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BREAKING BARRIERSThe tools that have worked for me might also work foryou…
Bathroom                          Kitchen                                Monday            Friday                         ...
How do we move forward in our lives when we    keep dizzyingly making the same moves?
Toolbox1.   Understand. Know what         5.    Friends. Choose your     your tool box contains.             friends wisel...
Toolbox1.   Understand. Know     what your tool box     contains.
Toolbox1.   Understand. Know      clearly.     what your tool box     contains.2.   Humility. Simply be     Humble. You ha...
Toolbox1.   Understand. Know        clearly.     what your tool box 3.   Process. It’s about     contains.               t...
Toolbox1.   Understand. Know         the journey moving     what your tool box       towards the end but     contains.    ...
Toolbox1.   Understand. Know         towards the end but     what your tool box       not about the end     contains.     ...
Toolbox1.   Understand. Know               not about the end     what your tool box             point.     contains.      ...
“If I cant dance, I dont want to be part ofyour revolution.”                           Emma Goldman
At the very      moment                  The most                                The best when weneed to be               ...
Toolbox1.   Understand. Know what       4.   Participate. Be Part of the     your tool box contains.          Community yo...
Toolbox1.   Understand. Know what            Community you want to     your tool box contains.          build.2.   Humilit...
Toolbox1.   Understand. Know what              build.     your tool box contains.       5.   Friends. Choose your2.   Humi...
Toolbox1.   Understand. Know what         5.    Friends. Choose your     your tool box contains.             friends wisel...
“What is the American radical? The radical is that unique personto whom the common good is the greatest personal value. He...
circular                                    learnreasoning                     Talk   from each                           ...
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? IfI am not for others, what am I? And if notnow, when?”Rabbi Hillel in Pirkeh...
As the Director of the LGBT Alliance, LisaFinkelstein works as a community organizer atthe Jewish Community Federation of ...
bar·ri·er noun ˈber ē-ər, ˈba                   -          -rē-a: Something material that blocks or is intended to block p...
“It is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it...”                 Rabbi T...
cir·cle noun, often attributive ˈsər                                    -kəla: ring or halo b: a closed plane curve every ...
com·pas·sion fa·tigue noun kəm-ˈpa-shən fə-ˈtēga: the resistance of the general public to give money to charity or othergo...
“In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast.Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt findt...
“I may not have been sure about what really didinterest me, but I was absolutely sure aboutwhat didn’t.”           Albert ...
“Its no good running a pig farm badly for 30 years whilesaying, Really, I was meant to be a ballet dancer. Bythen, pigs wi...
Breaking barriers lisa_finkelstein_presentation_2.17.11
Breaking barriers lisa_finkelstein_presentation_2.17.11
Breaking barriers lisa_finkelstein_presentation_2.17.11
Breaking barriers lisa_finkelstein_presentation_2.17.11
Breaking barriers lisa_finkelstein_presentation_2.17.11
Breaking barriers lisa_finkelstein_presentation_2.17.11
Breaking barriers lisa_finkelstein_presentation_2.17.11
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Breaking barriers lisa_finkelstein_presentation_2.17.11

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  • Like now; how did I get up here – within the barrier of this space between me and a microphone and you sitting at a table doodling and tweeting –when it seemed just a few moments ago that I was out there and at some point, I just have to break through and make change - It’s not that these circles ever flattened out into lines but rather I used the very tricky tool of moving forward in circles. Introduction Questions: Framing. So that is my topic: How do we move forward in our lives when we keep dizzyingly making the same moves? We make the same moves in circles within our own heads – within our own relationships? How do we add new circles or get through old ones and how do we not continue to return to the same circles once we do move forward? How do we move forward while staying still within a constantly moving circle? I have no idea. Honestly, I don’t have an answer. But what I do have is mystory of figuring out how to use the tools I had in my toolbox to work for community change and pay the rent for the past 11-years.
  • Story Begins with redemption.Like an annual circular path - each fall the Jewish community comes together in community space to take inventory of what we did for the past 12 months. And from there each fall we choose to make teshuvah, literally meaning to turn, to return or even meaning to release what we have gathered as offenses committed against another person or even ourselves so we can begin living out loud again feeling in some ways refreshed or repaired. This time of refreshment or return all occurs within a short period of time that we call the Jewish High Holidays. For many American Jews religious or not this is the only time of year that they do show up in Jewish community space. Doing this action of teshuvah requires that we as individuals become organized in both senses of the term: to work on our issues in a systematic and sustained way and to get organized enough to simply show-up in community. This action of return and this action of showing-up in community is at the core of my professional work now with the Jewish Community Federation. As a queer Jewish community organizer I work to figure out how to continually get my community organized in a way that strengthens wider community relationships, collectively set communal goals and search without ever taking no for the answer while finding the avenues to mobilize.
