Juarez, Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee at time of Residency, now with Urban West Development Consultants, San Diego, CA

“The first two nights we were kids in wonderland as we waited patiently in the rain to see deer and elk.  Lying in the sun – listening – was a liberating feeling… I slowed down, read avidly, discussed organizing and politics… I go back invigorated and excited.  Not unmindful of the social sickness, injustice and suffering, but grateful at having the time to just be.”

  • David Orr, Cook County Clerk at time of Residency, Chicago, IL