By Celia Alario
It's storytelling time, a long awaited nightcap to another fantastic and full day here here at the 9th annual gathering of the Progressive Communicators Network. It's our own professional trade association, safe haven for an eclectic crew of communications practitioners who share a commitment to social change.
I've been blown away by PCN and by its founding organization Spirit in Action, which creates a unique and powerful context for networking and collaboration. Their commitment to a profound level of diversity in convenings involves examining a matrix of information on potential participants to insure that a thorough diversity of issues, geographical locales, races, classes, ages, genders, sexual orientations are represented in the room.
This year the gathering is a bit smaller than usual, and comprised mostly of people who have participated in national or regional gatherings in the past, and/or have been involved in trainings or joint communications ventures across a variety of issues, such as criminal justice reform and community support for New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina via the Katrina Information Network. We are exploring the ways in which the organization will grow, and what types of projects and initiatives the group might take on in the coming months. Stay tuned for more on this!
It was especially inspirational to hear folks share why this organization matters to them, why they give time to this organization: that this place is a truly diverse community of collaborations that really work and are worth the investment, that people leave here inspired and refreshed to do their job, that the brains and strategy in the room breed some of the best practices in multiracial organizing and social change PR, etc etc.
But ultimately it is a level of humor that is shared among the group that touches me the most tonight . Would any of these tales be funny out of this context? Perhaps and perhaps not, but to be sure a shared set of challenges and experiences in the realm of organizing and social change media makes these stories funny to us.
And thank heaven for it. For a movement not known for its sense of humor these stories not only make me giggle but also give me hope.