If it Bleeds it Leads?

The Politics of Attention in the Tenderloin

By James Tracy

[ The power of story and different conceptions of leadership are two themes we continue to explore with our blog. Today, we’re pleased to present this post from guest blogger, James Tracy, who runs the Community Housing Organizing Project of TWI grantee Community Housing Partnership. The Community Housing Partnership was created as a partnership between formerly homeless individuals and housing developers. The Community Housing Organizing Project, led by James Tracy, provides structure for the organization’s community-building work, improves advocacy, and strengthens the leadership development pipeline.]

Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Long live the rose that grew …   Read more

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2010: Serving the Emerging Paradigm

by Pia Infante In this New York Times’ 2009 Year in Pictures snapshot, I was reminded that this Administration, for all its disappointed high hopes for year one, does attempt/intend to do a successively modern iteration of public dialogue. And even though this picture documents the improbable meeting of four men, the public dialogue I’m thinking of is actually far more wide-spread (think 308,243,000 residents in the U.S. alone) and much more viral (think gmail or twitter), but retains the premise of engaging folks across spectrums, geography, and (most importantly) preferred company. As evidenced by the Open Government efforts (expertly followed by NCDD) and the tech/social …   Read more

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What are the Rules of Engagement in Copenhagen?

By Pia Infante As the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen kicks off a two-week gathering of 110 world leaders and roughly 15,000 delegates, I must admit that I’m intensely fascinated about the mechanisms for dialogue and decision-making at an event that some analysts have already predicted will fall quite short of a unilaterally signed treaty to effectively reduce carbon emissions by 2020. Oh, to be a fly on the wall somewhere among the 60,000 square meters of the Bella Center, the largest conference center in Scandinavia. The conference agenda discloses few process secrets, looking very much like many conference programs – there are …   Read more

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With Or Without God

A couple of experiences of late call my attention to a rather large question.
First, I sang with my choir at the How Sweet The Sound gospel choir competition to 13,000 people who congregated to hear gospel music… which is, well, about God, or Spirit, or the Universe, or the Divine Essence, or the vast Unknown, or the power of Song ~ however it strikes you. It struck me with the roar of thousands that this crowd, which easily filled Oakland’s Oracle arena, was by far the largest gathering of people I’d seen in months and months. Larger than any protests or rallies I’ve attended or driven past on any number of issues at the city, state, and national levels.
Second, I …   Read more

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Beyond the Rockstar Paradigm


During a plenary at TWI grantee Interfaith Youth Core’s conference Interfaith Youth Work: “Leadership for a Religiously Diverse World”, I was struck by Representative Keith Ellison’s, 5th Congressional District of Minnesota,vehement statement: “let’s differentiate between leaders and leadership.” Clearly positional leaders can demonstrate very little leadership while those of us without positional authority can offer leadership at any moment. Think about the volunteer who, in June of 1963, acted to print 50,000 instead of 5,000 fliers for the march (an immense effort in pre-Kinko’s times) that eventually helped bring over a million people to hear MLK speak in the mall. Or the …   Read more

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