  • What I know how to do can be thought of as really random. Yet, it is the work I know how to do based on the tools I have acquired in my life experience. I work to make collective community lives easier to live as individuals. The communities that I work to organize now often find comfort in the margins because many of them have always felt marginalized and without power so it is also my work to find safe places where we can tell each other the stories of our lives to foster stronger relational networks and in this way find the strength to join together with even larger networks to find the power in redemption and social change. This work is a moral issue to me. I morally believe that each person is to be valued and given an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to their own lives and their own experience.Photos: My tradition celebrates and honors the Jewish High Holidays each year outdoors in the natural community that forms in the mountains of Colorado. These photos are from the Adventure Rabbi nonprofit program created and managed by my brother and sister-n-law in Colorado. My brother Jeff is the photographer and his wife, my sister-n-law Jamie works as the Adventure Rabbi…
  • So this is my experience. The story I am going to tell is really about my need to pay the bills and my reality of what it took to do that for the past 11 years. I graduated from the University of Oregon on June 10, 2000 and I had no idea what I was going to do on June 11. One morning, I woke up cold in a borrowed air-stream trailer parked illegally in the middle of a cow-pasture outside of Jasper, Oregon and thought ok, got it – this is not the right path for me. You are really not a rural girl – you are a urban Jewish dyke in a spherical-barrier-filled-sea of finances, location, economy and self-doubt and these were just the easiest stuff to list – barriers distracting me from moving forward encompassed so much of my daily internal and external identity that I felt stuck. So, when I am stuck the only thing I could think of was to move away from the layers that kept me stuck and figure out a way to move on. I thought time is now to find your strength, find the tools accessible and do what you can to move into a new experience. So that is what I did. I asked to sleep on one of my brothers’ couches outside of Denver and I moved from everything I knew and moved back into my families’ home in Colorado. Essentially, I moved back to one of the placesI hadfirst started and had to keep moving.
  • Next. Instead of sharing my entire life shpiel, I am going to try and illustrate here how although the concentric circles that I walk in and live by can keep me outside of the boundaries I am trying to break – these same concentric circles can also be a powerful action to help break through barriers like trying to get noticed amongst a pool of job applicants. I am not going to promise anything brilliant but maybe by sharing my list of barrier breaking tools that I have acquired over the years will remind you of a few of your own and you will start to make decisions that lead into a new path or maybe a familiar path… so here I go the tools that shape the circles that I walk in and out of daily…
  • Initial Tools in my tool box.Understand. Know what your tool box contains. Humility. Simply be Humble. You have to be humble in order to see clearly.Process. It’s about the journey moving towards the end but not about the end point. Participate. Be Part of the Community you want to build.Friends. Choose your friends wisely.Have fun. Keep taking small steps and have fun. Dream Big. Know when to push for your dreams.Delegate. Pick people that are smarter than you. Dress up to show up. Look your most fabulous. Learn your core. What do you stand for?
  • Understand. Know what your tool box contains.
  • First tool. #1 Know what your tool box contains. How is it organized. Is it a mess but really comprehensive? Is it elementary? Is it post-modern? Is it stackable with a lot of intention but available to be filled? Is it overly organized but not diverse in the what it contains? My tool box well – is seriously kind of what you would say I acquired along the way. Besides the basics each of the tools found me. I never knew what I was looking for. In fact, looking at my resume today I can hardly even believe what I ended up finding.
  • First tool. Example: Father – Office is a reflection of your brain – keep it neat – or not, Jared who is uber successful has a very dirty office but brilliant brain… what is your office?Example: Toolbox –Angela versus my tool box – take a look closer at the tool box on the left. It is only for fixing cars. The one in the middle might be empty and the one to the right might be primary but could do the job if necessary.
