Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lessons Learned: Don't Be Afraid to Accept Help

 “Be brave enough to accept the help of others.” - Melba Cosgrove

When a colleague offers help, it can be wise to accept that help if you can. You can benefit from the strengths they bring. Accepting help from a friend or colleague is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. 

I was recently assigned the task of designing some marketing material for the RAPP program. Though out of my comfort zone, I was excited to begin and quite proud of my new responsibility. However, a week into my work it became a different story. My pace slowed and I felt my brain turning to mush. A colleague of mine offered to help me and I turned down their assistance. If I had genuinely not needed the help that would make sense, but I did and I knew my pride was a factor. My project did finish on time, but it likely would have been even better had I accepted the help of my coworker.   

Don't let pride come in the way of a better final product. The task is always more important than your pride. 

Lessons Learned is a RAPP Blog initiative intended for folks who hold formal leadership positions in RAPP programs to share what they're learning through their process

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

KNCR- Courageous People

In Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation, we talked about the nonviolence movement in the United States and the teachings of Martin Luther King.

Those who participated in KNCR as well as the SALD Community are all invited to join us as we look at nonviolent movements from across the globe. This series will be titled, "Courageous People".

We will first look at the nonviolence movement that helped end the Apartheid in Africa.

Join us! Wednesday, June 25th @ 11:30!

Lessons Learned: Trust the Process

When times get tough, it can be helpful to remind ourselves to trust the process - the group will get where they need to, trust them and give them time to get there.

It can be stressful trying to stay in the moment when we perceive our group to be processing concepts too slowly or veering off track completely. Throughout the program whenever there weren't immediate and expected results, the meeting seemed like a total failure. However, I understand more than ever that stressing about these expectations further stifles the process. 

The experience is just as much about developing as an individual and member of a group as it is about social justice education and practices. Just because a certain member or the entire group missed the point we as facilitators were trying to get across, does not mean that a certain member or the entire group didn't experience any personal development during that process.

Lessons Learned is a RAPP Blog initiative intended for folks who hold formal leadership positions in RAPP programs to share what they're learning through their process

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Lessons Learned: Self Care


It's absolutely incredible how I forgot one of the most important aspects of success and good health- self care. I've always been busy whether it's volunteering, working, studying or all other tasks and had never stopped to think: Am I taking care of myself?

4 hours a night of sleep, eating quick unhealthy meals, and not leaving enough time to have personal time to myself ultimately contributed to the extreme amount of stress that I had been feeling for months. I thought it was simply because I was too busy - wrong. It had a lot to do with the fact that I hadn't made self care my top priority like it should have been. I constantly wondered why I was so tired, why I was spending so much money on coffee and why I couldn't seem to remember to get tasks completed. It wasn't because I didn't want to do them - it was solely because my body and mind were desperately trying to show me that I needed more sleep, nutrients, and personal time.

About a month ago I made it a goal to exercise a couple times a week to keep my body in good physical health. In addition to going to the gym, I made a goal to eat healthy foods - more veggies and fruits. It was amazing what that small change in my diet and routine did for my brain and body. I made a lifestyle change - the little changes weren't cutting it any longer, I needed to give my body time and effort that it has needed for so long in order to keep me healthy enough to complete my tasks and responsibilities and be happy and healthy about it!

To me, there is nothing more important when you are in a position of leadership (which is all the time) than keeping yourself healthy and happy. It wasn't easy to make all of these lifestyle changes, however, it was worth it - more than I ever imagined. Give your body some love!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

#RAWR Recruit Away With RAPP!

If you didn't know, RAPP is holding a recruitment challenge for RAPP XXX and ARJ 2014!

Essentially, whomever gets the most people to apply to either intensive (one winner for ARJ, one winner for RAPP), will win a bag full UC goodies. Rebecca and the RAPPORT Facilitators will purchase things from the book store just for those winners along with additional RAPP goodies.

To win, all you have to do is have the most amount of people mention you on their application as one of the reasons they applied to RAPP/ARJ. This is where you get a chance to #RAWR!

Ways you can #RAWR:

Post a Facebook Status and tell them to mention you
Tweet a recruitment status
Table with RAPP and make sure to tell folks to add your name to their RAPPlication
Talk to students at student welcomes
Send people the RAPP & ARJ info pages
Mention it to your peers in summer classes
And many more ways!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lessons Learned: Appreciate It!

