Tag Archives: diversity

Gv’s Guatemalan Staff Visits Seattle ….Maybe Your House?

Global Visionaries has a whole team in Guatemala that works locally to ensure the experience for our participants is meaningful, safe, organized, impactful, and respects the communities we work with within Guatemala.  To improve language and professional development skills in the U.S., as well asassist in recruiting, Aurelio some of us on this team comes up to Seattle annually. I am part of that team and will be coming back to Seattle this fall. I thought it would be interesting for those involved in Global Visionaries to understand a bit of what we do while in the States. If this is helpful, maybe in the future, one of us can blog about what we do here in Guatemala as well to prepare for our programs.

First, we have to manage finances from the Guatemala side of our work. In August I will work with RoxAnne  (our COO) and Bernie, our finance manager, to get updated on the newest GV accounting system and processes as well as some operational changes that require collaboration between the Seattle and Guatemalan offices. In September/part of October I will be involved with recruiting and educating the Seattle regional high schools.  This is a great part of the trip – as we play a big role in explaining the programs to prospective students and parents. I think it is helpful and perhaps comforting for those planning to be part of the GV programs (and for parents) when the actual Guatemalan team is standing right there in front of them.

I am also looking forward to talking to some of the GV leadership, getting coaching on administrative techniques and planning. This is an important part of the program. A good administration system (financial and administrative) allows the rest of the program to work.  This help will continue to drive efficiency in how we run things in Guatemala, so we have more time continue to improve the experience for our youth participants (and those educators who accompany them).  Then, as I get this type of training, I can share with the rest of the staff in Guatemala. The kids who are involved with the program will have confidence in the program.  If they can trust in the program, they are more likely to have good feelings and want to be part of the GV program.

We are really excited for this trip to the States. Of course, that means additional logistics, including finding host families who can house us for this time in Washington.  It is actually really fun. We get to see how Americans live a little bit better – which help us improve our English and our programs in Guatemala and our hosts get a taste of Guatemala. And of course, we make good friends with our host family

If you’d like the opportunity to host one of us this year – please let the GV staff know. Contact Mario Flores at MarioFlores@global-visionaries.org If you cannot commit to the full length of stay, please indicate when you can host.

Aurelio needs hosting:  Aug 10- Sept 17
Claudia needs hosting:  Sept 7- Nov 20
Billy needs hosting: Sept 7 – Nov 20
Aurelio needs hosting:  Sept 21 – Oct 30

We hope to meet with many of you when we are up there in the late summer fall.

Aurelio Hernandez

Voices of Visionaries : Maddie

“Before Global Visionaries, I didn’t think that I would go to college or finish high school, but now I know that I am going to go to college. I feel like I’m growing and I’m ready for whatever comes next”

IN ONE WORD, WHAT DO YOU FEEL NOW YOU HAVE BEEN PART OF GV?

“Inspired”

I’m Madison, a senior at Cleveland High School in Seattle. I joined Global Visionaries (GV) because I wanted to experience something new, and have an opportunity to travel out of the state. One challenge I faced resulted from beMaddieing a foster kid. It was hard for me to find my birth certificate and get my passport so that I could even travel to Guatemala. The staff worked really hard to help me get my passport. They made me feel like I was part of their family and supported me through the extra challenges I faced as a youth in foster care. Since joining GV, I’ve been the happiest I’ve been in my whole life, because of the GV staff and my cohort.

I’m on the Youth Board, on the pro-justice team. We research systematic oppression and teach it to the newest participants in the program. For instance, we play a game called Power Shuffle. In Power Shuffle, everyone stands in a line and then moves forward or backward depending on answers to various questions, like “Did you grow up in poverty?” and “Did you have books in your house growing up?” When I played as a first-year participant, I was in the back with a couple other people. I realized that a lot of people in the front had more privileges than I did. But I also realized that I was really proud of being where I was because I don’t need a lot of privileges to grow up and be strong. Now I lead this activity and I get to show first-year participants that no matter where they come from, they still matter. It makes me feel like I’m making a change in other people’s lives.

Before GV, I didn’t think about my future that much. I didn’t think about college or what I’d do after high school. I wasn’t even sure that I would finish high school. If it wasn’t for GV, I’d be stuck where I came from. They pushed me to work hard, and the more they pushed me, the more I believed in myself. Now I know that I’m going to college. I feel like I’m growing and I’m ready for whatever comes next. I’m happy because I know that I have a family here to support me, and I know that I’m going to succeed in whatever I choose to do with my life.