  • In building my tools and adding these tools to a proverbial tool box I relied on my family and my community to inform what I was to add into it. So as a Jewish kid in St. Louis, Missouri and later in the mountains of Colorado a lot was hammered into my head Jewishly either at home or in Hebrew school or out in the community as a Jew amongst many non-Jews. Two fundamental concepts that I remember shaping my tool kit is understanding how I saw others around me act on the core values found in the Jewish teachings of B’tzelem Elochim – All people are created in the image of the divine and Tikkun’Olam that our purpose regardless of how overly clichéd it is at this point in my life is to participate in repairing the world. Background: Today the term Tikkun olam – usually translated as the mending of the world is used throughout the Jewish world to summarize the efforts of Jewish social justice movement. Simply put the term has become a pat of Jewish law. Tikkun ha’olam is a phrase that drives legal decisions. It reflects an understanding that part of the law’s purpose is to create a more just society, rather than a perfect one. Social justice and overall responsibility. It is an attempt to help guide you to move beyond simplistic and clichéd conversation and to challenge us all to think more deeply about the role we each play in creating not only a just and sustainable world but a world that pays us to work in it. I'm sure you will have rigorous critique of the way I deliver this or the tools that I share but honestly it is just the way I have been able to participate
  • Second Tool.#2 Humility. or simply be Humble. You have to be humble in order to see clearly. But I am talking about legitimate humility – this is distinctly different from a false sense of self-depreciation for the sake of receiving praise or sweetness from others. Trust me- although this tool requires self-understanding, awareness of your skills and openness – humility is one of the simplest tools I know. Example: I went to one of my colleagues and said, Maxwell, I do not have experience writing a speech – with your experience on stage as a dancer and actor I bet you would have some good tips for me. And guess, what – not only did he have great tips but he did help me write this speech and he said it was because I kindly asked, humbly acknowledged what I needed help with and gave him a specific task with a start and end result that would be easy for him to contribute. So – sure, it can often disclose your vulnerabilities but it is honest and humility frequently helps me get the job done the best I can.
  • Third Tool.#3 Process. It’s about the journey moving forward it is not about the end result. What does this mean? It sounds very theoretical. But it is really simple. How many times have you been worried about the due date? The vote? The party at the end of the season? We all think about our looming deadlines – but it’s not what folks tend to remember after the hype goes down – what is the deal with the deadline if in the process of getting there you are selling yourself out, not sleeping, skipping the gym, blowing off friends that really want to help you? The real learning happens on the way there. Don’t disregard the people that help you along the way. I learned my biggest lesson on this topic by observing the dismissal of ¼ of the LGBT community by the country’s largest Gay lobby – HRC. Do you remember the ENDA uproar? Well, I had just begun my work in San Francisco leaving Colorado far behind me when Barney Frank and HRC were involved in the heated work of lobbying congress to try and end discrimination in the work force – the problem – folks disagreed on how to move forward with a law that would help Gays and Lesbians not get fired from their jobs based on their sexual orientations but not include the entire community – let’s watch this clip:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUYiJtHtlKs
  • Fourth Tool.#4 Participate. The amount of people that showed up and continue to show up for HRC or for ENDA is amazing – but it is also authentic and necessary. The individuals that show up want to live and be part of history in the making they want to be part of building themselves and their needs into the community they want to be a part of. So this important tool is – to simply participate in order to be part of the community you want to build. This is how your skills will be noticed – this is also how your availability to leaders looking for folks to organize will be absorbed. If you want to work for change show the change makers how it is done – leaders trust those that show up to participate. They need you – so show up.
  • Fifth Tool. #5 Friends. Choose your friends wisely. Its very hard to move forward in a struggle for justice if a part of you always has to watch your back. So know your surroundings but more importantly choose your friends wisely. Be selective and attentive with all allies, advocates and friends. Build a network of relationships based on real friendship not on the potential results that folks can accomplish.Once you do begin to find friends after these moments of being in school nurture them with your full selves and expect nothing less in return. For the dynamic to shift from basic networking to friendship start where it is deep to find similarities – start with those who share your passions in the most obvious ways – when you use the prior tool to show up in community like I did when I first moved back to Colorado- for example I showed up at a an AIDS march and I looked around – in my experience the people who show up to marches are easily identified as those who are just Über-health nuts finding any excuse to get exercise and those that are systemically frustrated with a problem and are looking for simple ways to make a difference. This is where and how I got my professional start right out of college living in Denver. I had just left that drafty air-stream trailer in rural Oregon to sleep on my brothers couch and find work. On a Sunday afternoon still not having made new friends or connections I showed up to the Annual Denver AIDS March. I saw a banner that said Stonewall Democrats and started to walk with the folks with the Democratic T-Shirts. I then just started listening to stories and when someone next to me started talking about a synagogue in San Francisco that was the first to respond in the Jewish community to the AIDS epidemic when no other Jews knew how to respond – I knew I found a friend. We spoke about the passions in our lives – our experiences with friends living with the virus and after the march I gave him my phone number. He called the next day and asked me to come to a Stonewall Democrats meeting. Sure – what else did I have to do? So I showed up and I was the only person under 40. Whatever – it was an interesting time in politics. It was the year 2000 I hardly remember the meeting itself but a few days later my new friend Paul called me frantically. Lisa if you have a drivers license and still need work I have a job for you. Wow – that worked – I showed up – I made myself visibly available – I made a honest new friendship based on shared passion – and when Paul who was a trusted member of the community was asked by the head of the democratic party if he knew anyone who could start a job immediately but that the job would take them on the road for the next six months with a soon-to-be-elected official he said yes and she is young, energetic and available to start right-away.
