*This first appeared under Inspiring Voices on The Women Take Over*
There are few things I enjoy more than the discomfort and ambiguity that comes with discovering a new dilemma. When I find a one, I know that opportunity, invention and change are right around the corner.
I first learned about the power of dilemma after I had my abortion and was surprised to find that the only places that provided emotional support came from those who advocated against abortion. There was nothing available from the other side. That dilemma showcased a previously unmet need and I saw the opportunity in the obstacle: to build a place of nonjudgmental support. I co-founded Exhale, the nation’s first organization designed by and for women who have had abortions, with a mission to change the social climate from one of judgment and shame to one of support and respect.
Fourteen years later, because of Exhale’s services and the broader social impact of our mission, thousands of women and men have found the comfort and connection they need after abortion, and more advocates and organizations across the entire political spectrum are doing their part to promote emotional well being after abortion. Continue Reading »
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Abortion, dilemma, Exhale, gray area, intimacy, Justin Timberlake, Leadership, listening, Pro-Voice, Storytelling | Leave a Comment »
A member of the Oakland Public Ethics Commission, a year ago, I initiated a subcommittee to review Oakland’s Transparency practices. A final report on our activities was published today and I couldn’t be more proud and excited about it’s depth, breadth and potential to strengthen Oakland’s culture shift towards more innovation, accountability and transparency. Last night was my final Public Ethics Commission meeting: I hung up my hat as Vice-Chair and ended my three years of public service.
I encourage you to read the report – Toward Collaborative Transparency.
My last meeting with my fellow Commissioners:
Posted in I did | Tagged Oakland, Open Government, Public Ethics Commission, Transparency | Leave a Comment »
*This was first published on HuffPo Impact*
2013 revealed a promising new political trend: A renewed interest in listening, connection and acknowledgment of gray areas to spur innovation and possibility. It’s not surprising that activists, leaders and organizations would respond to the dysfunction of the federal government by exploring ideas and practices to resolve conflicts and develop common ground.
No one understands the challenges of conflict more than Planned Parenthood, so it makes sense that they stepped out early. Last January, Planned Parenthood made a major announcement acknowledging that Americans’ views on abortion weren’t so cut and dry. Their willingness to adopt the gray area so proudly and publicly signaled potential for a major shift in the abortion conversation.
Less than a year later, they are less alone in their approach. More and more public figures are advocating for better ways of dealing with our differences.
In a fall TEDTalk, Sally Kohn, the liberal pundit formerly of Fox News, spoke about a concept she calls emotional correctness: “You can’t get anyone to agree with you if you don’t listen to them first… we spend so much time talking past each other and not enough time talking through our disagreements.”
Philanthropy publicly embraced the idea of building bridges across divides this year too. The Board of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced a new initiative, which will “zero in on the problem of political polarization. We believe… that alleviating polarization is a precondition for successfully addressing the other problems that bedevil us.”
This desire to try something beyond fighting is happening on the local level too. Continue Reading »
Posted in I think | Tagged Abortion, Exhale, Gentrification, Google Bus, Hewlett Foundation, listening, Pro-Voice, Sally Kohn, Texas | Leave a Comment »