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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 10.7.2022

“Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder

This week, Anthonette and I got on a call with Tracy Terranova from Mentor about a partnership with them and B-U that will start at their upcoming conference in Boston. At the conference Harbor Freight Fellow and graduate from the Met, Maddie will be the one explaining B-U’s work. It is great to see our former students take on these leadership roles with and without us present. Above is a shot of Anthonette and I waiting on the call for Tracy. Coincidentally, we had on a sweatshirt from The Reinvention Lab. A day later, I had my call with The Reinvention Lab with Andrew. It was a great call. Seems like their team

is really up for working with us around TFA recruitment, advisory and changing the role of a teacher.

For me, the best part of the meeting was when they referred to both Andrew and I as OG’s in this work. I guess to some, Carlos and Andrew are getting a little long in the tooth but for me the

shared compliment was about how long we have stuck with the work that others have left behind and in that sense Andrew and Carlos being over 20 years in surely make them OG’s to all these youngbloods.

At Danique’s BPLiving meetings once again, our students were present and presenting on a leadership call. The energy and urgency that Danique, Angel, Jasmine and others brought was important knowing that this is long haul work. As stated by Danique we are going to constantly have to chip away even and perhaps especially, at our own practices around meaningful lifestyle changes.

On another BPLiving call with Pam Roy and Paul Reynolds we discussed the nuances of getting better at saying what we mean. For me, it was a refreshing discussion. I’m always playing with and perplexed by language.

Something inside of me keeps saying, If you can’t say what you mean, you will never mean what you say and something else inside me goes, You know more than you can say.

It is this kind of creative tension that keeps me honest and allows me to hear and see my own failures and move forward..

Talkin’ about learning from my own failures, my probing from last week’s TGIF’s segment about success was nudged along by a slow read of Dee Hock’s book One From Many. Dee Hock was someone Dennis and I turned to when we started BP and The Met. He is the founder of VISA and his story about creating VISA as a decentralized organization where everyone bought into being part of it and no one owning it is extraordinary. This is a man who walked away from VISA after he started it. For him it wasn’t about money or fame. ‘Nuff said about him here. This is what he had to say about success. Success while it may provide encouragement, build confidence, and be joyful indeed, often teaches an insidious lesson – to have too high of an opinion of self. It is from failure that amazing growth and grace so often come, provided only that one can recognize it, admit it, learn from it, rise above it, and try again. That said, three questions drove his life’s work: Why are organizations, everywhere, political, commercial, or social, increasingly unable to manage their affairs? Why are individuals, everywhere, increasingly in conflict with and alienated from the organizations of which they are part? Why are society and the biosphere increasingly in disarray? One from Many redux: Our meeting on The 311 in Newark is the most recent example of how Dee Hock’s chaordic design influences what we are doing. No one owns The 311. This is a diverse group who always get to “YES” and agree on continuing to find a way to work for almost a year. I’m real curious where The 311 goes. More to come…

Great radio show by Advisor Lenny Oppedisano and student Olivia Virnoche from Lafayette Big Picture High School about their on-going work. .

Happy Birthday Fannie Lou This week is Fannie Lou Hamer’s birthday. Jeff Palladino, principal of the Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom School in the Bronx sent out the birthday greeting in his TGIF.

Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom School has a special place in my heart because when it opened 29 years ago, I was there the first week doing a documentary on the opening. “There is one thing you have got to learn about our movement. Three people are better than no people.” Fannie Lou Hamer Many times in my life I have lived the words of Fannie Lou Hamer and for some reason that may not have to do with reason at all, I’m still around. Thanks Fannie Lou Hamer. Be Well!

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