  • Sixth Tool.#6 Have fun. Keep taking small steps and have fun. And why shouldn’t being on the right side of history be fun, too?
  • Emma Goldman once said, “If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution.” So when Paul called me and asked if I wanted to take the next six months to drive a retrofitted school bus around the state of Colorado and campaign for a rising young star in the Democratic party---- I said, sure. Sounds like fun. Given these circumstances, I could have focused on the challenges ahead, like how the would I find a job after working as a bus driver but instead I focused on the immediate moment to take the time to celebrate my victory. I got a fun job! Background on Emma:Goldman was also an outspoken critic of prejudice against homosexuals. Her belief that social liberation should extend to gay men and lesbians was virtually unheard of at the time, even among anarchists.As Gay Jewish Magnus Hirschfeld wrote, "she was the first and only woman, indeed the first and only American, to take up the defense of homosexual love before the general public." In numerous speeches and letters she defended the right of gay men and lesbians to love as they pleased and condemned the fear and stigma associated with homosexuality. As Goldman wrote in a letter to Hirschfeld, "It is a tragedy, I feel, that people of a different sexual type are caught in a world which shows so little understanding for homosexuals and is so crassly indifferent to the various gradations and variations of gender and their great significance in life.“
  • We can all sometimes lose sight of the joy of the work.  And that is a shame, because it is a joy to engage in social change work even as odd as it can be. Each of the workers involved in a campaign or a company are essential pieces. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be involved in a cause like that campaign. The struggle to strengthen Colorado’s education system in the year 2000 with Jared Polis’s first election led him to be the youngest ever elected state-wide official in Colorado History which led to me finding a career with Jared as his philanthropic manager and all of this later got him into his dream position to be a US Congress person. At the very moment when we need most to be serious and start running is usually the best time to just keep taking those small steps forward…
  • Seventh Tool.#7 Dream Big. Know when to push for your dreams, be weary of your reality and when necessary reinvent either your reality or your dream. Sure, the truth is that I never had a dream until my dreams started to find me. Yet, even without dreams you still have to be selective. See, I always knew a few basics like I wanted to live independently and I wanted to go to school after high-school. Yet, even though I was raised within the realm of a privileged path not everyone around me had that same privilege. As a queer kid in St. Louis, Missouri before the times of Gay-Straight Associations (GSA) regardless of how much I would bounce around the city or change the way I looked on the outside - I seemed to get stuck in the same often self-destructive social circles over and over again. I knew that I could easily walk down the path that many of the kids in my LGBT youth group went down – and it was a downwardly spiraling circle that many of my peers never got out of. Each week my LGBT youth group met in the basement of a church on Wednesday nights and unlike me a lot of the kids lived there too. I wanted to be a leader even if I did not know it at the time. So I learned from those meetings and I took what I could and left the rest. For me, that meant I knew not only did I want to go to school but that if I dreamed big enough and got into the school of my dreams I would have no choice but to give back. Based on my Jewish upbringing with the values of B’tzelem Elochim – All people are created in the image of the divine and TikkunOlam to participate in repairing the world that it was my obligation not my choice to giveback to the community who provided me with the courage, support and privileges I received. I know I could have interpreted that giving back by making tons of money and being charitable one-day but instead I knew that with my skills the best gift would be of my time. So I left the rut I was in and pushed for my dream to study amongst the beautiful trees and the promise of a multitude of feminist-lesbians of Oregon and I got here. Quickly, I learned how to shake it up respectively. I learned when I got here that my local Hillel did not really know what to do with the huge LGBT community outside its door. So instead of being the Jew at the LGBT Alliance and the queer at the Hillel I brought the two groups together. Selfishly – sure. But I quickly grew tired of the short term change between the two groups – so I walked forward, dreamed big and worked for longer term change – I then had a great next four years at one of the queerest Jewish centers I had yet to discover until my time in San Francisco.
  • Eighth Tool. #8 Delegate. Hire or find people that are smarter than you to surround you. Trust me – someone is alwayssmarter if you know how to pay attention. Example: Susan Mund.
  • Ninth Tool. So #9. Dress up to show up. Always look your most fabulous. Joke: Except on Shabbat – Shabbat or the Jewish Sabbath is for wearing your shamtas or your rags.Example: I learned this from my father. A very stylish man my father always insisted that we knew our own style and showed up with it. If I was to be into dresses – make sure that dress was specifically how you wanted it to look. Example: Never know who you will run into – share that you ran into Anita Friedman at 7am at the San Francisco Airport – folks are visual – they will have visual memories of how you show up. Make sure that is the way you want to be remembered. Don’t change your look just show up as yourself – which is of course, your most fabulous.
