Bangkok and Burma

marble_temple_bangkokSilver Springs It’s the time of year when the Organizers’ Forum (www.organizersforum.org) begins to send out the call for the international dialogue to community and labor organizers who are interested in learning about the work of their counterparts in other countries and sharing their own experiences.  This year the board has approved the international dialogue as a visit to Bangkok and border area between Myanmar/Burma and Thailand during the period from October 4th through October 9th .  Early discussions indicate this is going to be an exciting and significant experience for the delegation.

Needless to say in the tradition of past dialogues, Thailand has been in the news over the last year.  At various times either yellow shirted or red shirted marchers have been leading huge protests, including shutting down the international airport for days at one point over the legitimacy of various governments. This is complicated stuff, but fortunately our old friend, Rudy

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Leader Thinking

picphpChicago    The board of the Organizers’ Forum set aside an entire day for what turned out to be a fascinating dialogue on leadership development and training for community and labor organizations.  There were a host of challenges, but in sharing the practices of various networks including DART, WORC, PICO, ACORN Canada, Acorn International, SEIU, and the AFL-CIO, as well as having the advantage of a board guest with experience in community work in South Africa and labor training in Australia, there was just cause for some celebration of the deep commitment social justice organizations still hold for the value for developing leadership as part of the core program.

There’s a lot that was shared but let me go right to what may have been one of the more interesting and informative exchange.  Scott Reed, PICO’s Executive Director, had suggested the topic for the board discussion of “how leaders learn.”  Without really knowing what Scott had in mind for PICO to share, the planning committee had eagerly added the topic to the agenda. 

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