Friends and Colleagues,
 
I’ve been thinking lately about the idea of change agents. We use this language daily here at P.S. 314 as we consider ourselves to be front line leaders in the community of innovators fighting for social change, equity and equality. My goal in establishing P.S. 314 was to unite people with specific skill sets and support individuals and institutions who do the good and great work for the betterment of society in a strategic way.

I believe you can make a living doing good. I believe it's possible to be creative and practical. We're often socialized and sometimes educated to develop only our analytical mind and undervalue our creative, humanitarian, and intuitive nature. We spend so much of our lives working that it needs to mean something for everyone. It can't simply be for money. I don't think that carries enough value to motivate people in the long term. 

We are all better professionally and emotionally when we work toward a goal greater than ourselves, when we work in partnership and feel appreciated and valued. That's the community we are building. People who bring their best skills and selves to the table to create social change. We are here for the greater good, we are here for the love of humanity. 

And, often that work is daunting and exhausting and unending, as we ask ourselves how much more will there be tomorrow. We rarely take a moment to acknowledge that we are seated in this world beside many fellows-in-arms. This is not a solo journey that the majority of us are taking. There are social change agents in every household, company, institution, café, and supermarket. While some of us choose to engage the fight professionally through philanthropy, communications, advocacy, or community building, there are so many of us who are actively doing the work each minute within ourselves and our neighborhoods. 

Social change, justice, democracy, or politics need not be your purpose or passion. We don’t all have to march or activate the activist within. Everybody has a role to play in a unique way, and that one may not be yours. But, in these times, I think it’s absolutely fair to get real with ourselves and be better in whatever sphere we’re in. Do the work. Be accountable. Grow up, mature, evolve. Get ourselves together. Step our game up in whatever way possible. We don’t have time or room for anything else. Be kinder, be compassionate, find yourself in others. Be a helper, ask for help, be humble. Honor vulnerability. Lose the cool, cavalier attitudes. Let ego sit in the back seat and reclaim the power position - lead with love. We need more of it.

Do it for humanity!
 
Pi-Isis
WELCOME Brian Evans
We are pleased to introduce the newest addition to the P.S. 314 collective, Brian Evans. As Founder and Principal of Brian Evans Coaching, a firm that provides solution-centered coaching and consulting worldwide, Brian has remained committed to empowering individuals and organizational growth since 2004. Prior to his own work in coaching, he led consulting teams at Boeing and General Motors, followed by careers in sales and training at Merck & Company and Franklin Covey.
Check out Brian’s strategy for navigating Leadership through Listening.  

"I’m frequently asked, ’what is the most important skill that I can develop to lead my organization?’ While I encourage a complimentary suite of leadership skills, one of the most important is active listening. 
 
The difficulty in most conversations is that a gap occurs when people don’t understand, or don’t agree with the person with whom they are in conversation. When this gap occurs, many stop listening and focus on their reasons for disagreement. They make a value judgment about the other person (’I don’t like them’), begin to create counter-arguments, or emotionally check out of the conversation.
 
None of these reactions make you a better leader. So, how can you strengthen your listening and leadership skills?”
BRAVA Alice!
“Excellence in dance is often defined at the exclusion of disability. The idea of virtuosic performance involves dancers with precise technical control over each body part. The best dance, it's often assumed, is performed by artists who are intensely able-bodied. But [Alice] Sheppard's work models a truth that is rarely understood among dance audiences: Disability does not signify incompleteness. In fact, it offers novel pathways to several movement styles, each of them whole and generative of unique choreographic forms.” 
DC CENTRAL KITCHEN FIGHTS HUNGER DIFFERENTLY
EXPLORING OPPORTUNITIES FOR INNOVATION 
P.S. 314 is constantly talking with leaders across the spectrum of social justice, most recently around issues of poverty and hunger. It continues to astound us that a country with so much wealth has millions of people including hungry children who are desperately in need of healthy and nutritious food. We are inspired by the work DC Central Kitchen does daily to address this critical issue. 
“I believe the old adage ‘Ask for money, you get advice, and ask for advice, you get money’, still rings true… If you have an idea, you can be sure that it’s not 100% perfect. Intellectual capital is valuable, and you can engage people in working through puzzles/challenges with you. The more we share our stories, even the not so pretty ones, the more people trust us and get involved.  Often they say ’what else can I do; how else can I help?’ 
- Alexander Justice Moore, Chief Development Officer  
URBAN BUSH WOMEN
"I think that a lot of care was taken by P.S. 314 to look at who UBW is as an organization. Really taking our core values and mission to heart, and not asking us to engage in anything that would be contrary to them. They know us so well, and they make sure to center that in their suggestions and their work with us. And they really make sure that is a part of how they engage us with us and our board.” 
- Renee Taylor-Foles, Organizational Advancement Partner, Urban Bush Women 
STAY CONNECTED