I never really had much of a family, but, being a part of Global Visionaries, I really feel like they are my family. I think that’s what I love the most about it. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me and for helping me get to Guatemala.

– Pro-justice team.

Experiential Workshop Exploring Diversity, Nov. 2-3

Global Visionaries and The Mandala Center for Change jointly present:

Diversity: Evolving from Reality to Truth

Do you ever wonder

How does our gender, ethnicity, and other social group memberships affect our experience in the world and how others experience us? How can we work together to create a just and healthy world for all?

For anyone interested in re-humanizing humanity including community organizers, activists, teachers, social workers, therapists, workshop leaders, and more, this workshop explores the issues that surface under the general term “diversity”. Often associated just with race, this also includes gender, class, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, nationality, and more. Throughout the two-day workshop, you will develop a deeper awareness about societal systems, your own social rank and its impact on situations, as well as strategies to be become a more effective ally to yourself and others, whether it be around institutions or in your own personal life.

Despite the serious nature of the issues, the process is remarkably playful and experiential, employing interactive tools such as the Theatre of the Oppressed to generate an honest dialogue on systematic oppression – the “isms” – that divide people through inequity and injustice. Through story sharing and problem solving, our goal is to increase awareness, empathy, and empowerment towards action.

Date: Sat & Sun, November 2-3, 2013
Time: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Location: Room 206, El Centro de la Raza
2524 16th Ave S, Seattle
Cost: $200

Participants in a workshop on the Theatre of the Oppressed in New York City:

To register, follow this link

For Program info only, contact the Mandala Center:
P: 360-344-3435 | E: info@mandalaforchange.com

***

Meet the Facilitators:

Cheryl Harrison

Cheryl Harrison: Former and founding member of Seattle Public Theater’s Theater of Liberation Ensemble, Cheryl has been active in anti-oppression and empowerment work since the mid 1980’s. Cheryl has worked with an array of communities such as homeless youth, domestic violence survivors, school age youth, nurses, work transition programs (YWCA), as well as universities and colleges. Through her work Cheryl is committed to facilitating self-awareness and empowerment for individuals and communities as a means to create a world which values equity, understanding and compassion for all peoples around the world.

Marc Weinblatt

Marc Weinblatt: Formerly Co-Artistic Director of the Seattle Public Theatre, Marc has been a professional educator, theatre artist, activist, and workshop facilitator since 1980. He is an internationally recognized leader in the use of Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed (T.O.) and has trained thousands in the use of the techniques through classes and trainings since the early 1990’s. Marc has worked with communities ranging from police to homeless youth, grassroots organizers and laborers to University deans. He also directs the multi-generational Poetic Justice Theatre Ensemble which incorporates T.O. and Playback Theatre to generate community dialogue on social issues.

Diversity: Evolving from Reality to Truth– A participatory workshop featuring Theatre of the Oppressed

Global Visionaries and The Mandala Center for Change presents:

DIVERSITY: EVOLVING FROM REALITY TO TRUTH

A participatory workshop featuring Theatre of the Oppressed

Facilitated by Cheryl Harrison & Marc Weinblatt

When: Dec. 3-4; Sat & Sun 9 AM – 6 PM

Where: Seattle location TBA

Cost: $200

 

 

How does our gender, ethnicity, and other social group memberships affect our experience in the world and how others experience us?

How can we work together to create a just and healthy world for all people?

This popular workshop invites an exploration of the frequently challenging issues that surface under the general term “diversity”.  Often associated just with race, this also includes gender, class, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, nationality, and more.  Whether it be around institutions or in your own personal life, develop deeper awareness about societal systems, your own social rank and its impact on situations, as well as strategies to be become a more effective ally to yourself and others.

Through story sharing and problem solving, our goal will be increased awareness, empathy, and empowerment towards action.  Primary tools include Theatre of the Oppressed and other participatory tools to generate an honest and humane dialogue on systematic oppression (power-based analysis of the “isms”) that divide people through inequity and injustice.  The process will be highly experiential and driven by the wisdom and needs of the participants. Despite the serious nature of the issues, the process is remarkably playful.

This workshop is for community organizers, activists, teachers, social workers, therapists, workshop leaders, and anyone interested in re-humanizing humanity.