  • Tenth Tool#10 Learn your core. What do you stand for? What do you do? I learned quickly that the barriers I had to break down was within my own community. Where I apparently looked and behaved like a radical. How this is possible if you look at me today – is crazy – but I looked within for inspiration and when someone called me a radical in front of one of my brothers I received Rules for Radicals a pragmatic primer by Saul Alinsky the very next day. I opened it up and I read, “What is the American radical? The radical is that unique person to whom the common good is the greatest personal value. He is that person who genuinely and completely believes in mankind. The radical is so completely identified with mankind that he personally shares the pain, the injustices, and the sufferings of all his fellow men.”
  • I then understood what my core was. I learned it from who many call the father of community organizing. Mr. Alinsky – he said it is simple, it is about putting the right people. At the right place at the right time. Ok. Simple. Alinsky advocated a paradigm in which radicals would work with others and train leaders to organize their communities to build power for change.Optional if time permits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUYiJtHtlKs video on who Alinsky is and what community organizing is. Or other option: Video on Rachel Maddow explaining community organizing. Or other way of saying story: We are a people of the book – right – the Jewish people – you have heard this expression – right – meaning the Torah we read the torah but as we are a people of the book each time I came out of the closet to someone in my family I would get a book Radical you are a radical here is a book radical Saul Alinsky
  • Closing. Thank you for listening to me. I hope that you take the time this weekend to talk amongst yourselves. Talk in circles. Turn to the person next to you and ask them what is in your tool box. What do you want your tool box to look like in a few years? And before you know it, the barrier to simply connect with people around you gets broken and once one barrier is broken take the tool it took to break that down and put it however neatly in your tool box. Your barriers have changed and your circle has grown to include new tools.
  • To end on a Jewish note… the rabbinical superstar Hillel is believed to say, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?”Shabbat Shalom – I hope that you have a peaceful and thought provoking weekend and thank you again for having me here. Background note on quote: The tractate includes several of the most frequently-quoted rabbinic sayings, such as "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am for myself, what am 'I'? And if not now, when?" (Avoth 1:14). It is written in simple and terse Hebrew — Im ein ani li, mi li? U'ch'she'ani l'atzmi mah ani? V'im lo achshav eimatai? — and is attributed to the great Sage Hillel, who was famous for succinct expression. Pirkei Avot (Hebrew: פרקי אבות Pirqe Abhoth in Classical and Talmudic Hebrew‎), which translates to English as Verses of the Fathers is a compilation of the ethical teachings and maxims of the Rabbis of the Mishnaic period. Because of its contents, it is also called Ethics of the Fathers. The teachings of Pirkei Avot appear in the Mishnaic tractate of Avot, the second-to-last tractate in the order of Nezikin in the Talmud. Pirkei Avot is unique in that it is the only tractate of the Talmud dealing solely with ethical and moral principles; there is little or no halacha found in Pirkei Avot, except for the Ein Mishpat Ner Mitzvah.
  • As the Director of the LGBT Alliance, Lisa Finkelstein works as a community organizer at the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. For close to two decades she has filled multiple roles as a teacher, director, volunteer and organizer within multiple philanthropic, political and educational social justice-based organizations. She worked as a close advisor for six-years with the now US Congressman Jared Polis, the first openly gay male elected to Congress as a freshman. Within one of her multiple roles with Congressman Polis, she was the Founding Executive Director of the Jared Polis Foundation where she administered the grants to community programs, teachers and schools as well as managed the creation and start-up phases of the Academy of Urban Learning, the New America Schools and Community Computer Connection or “C3”.  In 2004 she completed her studies of Social Enterprise on the Navajo Nation and received her Masters in Nonprofit Management with a leadership focus at Regis University. In 2000 she received a B.A. from the University of Oregon with an Educational Certification in Substance Abuse Prevention. She was raised in Saint Louis, Missouri and later Summit County, Colorado. She currently lives in the beautiful city of San Francisco with her 11-year old Chihuahua, Diego and blogs at http://www.qjew.wordpress.com.  
