My Half Year in Review: Spring and Summer 2021

I’m vaccinated!

I’ve met up with friends in person for the first time in over a year. I’ve seen my doctors. I’ve treated myself to outdoors dining and indoor movies. I’m not as worried for my friends and family. I’m incredibly thankful.

Photo of Mike and I at Krispy Kreme donuts. I'm holding my vaccination card, both of us are wearing masks, and behind us is a conveyor belt of freshly glazed donuts.
Mike and I celebrating with free Krispy Kreme donuts after we got our second vaccine shot!

Youth Power Coalition just wrapped up its first full year

I officially stepped into the role of founder of Youth Power Coalition (formerly #NYCEDU) in 2017. We launched in 2020. And now, in 2021, we just wrapped up our first full year.

Since we launched, we’ve grown our organizing team from five to twenty. We’ve designed a movement structure with intergenerational decision making and an inclusive culture. We’ve engaged with over 500 people with our student strike’s, convenings, and partnership projects like the Youth Mayoral Forum.

What a privilege it’s been to experience Youth Power Coalition’s growth. I will miss all the youth leaders who are now alumni of our organizing team. They’re taking the skills they’ve learned to new projects, they’re starting college, they’re going to be missed but they will always be part of the Youth Power Coalition community.

Watch many of these alumni below explaining why we started Youth Power Coalition.

We launched version 3 of Mutual Aid NYC’s Community Resources Library!

The MANYC Community Resources Library is a growing collection of the many resources available to New Yorkers from education to housing to money. What sets it apart is that we’re community sourced, volunteer run, and aligned to the principles of mutual aid including accountability and community leadership. Our third version is now launched! It’s now searchable, making it even easier for community members to find the resources they need.

Photo of Mutual Aid NYC Community Resources Library launch party. Photo of organizers holding up balloons that read MANYC. Everyone looks like they're having fun.
Organizers, alumni, and partners of the MANYC Community Resources Library gathering at our Central Park Launch Party

I’m becoming anti-capitalist

I don’t see how we can continue… We have a world in which people who have a lot of resources waste them while people who don’t starve. We have a world that’s facing eminent ecological collapse and yet we don’t seem to be able to do anything about it. We have a world where exploiting workers is more “profitable” than community organizing. There’s got to be a better way.

I’ve got a lot to learn, but here’s what I’m reading, watching, and thinking about.

Let’s Talk Mutual Aid by Regan De Loggans, member of Indigenous Kinship Collective, writes, “Mutual aid is simple, it’s the breaking of the binary of the “Haves and have nots” with the intention to reallocate for equitable access to resources, education, and needs… Capitalists cannot practice Mutual Aid; they can practice temporary reallocation (ie philanthropy) which is not the same. Charity is not Mutual Aid.”

SolidarityNYC defines the solidarity economy as a system that “meets human needs through economic activities–like the production and exchange of goods and services–that reinforce values of justice, ecological sustainability, cooperation, and democracy.”

Sunrise Movement compensates based on needs rather than market-based pay scales. “Our goal with compensation is to provide movement members in critical or long-term roles with the basic resources they need to sustain themselves to do the work necessary to drive our movement strategy forward.”

Empowered fundraising is about finding our balance point, “a point somewhere between a token and a sacrifice.”

And creators everywhere who are clear about needing community financial support. I thank my many friends and supporters who have been supporting me, either through my Patreon or through Youth Power Coalition. You’re giving me the space and the encouragement to continue organizing for a world in which ALL are equipped to thrive.

Check out my new certificates

I’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot this past half year through leadership development programs!

I’m now a The Trauma of Money Facilitator and a Sociocracy for All certified Sociocracy Practitioner (see the Sociocracy for All Learning Map for a breakdown of these skills).

In The Trauma of Money I learned skills for healing from capitalism and supporting others in their healing journey as well.

Certificate that reads: Trauma of Money. This certifies that Deborah Chang has completed all the requirements an prescribed by the Trauma of Money Facilitator Certification. Signed by Chantel Chapman, TOM Principal. Spring 2021 Cohort. Completed June 2021.
Trauma of Money Certificate

At Sociocracy for All I’ve deepened my understanding and skills in sociocratic governance, where power is shared and work moves forward with both momentum and care.

Sociocracy Practioner Certificate.

Reads
Sociocracy For All
welcomes
Deborah Chang
as a certified sociocracy practitioner
(highlighted) Practitioner level: Vision/mission/aims/domains; circle structures & roles; policy; minutes & backlog; meetings; meeting; tools for emotional emergencies; connection and authenticity; feedback, making requests.
Facilitator level: helping circles & sub-circles; performance reviews; consent process; objections; selection process; handling disagreements with care; strategies for better listening.
Trainer level: giving 1h presentation on sociocracy, answering Q&A, running half-way workshops, full-day workshop, 2-day work-shops, organizational structure training
Consultant level: case study, understanding legal considerations, 9-step process, assisting an implementation, implementing sociocracy at least once.
Signed by Ted Rau and Jerry Koch-Gonzalez
Circle badge that contains the Sociocracy for All logo surrounded by “sociocracy practitioner” and “certified by sociocracyforall.org”
Sociocracy Practitioner Certificate

I appreciate both organizations for providing me with scholarships or work barter agreements so I could grow so much in the learning spaces they created.

Up Next: Building a Movement

Now that I’m facing the beginning of a new year, what’s on my mind the most is the practice of building a movement. Building a movement for youth-led collective impact. Building a movement for mutual aid. Building a movement for shared governance.

In this, I highly recommend watching all of the Ayni Institute trainings. They have completely transformed my understanding of what movements are, how they’re formed, and what my leadership role in movements could be.

For Youth Power Coalition, this means that our focus this coming year will be

  • Recruitment so that we grow our organizing base
  • Leadership development so that our organizers are equipped with the skills to lead
  • Fundraising so our movement has the resources needed to thrive

As always, more to come and thank you for your unwavering support.

With love,

Deborah

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