To register, contact:

Global Visonaries: (206) 322-9448; programs@global-visionaries.org

For Program info only, contact:

Mandala Center (360) 344-3435; info@mandalaforchange.com

Cheryl Harrison and Marc Weinblatt

Cheryl Harrison:

Former founding member of Seattle Public Theater’s Theater of Liberation Ensemble, Cheryl has been active in anti-oppression and empowerment work with people of all ages since the mid 1980’s and has designed and facilitated workshops and trainings locally, statewide, nationally and internationally. Using music, theater, lectures, and a variety of experiential activities both Theater of the Oppressed based as well as non-T.O. based, Cheryl has worked with a wide array of organizations and communities such as homeless youth and other marginalized social groups, domestic violence survivors, school age youth, nurses, work transition programs (YWCA), as well as universities and colleges. Some agencies and organizations include the State of Washington (DSHS and Department of Labor and Industries) the International Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed Conferences in New York, Nebraska, and Ohio, University of Minnesota, Kellogg Fellows, ACLU, Amnesty International, Wheaton College, PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health), University of South Florida, Global Visionaries, Power of Hope, Labor Center at The Evergreen State College, and the Eastside Domestic Violence Program among others. Through her work Cheryl is committed to facilitating self-awareness and empowerment for individuals and communities as a means to create a world which values equity, understanding and compassion for all peoples around the world.

Marc Weinblatt:

Marc has been a professional educator, theatre artist, activist, and workshop facilitator since 1980 having extensive experience with both adults and youth. Formerly Co-Artistic Director of the Seattle Public Theatre, Marc is an internationally recognized leader in the use of Augusto Boal’s ground breaking Theater of the Oppressed (T.O.) to stimulate community dialogue and social change. He has worked with diverse communities ranging from police to homeless youth, grassroots organizers and laborers to University deans. Internationally, Marc has worked with theatre activists in Canada, refugees in Azerbaijan, construction workers in South Africa, slum families in India, actors in the Republic of Congo, and victims of war, among others, in Afghanistan. Marc was recently named “Cultural Envoy” by the U.S. State Department for his work in the Congo in spring 2010.Marc regularly facilitates T.O. based diversity/ anti-oppression workshops in a wide variety of contexts across the U.S. with a commitment to bringing a deep sense of spirit and humanity into social justice work. He also directs the multi-generational Poetic Justice Theatre Ensemble which incorporates T.O. and Playback Theatre techniques to generate community dialogue on burning social issues. One of Augusto Boal’s “multipliers”, Marc has trained thousands of people in the use of Theatre of the Oppressed techniques through his classes and annual week-long intensive trainings since the early 1990’s.

From Homelessness to Howard: Former GV participant inspires change

Marita Phelps (right) at the 2011 Fiesta de Guatemala Auction
 
By Christina Lorella
 
Marita Phelps is certainly a name worth mentioning.  While her inspirational story to succeed against all odds will surely prove uplifting, it is her intelligence, her compassion, and her dedication to global justice that truly are exceptional.
 
Marita, now a young woman of twenty years, participated in Global Visionaries in 2007.  She regards her experiences before GV as being similar to that of “any other typical teenager.” She played basketball and golf, was a member of her school’s student body council, and was a school thespian.  However, despite her incredible efforts to fit in amongst her peers, there was one thing that set her apart. She was homeless.
 
At just sixteen years of age, a young Marita, along with her sister and mother, were forced out of their home and had to find shelter wherever they could.  They found refuge in local motels, floated between the homes of friends, even slept in their car.  The pressures of her unfortunate circumstances began to take a toll, eventually causing Marita to stop attending school for a short period of time.  It was then that Marita learned about Global Visionaries.
 
“Learning about GV was inspiring and something to be hopeful about,” Marita said. “But I was nervous to tell my mother about the program because of the costs.  I took a chance anyway.”
 
Marita and her family worked tirelessly to come up with the funds needed to cover the required program fees, despite their many hardships.  Unfortunately, after exhausting all forms of fundraising, Marita’s budget still fell short. At that point, she believed that GV would no longer be a part of her reality.
 
It was then that Marita shared her story with a Global Visionaries staff member, who was so moved by her words that she awarded Marita a  scholarship allowing her to remain in the program.  Not only did Marita take part in the leadership class and trip to Guatemala that year, but also came back to serve on both the Youth Board and the Pro-Justice Team.
 
Through her work in these programs, Marita became exposed to the vast number of  injustices that still exist in our world today. She witnessed a need for change and decided that she would spend each day trying to better herself, and in turn, the world.  As Gandhi once said,”Be the change you wish to see in this world.” Marita does just that.
 