  • PotentialRules to add in…Assume the best. Assume folks are with you in spirit unless they tell you otherwise. Folks want to be thought of as having street-cred. Don’t waste peoples time or yours by being condescending to folks that might already know what you stand for – what you work for or what you know – In my work, I Assume everyone is queer and Jewish unless they tell you differently. Know what you want to do by eliminating what you don’t. I find it hard to say specifically what I want to do and what I don’t want to do. For example, I know I don’t ever have interest in climbing Mount Everest – Something I never want to dotakes forever and is circular and takes specific training. What else does this lead me to think? Also, as I was growing up a theme crept into my understanding that became more obvious as I grew older. As I seriously couldn’t deal with the monotony of taking the same bus to and from school every day with Marcus the bus driver all I knew about growing up was that as an adult when people asked me what I wanted to do I would respond with I just don’t want to take the same bus and the same time and at the same location to and from work every day. In effect – as a kid – I was already acknowledging that although we walk in circles it is never ideal for me at least to behave like I was. Get Over yourself. My Great Aunt Gertrude used to tell her sister wearing all pearls and dressed to the nines to go grocery shopping – honey, stop with the pretension you are one generation away from living in a hut somewhere in Eastern Europe. Get over yourself. Understand your obligations: We as American Jews have enormous power and political voice not just as individuals but as a community and with that power and voice comes equally great obligationsComplex Loyalty.Who are you married to? My graduate school professor Ramon del Castillo – divorced multiple times each wife saying, are you married to me or the community? Figure it out…. Know who counts: Everyone. By working together, we not only have strength in numbers but also strength in solidarity, strength in community. The Jared Polis campaign gave me the strength and experience that I could influence the policies that affect my life and the life of others. More powerful still was the recognition that by striving together for a common goal, disparate groups were able to form a community where everyone counted. Pluralistic Learning. It is an approach towards learning that acknowledges the uniqueness of the student and is based on the equal right of every person to express this uniqueness. Every individual on this planet has a unique learning profile. Human diversity is one of the most beautiful things in our world. It is the fuel that runs our world. An education system that does not acknowledge my uniqueness will not acknowledge me. It might acknowledge those like me but it is not interested in getting to know me. It might acknowledge people my age, people who live in my area, people who buy in the same supermarket. But I am not a copy or a reflection of the sum of qualities that resemble me. As a person I am made of a multi - cellular genetic code that has no human equivalent. Every person is an individual whose contribution to the world is unique. The more people are involved in the world and sharing with each other or the more people are busy in subjects that interest them the greater their belief in themselves. Therefore when there is a growing capacity to respect oneself, others, and humanity as a whole, and to see different opinions as opportunities for growth we are able to utilize that knowledge and bring not only ourselves but our communities forward together. Seeing different people, different societies, and different points of view as a source of growth will serve to guarantee your future as a successful leader. Think about the transformation that will take place if you just look around you and see the amazing knowledge that you as a collective could bring. Think about how as a collective community we as a society inform Wikipedia.Stretch (or deepen) your capacity.Think strategically but act opportunistically. Own your Complexity. Orchestrate the process of moving forward. Engage with others by wearing your complexity out loud in order to move forward. Talk about the peeling layers of an onion. How the more distinct the layers of your identity are that you wear the more barriers you could experience or the more barriers you have grown to overcome. Explain the Hapa-Complex – hapa is a hawaiian word that was originally part of the full phrase: hapahaole, which was a derogatory term for someone half Hawaiian and half "white foreigner." Today, the phrase has been shortened to simply "hapa" and generally refers outside of its pejorative origins to include anyone part Asian or Pacific Islander and, generally, part Caucasian. However, the definition of "hapa" has come more and more to mean "half" or "of mixed blood" in which case many different racial combinations are beginning to fall under the umbrella of "hapa". Yet when we speak about the need to stretch our own abilities within the barriers of our own multicultural or multiracial identities in order to make change within we need to remember the multiple contextual factors that layer our experiences. In this way we are modeling and conceptualizing for othersthe reality of multiracial identity where the relationships between internal awareness and external personal affiliation can not be separated even when they are in conflict. In looking back at World War II - the United States forced people of Japanese heritage in camps – we can’t assume that people can easily peel their layers and experience to take a side – we instead ask for understanding of the complexity and say we learned and we can not repeat our mistakes - my Japanese American friend Jen who proudly identifies as Hapa can’t and does not choose a side here – she owns all of it – she wears her entire self and brings her complexity of the barriers she has experienced which not only means she shows the world that she has the capacity to be trusted and counted on to solve complex problems but also in the more simplified breakdown that we can not separate our selves even when parts of ourselves don’t --- In all communities successively complex identity statuses are formed while other identity statuses remain available to be used as contextual factors continuously change. Don’t find the vulnerable aspects of your past and hide them wear them with pride. More on this within “Pluralistic Learning as the Core of Democratic Education”by Yaacov Hecht that Pluralistic Learning versus Linear Learning means knowing the capacity for complexity is within us to orchestrate and engage towards change. http://www.democraticeducation.com/essay-yaacov.htm
  • Within Toolbox #2: Being so obviously over-the-top-Jewish – meaning although I am not religious my paycheck does come from multiple Jewish communities I thought to illustrate my point even further I would go to the most obvious place for me in the world to seek advice written by Jewish sages: Wikipedia. According to my findings the Talmud had only one major thing to say about Humility and this might be the entire problem with the organized Jewish community – but that is entirely another speech – the only thing the Talmud says about Humility is that any job however humble is righteous.