"Feel good" and appreciation activities can have a very deep personal impact; they also run counter to white culture/white supremacy.

Many of us have heard the cliche "Stop and smell the roses." In our lives, how often do we stop and take the time to appreciate the activities we enjoy, people we love, or accomplishments we are proud of? I say not enough. We could probably find many more instances in which we've pointed out a something or someone's inadequacies.  Knowing this, we often build "feel good" or appreciation activities into our RAPP curriculum.

Corrine Patterson's SJL Award Recognition

Appreciation activities perpetuate an environment where everyone's individual efforts are recognized and celebrated, as opposed to acclaiming the same few people; usually those given credit in the outside world (i.e. CEO's, celebrities, and so on). According to Tema Okun and Kenneth Jones, authors of Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups, white supremacy involves a "tendency to identify what is wrong; little ability to identify, name, and appreciate what is right." Appreciation activities run counter to this idea and can even be a sort of antidote.

Lessons Learned is a RAPP Blog initiative intended for folks who hold formal leadership positions in RAPP programs to share what they're learning through their process

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

#BringBackOurGirls Event at the Freedom Center

Re-posted from: Freedom Center Blog
#BringBackOurGirls Event Friday: Freedom Center Hosts Free Panel Discussion on Activism and Advocacy related to Nigerian kidnappings

This Friday, join local leaders and activists at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center for a discussion of the recent kidnappings in Nigeria and the accompanying worldwide #Bringbackourgirls social media campaign. Participants will come away with a deeper understanding of the happenings in Nigeria and the implications for activism in the age of the Internet.
Rebecca Lehman, Coordinator of University of Cincinnati’s Racial Awareness Program, will moderate the discussion. Community partners include Cincinnati League of Women Voters, Cincinnati Junior League, End Slavery Now and Xavier University’s Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice.
This event is free and open to the public.
As an institution dedicated to the abolition of modern day slavery, the Freedom Center wants to serve as a space for the community to discuss nuanced issues like the recent kidnappings, learn about the connections to the wider landscape of human trafficking and reflect on the international community’s response to an instance of human trafficking. Freedom Center President Dr. Clarence G. Newsome recently released a statement on the kidnappings, calling on readers to speak out against actions that threaten the freedom of individuals and cause entire communities to live in fear.
Friday’s discussion will focus on these kidnappings and the international response but will also touch on some of the broader issues of modern day slavery and human trafficking— types of modern day slavery, the causes and effects of modern day slavery and the warning signs of human trafficking.
The conversation will also include the role of women’s education in combating modern day slavery. Women’s education has been one of the most powerful tools in the fight against poverty, infant mortality and violent extremism across the world. Panelists and attendees will be asked to consider the importance of women’s education and empowerment within our own communities.
Lastly, this event will address the importance of responsible social media advocacy and the role of social media in modern activism. The explosive worldwide response through #BringBackOurGirls has raised many questions about the ethics of social media advocacy— in the age of the Internet, how do we engage in the fight for freedom in a way that promotes empathy, solidarity and pluralism?
The event will take place this Friday, June 6 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Everyday Freedom Hero Gallery.
Look forward to more information and advocacy opportunities from the up-and-coming organization End Slavery Now. You can find them on Twitter @endslaverynow.  Click here for more information.
-Tatum Hunter, Marketing Intern

Lessons Learned: Role-modeling in-the-moment learning is valuable

Role-modeling in-the-moment learning is a valuable form of role-modeling because it humanizes us as facilitators and demonstrates the possibility of what we are teaching.

In last week's Lessons Learned post, I mentioned that none of us on the facilitation team were born facilitators. We each had to learn a lot to be in our current roles and this learning is ongoing.

I remember early in RAPP XXIX's year transcribing what some of the RAPPers were saying during a meeting. I wanted to be quick and in that quickness I shorthanded an expression that some in the room found to be offensive. No one called me out on it right away, but later we discussed what I wrote and I apologized. I could have just kept going with my next activity, but we decided to stop and revisit the mistake I made. By doing this, we role-modeled that mistakes happen and we all make them. The key is to learn from them and move on in a way that is constructive.

Lessons Learned is a RAPP Blog initiative intended for folks who hold formal leadership positions in RAPP programs to share what they're learning through their process