“Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder
Yesterday, we ended our BPL Leadership Conference in Philadelphia with BPL staff and board meetings. There’s no doubt everyone walked away feeling the amazing energy and value of all that mingling and muddling through. Our dedicated conference staff poured careful consideration into orchestrating an immersive experience, breaking down barriers and ushering participants into an extraordinary realm of insights.
Here’s a few of the many highlights for me:
Carlos’ up close and personal plenary with Bettina Love was a glorious balance of their energies focusing all eyes on the prize. They could have gone on for hours and everyone would have stayed engaged.
Andrew took the stage with Nikhil Goyal and El Centro members, delving into the profound narrative of Nikhil's book, "Live to See the Day."The room pulsed with intellectual vigor and a commitment to embracing change.
There was lots of interest and excitement at the International Big Picture Learning Credential Pre-conference. Andrea facilitated a meeting of both people new to the work as well many who have been involved for years. There’s definitely lots of energy around these new measures.
Our ongoing journey with Kapua exploring the inception of Namahana School sparked flames of inspiration.
Engaging with numerous principals to set the stage for upcoming year-round rendezvous added an extra layer of excitement.
The birth of El After Dark, a prototype that exceeded my expectations. The number of participants astonished me, turning this free space into a vibrant hub where stories of resilience clashed with bureaucratic barriers. It was a potent reminder of the power within the collective voice striving to dismantle obstacles.
At the heart of the Seymour Sarason Award presentation, I shared a story that encapsulated the transformative potential of words. Seymour's letter to President Roosevelt, penned at the age of 14, not only saved his life but also set him on the path to becoming an author of over 45 books. It was a powerful testament to the influence of storytelling and advocacy. And in the department of ‘there are no coincidences,’ Sara Mounsey, the principal at our BPL school in Methow, WA came over to tell me that a story I wrote in a TGIF a few months ago got her to respond to a grant in WA where the school was awarded $125,000. Once again, writing moved someone to action.
As we reflect on the sessions with Carlos, Bettina Love, Andrew, Nikhil Goyal, and the profound stories shared, I’m hoping their words move readers to action. May their words be a catalyst for change, propelling us beyond contemplation into a realm where intentional dialogue fuels tangible and meaningful outcomes and becomes. This is the essence of our collective journey - where discussions transcend rhetoric, and purposeful talks give birth to actions that shape the future.
Next week, I’m in NYC with Scott Boldt doing our book talks at The Hub where Joshua Poyer will facilitate a discussion on the book and Zelia Gonzalez will frame the conversation from the perspective of an alum from our schools. We will do another session at Cooper union where David Gersten will facilitate. Both talks will focus on making these places B-Unbound sites.