  • Definition of CIRCLE
  • Compassion Fatigue it is easy to experience it and the reduction in our capacity for empathy that results in oversaturation with images of suffering. Compassion fatigue (also known as a secondary traumatic stress disorder) is a condition characterized by a gradual lessening of compassion over time. It is common among trauma victims and individuals that work directly with trauma victims. Sufferers can exhibit several symptoms including hopelessness, a decrease in experiences of pleasure, constant stress and anxiety, and a pervasive negative attitude. This can have detrimental effects on individuals, both professionally and personally, including a decrease in productivity, the inability to focus, and the development of new feelings of incompetency and self doubt.
  • “In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis.” Quentin Crisp
  • “I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn’t.”—Albert Camus in “The Stranger,” 1942
  • Really, as the queertastic Quentin Crisp once wrote, “It's no good running a pig farm badly for 30 years while saying, 'Really, I was meant to be a ballet dancer.' By then, pigs will be your style.” By then Gay community organizing was my style.
  • Transcript of "Breaking barriers lisa_finkelstein_presentation_2.17.11"

    1. 1. BREAKING BARRIERSThe tools that have worked for me might also work foryou…
    2. 2. Bathroom Kitchen Monday Friday TuesdayBedroom Bedroom Thursday Wednesday Kitchen Bathroom
    3. 3. How do we move forward in our lives when we keep dizzyingly making the same moves?
    4. 4. Toolbox1. Understand. Know what 5. Friends. Choose your your tool box contains. friends wisely.2. Humility. Simply be Humble. 6. Have fun. Keep taking small You have to be humble in steps and have fun. order to see clearly. 7. Dream Big. Know when to3. Process. It’s about the push for your dreams. journey moving towards the 8. Delegate. Pick people that end but not about the end are smarter than you. point. 9. Dress up to show up. Look4. Participate. Be Part of the your most fabulous. Community you want to build. 10. Learn your core. What do you stand for?
    5. 5. Toolbox1. Understand. Know what your tool box contains.
    6. 6. Toolbox1. Understand. Know clearly. what your tool box contains.2. Humility. Simply be Humble. You have to be humble in order to see
    7. 7. Toolbox1. Understand. Know clearly. what your tool box 3. Process. It’s about contains. the journey moving2. Humility. Simply be towards the end Humble. You have but not about the to be humble in end point. order to see
    8. 8. Toolbox1. Understand. Know the journey moving what your tool box towards the end but contains. not about the end2. Humility. Simply be point. Humble. You have to 4. Participate. Be Part be humble in order of the Community to see clearly. you want to build.3. Process. It’s about
    9. 9. Toolbox1. Understand. Know towards the end but what your tool box not about the end contains. point.2. Humility. Simply be 4. Participate. Be Part Humble. You have to of the Community be humble in order you want to build. to see clearly. 5. Friends. Choose3. Process. It’s about your friends wisely. the journey moving
    10. 10. Toolbox1. Understand. Know not about the end what your tool box point. contains. 4. Participate. Be Part of2. Humility. Simply be the Community you Humble. You have to want to build. be humble in order to 5. Friends. Choose your see clearly. friends wisely.3. Process. It’s about the 6. Have fun. Keep taking journey moving small steps and have towards the end but fun.
    11. 11. “If I cant dance, I dont want to be part ofyour revolution.” Emma Goldman
    12. 12. At the very moment The most The best when weneed to be serious Time to keep is usually taking small steps
    13. 13. Toolbox1. Understand. Know what 4. Participate. Be Part of the your tool box contains. Community you want to2. Humility. Simply be build. Humble. You have to be 5. Friends. Choose your humble in order to see friends wisely. clearly. 6. Have fun. Keep taking3. Process. It’s about the small steps and have fun. journey moving towards 7. Dream Big. Know when to the end but not about the push for your dreams. end point.
