We wanted to outline the top three lessons we've learned so far from our participation in the cohort: 1. Our story doesn't lose its power if we always tell it the same way. This might sound obvious, but we were really struggling to keep people's attention and to capture the attention of new supporters because we kept reinventing the wheel. Every social post, blog post, grant, email.... we were starting over. We worried that if systematized our story we would lose our spark, our genuineness, or our humanity. Instead, turning our story into a repeatable, predictable formula has given us the space to do MORE with our humanity. 2. Focus on addition, not subtraction. When Ai-jen Poo shared with our co-hort that "progress will always be additive"...we went through the 5 stages of grief. So many activists get caught up in what we AREN'T doing and who is doing it WRONG and what we need to ABOLISH, but Ai-jen reminded us that if you're adding enough value, you can stop worrying about subtracting. New visions will replace old visions only when the majority of the work is going towards building the new, not destroying the old. We were forced to reckon with the time we wasted being negative, but the reflection has made us stronger (and mentally healthier). 3. Partnerships create progress. The organizations we are learning with have leveled us up faster than any grant ever could. What we've learned from the other leaders and their struggles and triumphs fuels us and humbles us. Once a week we tell at least one cohort member that we want to work for them/donate to them/partner with them. We've always said "together we're better and stronger" and we now believe it more than ever.
We know we'll have more lessons before it's all over...and we can't wait to share them here!