Her experiences in GV taught her that through diversity and dialogue, peace can be accomplished. “Diversity is critical to the mission of global justice,” Marita said. “People are often secluded from each other, separated by class, race, and culture; leaving our acceptance of the world limited and biased, unable to understand and appreciate one another. But, creating unity through diversity, allows us to transform our world together…that is the magical part of GV that is rare in our society today and hard to come by.”
 
Marita graduated from Garfield High School in 2008, where she helped develop the African-American Scholars Program and subsequently won the Diversity Makes a Difference Scholarship. She now attends Howard University, in Washington D.C., where she is majoring in playwriting. 
 
Since leaving our organization, Marita has made it a priority to  continue to fight for global justice, both environmentally and socially. In fact, Marita and a group of friend’s were so appalled at the lack of recycling resources at Howard, that together they implemented the “Green Team”.  Through this program, they have introduced widespread recycling and have helped create a more healthy, sustainable campus.
 
Last summer, Marita followed her passion for change when she began working for a widely recognized nonprofit, Martha’s Table. She has since created and led her own poetry and drama workshops at a  D.C. middle school and has also served as a  workshop facilitator for “Theater as Social Change,” a program offered through Georgetown University.
 
This upcoming summer, Marita will embark on a journey to Ghana through a New York-based nonprofit, Operation Crossroads Africa.  While there, she will facilitate workshops with local youth to create drama and media performances that will be presented to the larger community on topics such as HIV/AIDS awareness, history, and other critical social issues. Come fall, Marita will participate in an exchange program through Colombia University.
 
Quite a list of accomplishments for a twenty year old, who just four years ago, had no place to call home.
 
Marita says that through her involvement in GV, she learned, “to be a leader, humility, social responsibility, and confidence.”  She encourages other students to join the programs, especially Youth Board and the Pro-Justice Team, and believes that by doing so, they will gain a life-changing experience, learn critical life and job skills,  make life-long friends, and will share family-like bonding experiences.
 
“As I continue to develop and reflect on my experiences, it is almost impossible for me to speak about my life without the inclusion of GV,” Marita said. “One of the many homes I was raised in.”
 
 
 
 
 

Second Annual Founders Club Event Demonstrates GV’s Commitment to Diversity

Global Visionaries is proud to announce that the second annual Founders Club Event raised more than $27,500 to benefit GV’s scholarship fund.

Held on March 25 at the home of Seattle photographer Art Wolf, this fundraising event featured guest speaker Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks North America and Starbucks International.

The money raised from this event will allow for more students of diverse socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds to participate in the Seattle Leadership Program.

“I would like to thank everyone involved for making the Founders Club Event such a success,” said Jan Slack, GV’s Development & Executive Assistant.

“In particular, I want to extend my gratitude to Art Wolfe, Bill Clapp, Kay Bullitt, Molly Freed, Michael Gallelli and Francoise Martin.”

An additional thanks goes out to all the GV staff and interns who made this event possible. We could not do what we do without them.

Meet Jan Slack, GV’s new Development & Executive Assistant

Jan Slack standing next to one of her mother's artworks at The Kenney in Seattle.

Written by Jan Slack

I am excited and honored to be a part of the Global Visionaries family as their new Development & Executive Assistant. This position offers me a wonderful opportunity to help streamline many of our fundraising practices, increase the consistent use of Saleforce within the entire organization and lighten Chris’s load.

Since earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Illinois, I have gained a wide range of experiences in and out of the nonprofit field.

My background includes working with adjudicated youths, teaching pottery, founding and running a yoga studio, video recording legal procedures, office management and creating and coordinating fundraising projects. The common theme running through my experience has always been being open to diversity and finding ways to enjoy working with any group of people.

In my brief time so far at GV I have been struck by the openness, optimism, care, and dedication of the staff, board, interns, students and their parents. Because of the ongoing growth and development of the organization, I’ve witnessed how change is usually handled with grace, ease and a sense of humor. This ability to be strong and flexible is a wonderful reflection of the basic principals that GV stands for – leadership and sustainability.

I enjoy yoga, meditation and Qigong as ways to keep me healthy and centered. Walking, hiking and camping in the great Northwest are also favorite pastimes of mine. As an artist I express my creativity through clay and mixed media and use this creative process to stretch my imagination.

I love to travel and have had the great fortune of visiting Kenya, Tanzania, Brazil, Mexico, Thailand and many countries in Europe. From my travels I’ve learned to live a conscious life where one must welcome change and embrace the responsibilities that come with free choice. 

I look forward to contributing to the good work that Global Visionaries continues to do in our world.