    14. 14. Toolbox1. Understand. Know what Community you want to your tool box contains. build.2. Humility. Simply be 5. Friends. Choose your Humble. You have to be friends wisely. humble in order to see 6. Have fun. Keep taking clearly. small steps and have fun.3. Process. It’s about the 7. Dream Big. Know when to journey moving towards push for your dreams. the end but not about the end point. 8. Delegate. Pick people that are smarter than you.4. Participate. Be Part of the
    15. 15. Toolbox1. Understand. Know what build. your tool box contains. 5. Friends. Choose your2. Humility. Simply be Humble. friends wisely. You have to be humble in 6. Have fun. Keep taking small order to see clearly. steps and have fun.3. Process. It’s about the 7. Dream Big. Know when to journey moving towards the push for your dreams. end but not about the end point. 8. Delegate. Pick people that are smarter than you.4. Participate. Be Part of the Community you want to 9. Dress up to show up. Look your most fabulous.
    16. 16. Toolbox1. Understand. Know what 5. Friends. Choose your your tool box contains. friends wisely.2. Humility. Simply be Humble. 6. Have fun. Keep taking small You have to be humble in steps and have fun. order to see clearly. 7. Dream Big. Know when to3. Process. It’s about the push for your dreams. journey moving towards the 8. Delegate. Pick people that end but not about the end are smarter than you. point. 9. Dress up to show up. Look4. Participate. Be Part of the your most fabulous. Community you want to build. 10. Learn your core. What do you stand for?
    17. 17. “What is the American radical? The radical is that unique personto whom the common good is the greatest personal value. He isthat person who genuinely and completely believes in mankind.The radical is so completely identified with mankind that hepersonally shares the pain, the injustices, and the sufferings ofall his fellow men.” Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
    18. 18. circular learnreasoning Talk from each other Can work To each to keep moving forward other
    19. 19. “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? IfI am not for others, what am I? And if notnow, when?”Rabbi Hillel in Pirkeh Avot, Ethics of Our Fathers
    20. 20. As the Director of the LGBT Alliance, LisaFinkelstein works as a community organizer atthe Jewish Community Federation of SanFrancisco, the Peninsula, Marin and SonomaCounties. For close to two decades she has filledmultiple roles as a teacher, director, volunteerand organizer within multiple philanthropic,political and educational social justice-basedorganizations during her time living in Missouri,Colorado, Oregon and California. You can findher blogging on her experiences as aprofessional queer Jew at
    21. 21. bar·ri·er noun ˈber ē-ər, ˈba - -rē-a: Something material that blocks or is intended to block passage <highway barrier> b : a naturalformation or structure that prevents or hinders movement or action <geographic barriers to speciesdissemination> c: a medieval war game in which combatants fight on foot with a fence or railingbetween them something immaterial that impedes or separates obstacle <behavioral barriers> <tradebarriers> Examples: Concrete barriers surround the race track to protect spectators. The trees roots serve as a barrier against soil erosion. The mountain range forms a natural barrier between the two countries. Both leaders are in favor of removing trade barriers. Cultural barriers have made it hard for women to enter many professions. He argues that regulations should not be viewed as barriers to progress.Synonyms: barricade, fence, hedge, wallNear Antonyms: doorway, entrance, entry, entryway, gate, portal; gap, pass
    22. 22. “It is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it...” Rabbi Tarfon, Pirkei Avot 2:16
    23. 23. cir·cle noun, often attributive ˈsər -kəla: ring or halo b: a closed plane curve every point of which isequidistant from a fixed point within the curve c: an area ofaction or influence e: fallacious reasoning in which something tobe demonstrated is covertly assumed f: a group of personssharing a common interest or revolving about a common center.Examples: She drew a circle around the correct answer. We formed a circle around the campfire. She has a large circle of friends. She is well-known in banking circles.Near Antonyms: loner; indivualist
    24. 24. com·pas·sion fa·tigue noun kəm-ˈpa-shən fə-ˈtēga: the resistance of the general public to give money to charity or othergood causes due to overexposure or over saturation b: the lack ofcapacity to separate self from other as a key component of productiveempathy; otherwise, the sight of another’s pain can become paralyzingc: destructive behaviors surfacing when caregivers focus on otherswithout practicing self-care. Examples: Lack of flexibility among staff members with strong reluctance toward change with inability to believe improvement is possible Isolation from others In denial about problems Voices excessive complaints about administrative functions
    25. 25. “In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast.Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt findthat without changing their address they eventually live in themetropolis.” Quentin Crisp
    26. 26. “I may not have been sure about what really didinterest me, but I was absolutely sure aboutwhat didn’t.” Albert Camus in “The Stranger,” 1942.
    27. 27. “Its no good running a pig farm badly for 30 years whilesaying, Really, I was meant to be a ballet dancer. Bythen, pigs will be your style.” Quentin Crisp
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