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Australian Podcast Interview: Community Engagement

Australian National University’s  Crawford School of Public Service hosts a podcast called “Policy Forum Pod” in which they interview leaders on policy and social change. During my recent visit to Canberra, the nation’s capital, they asked me to sit down and talk about collective impact and community engagement. This was my third visit to Australia, and I have so much…

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Remembering Civil Rights and Women’s Rights pioneer Vel Phillips

My daughter Olivia texted me this afternoon that Vel Phillips had died. Mrs. Phillips deserves the many superlatives used to describe her. She was a pioneer, giant, and lifelong fighter in the movements for civil rights, women’s rights, and human rights. Honoring her often begins with her legendary firsts: first African American woman to graduate from University of Wisconsin law…

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2017 in Film and TV

I saw 48 movies and 38 TV series in 2017. I missed the Milwaukee Film Festival so my picks are fairly mainstream indie (we have 5 Landmark Theater screens within 1 miles of our home) and occasional big box office. I get to watch a lot being a social introvert and traveler who spends most nights at home and a…

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New Community Engagement Toolkit Available

I’ve posted a new Community Engagement Toolkit on the Collective Impact Forum website. The toolkit is meant to be a comprehensive, step by step strategy guide for groups to engage community members – those most impacted by their work – in the design, decision-making, implementation, and evaluation of their work. The toolkit builds on my work work for years with the…

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Are Nonprofit Leaders too Elite?

I was recently interviewed for an article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy that asked whether elitism is a problem in the nonprofit sector, especially during an era of increasing populism. For over two decades, I worked to build leadership among very diverse young people, mostly young people of color and “opportunity youth” (young people disconnected from educational and career opportunities)….

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Conversation with Michael McAfee of Policy Link

At the Collective Impact Forum and Tamarack Institute’s Champions for Change training in San Antonio, I led a dinner conversation with Michael McAfee, President of Policy Link, about how results-based leadership, racial equity, and other approaches have strengthened the Promise Neighborhoods initiative and their other work. Our 45 minute conversation is now available as a podcast at The Collective Impact Forum

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Explaining President Trump to my Kids

I spent the evening trying to prepare the news – how to tell them, and how to help them process. This is what came to me. Hopefully it can help others make meaning out of this and keep our heads up for the work ahead. —- I love you so much and it pains me to share that Donald Trump…

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Rise2Recovery Podcast Interview

I was recently the guest on the Rise2Recovery podcast, sharing my story of addiction recovery spanning the last three decades. To listen to the interview, please click here. During the interview, I referenced the article I wrote last year on Huffington post on how I learned leadership through my recovery from addiction. I’ve shared my story often to encourage others who have…

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Australia: Far Away So Close

It felt so normal, too normal. Twenty hours of flight time should produce some level of culture shock, but no shock. In fact, next to my host’s car in the airport parking lot was a “Milwaukee Tools” truck. Sydney, Australia is a thoroughly modern and cosmopolitan city, and its nonprofit sector fits that description as well. I traveled to Sydney…

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Cuba: Travel tips and reviews

This is a more detailed review of my trip than my Huffington Post essay of observations and reflections. Getting in/Visas. From what I have read, there will be many flights a week from the U.S. in just a few months. In addition, there may additional opening of travel restrictions. Americans are only allowed to travel under certain categories. For those without business,…

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Windsor Star: “It’s About Everyone Pulling in the Same Direction”

I recently visited Windsor, Ontario to meet with business and civic leaders about economic development and poverty reduction strategies there, and how to align them. It was interesting to explore these issues in a Canadian context. There was much familiar to U.S. communities, but distinctions in terms of how much nonprofits rely on government; how municipal, provincial, and federal agencies…

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Wilco vs. Super Bowl? No contest!

“We are all Jews at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas,” Jeff Tweedy announced to a cheering audience Sunday night during Wilco’s scorching show at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. On Super Bowl Sunday, it was wonderful to be with thousands of others celebrating our favorite band the way others celebrate a favorite team. The difference is that our…

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