I slowly stepped on the stage, squinting slightly when the spotlights hit my eyes. The Journey of my Soul, the play name was displayed.
Inhaling deeply, I made my way towards the first milestone on the staged road. Left and right, the audience filled the school auditorium, and 17-year-old me turned to face the crowd, and tell the story of her life.
With each milestone, I narrated my history: the intimate womb where my heart first beat, the colorful kindergarten, the slightly intimidating jump to school. My voice shook a little as I moved to the prop that presented the time when my father was diagnosed with serious heart problems. Each step took me towards a place in my life that was a little less safer, and where warmth dissipated quicker.
Eventually, I stood beside my graduation hat. I explained how today I part with a community full of love and comfort one more time, towards an unknown future that is scarier and degrees colder.
I snap back to the current moment: my text editor open, trying to write my 2021 reflections.
It is striking how time and experience have shifted and re-defined how I perceive many concepts; safety and warmth remained ever-changing and fluid.
Safety had been affectionate; it was familiar caresses and open, free horizons. Today, it metamorphosed into obligatory isolation and fearful wariness — we are now forced to trade freedom for safety.
Warmth had brought soft echoes of joyful embraces and generous empathy, yet is now associated with a global term that is synonymous with an advent of a climate disaster emanating urgency, fear, and the end of the human race.
Throughout my professional career, my awe of how safety and warmth shape our experiences has not faded, and experiencing the warmth, love, and interconnectedness between the global community of worldwide heroes, who continue to advocate and work collectively within their communities to attain their rights, I must say I am mesmerized by how brighter the light at the end of the tunnel is; I daresay brighter than ever. If it weren’t for this community, organizing would be a lonely journey through which we drag ourselves, without supportive friends who, shoulder-in-shoulder, help us bear the burden.
Their journeys continue, and ours at LCN continues as well, towards a safer, warmer, and more just world.
As LCN director, I can proudly say that 2021 was a fantastic year for us. Epitomizing our values of pouring warmth and safety into the world through facilitating learning and empowering people to change, we were part of life-changing campaigns, and surrounded by people eager to make the world a more just place for all.
Reach of countries in LCN programs
In an attempt to enable higher accessibility to the Community Organizing framework, we launched our quarterly 3-hour orientation to organizing, which turned into our most popular learning space with over 700 attendees joining from 50 countries.
Collaboration and partnerships were also another highlight of the year. With continuation of old partners and over 10 new partnerships investing in community organizing through 2021.
Our new resource center, which is now home to hundreds of resources, will make LCN the go-to destination for community organizers everywhere, and we cannot be more grateful for the generosity of over a 100 members of our network who contributed invaluable material to the center.
Aiming to re-strategize and sharpen our vision, we set up the LCN listening drive, on which more than 260 individuals stepped up and shared their insights, enabling us to learn and understand in greater depth how to better serve our members and community, and leading to our currently active strategy.
Joining from 66 countries spread over every continent around the world, we have directly trained over 1200 participants and thousands more trained by our affiliates on Community Organizing and Public Narrative, through in-person and online workshops, in English, Spanish, and French.
We are deeply grateful for all the moments of joy, the successful campaigns, and the intentional leadership development of our people.
To kick off the new year with rich learning, we have exciting learning sessions lined up in January and February:
- LCN Resource Center Launch Celebration
- Training Showcase on FICPFM Organizing Fellowship Training for Trainers}
- LCN Meet & Connect February
- Building Great Leadership Teams with Ruth Wageman
- Orientation to Organizing for Health Justice
We invite you to check out the details here, and register for the sessions!
We hope that together we will keep building people’s power towards justice, human rights and sustainability in 2022 and beyond.
LCN Executive Director
Thanks to our Partners and Members