Staying Power: A Network of Organizers Practicing Transformation
- Provides mutual support among Windcall alumni to ground their own leadership and to help them spread practices within organizations and movement spaces.
- Shares learnings from the Windcall Residency Program that can inform other organizers’ practices and leadership programs.
Staying Power is based in the national, multi-movement character of the Windcall alumni network. It is rooted in alumni initiative and the hunger to transform ourselves and our movements.
One of the first activities of Staying Power was planning and running “25 Days of Windcall” (25DW), which took place in May of 2014. 25DW was a way to honor Windcall’s 25th Anniversary and the gifts it brings the social justice movement. We ran a vibrant awareness campaign via social media to encourage organizers to take up some of the practices learned in the Windcall Residency Program experience. Over 30,000 unique users were reached by our postings on Facebook which engaged people with perspectives and concrete tools on the Staying Power practices of health, contemplation, creativity, quiet, organizational practices, nature, and connection/relationships. Participants posted responses, photos, videos, and other ideas and resources for fellow organizers.
Alumni gatherings are another strategy in this work. At gatherings, alumni step into a miniature Residency program, experiment with practices, and share honestly about challenges – and successes – in their own lives and in their movements. For some, these gatherings are the first time they’ve talked with organizers in their region about these issues, including with those with whom they’ve worked for many years. These gatherings have sparked alumni to participate in other programs and create dialogues and workshops that reach organizers who have not had Windcall Residencies.
Weekend long gatherings have been organized with Windcall alumni from California’s Central Valley and those from North Carolina and nearby Southern states. Shorter gatherings have been organized in other regions, including New York City, Durham, North Carolina, and at the Highlander Research & Education Center in Tennessee. Windcall is also exploring other ways to bring alumni together in a supportive community.
Over the next few years, Windcall will be sharing the model and what we’ve learned working with organizers from different movements, communities and parts of of the country. This includes insights on the role of open reflective time, peer support, creativity, nature immersion, solitude, and life balance in creating solidarity, stronger movements, and grounding in just and caring relations.