The Technical Assistance Team hosted a virtual event, Un-Conference: Emerging from the COVID-19 Pandemic on June 30th. The event was the first of its kind that our team tried, and it was a huge success! The topics were selected by participants, and the conversations on each topic were led by the participants, honoring the depth of knowledge the nonprofit sector holds. We had over 50 participants and our breakout rooms focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Fundraising; Mask Policies; Mental Health; Lessons Learned in the Pandemic; and Organizational Growth. The keynote address of the event was lead by Darian Colbert of Cohesion Network and he focused his talk on the importance of collaboration in creating a stronger nonprofit sector.
We are impressed with how successful the Un-Conference was, and that is all thanks to the wonderful participants that really opened up about the struggles and triumphs they were all going through. Darian’s motto of “WE>ME” set the perfect tone for the event, and the collective learnings gleaned from the discussion really emphasized its wisdom. The discussions were varied between fundraising, masking, DEI, etc. and the heart of every conversation can be boiled down to one point from Guillermo and Jared’s group on DEI conversations: Choose courage over comfort but remain curious.
The pandemic caught the whole sector by surprise and many of us were not prepared for the challenges it brought, both to our organization and to the community. However, we have seen incredible feats of collaboration, inventive ways of fundraising, and painful but necessary conversations about equity and oppression. Regularly choosing to be courageous and inventive, stepping out into uncharted waters, rather than remaining comfortable in the same old-same old that maintains the status quo is how this sector, and our community, will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger, more equitable, and prepared for whatever the future holds.
Click the button below to read the extensive notes from all the break-out rooms. This is a great resource whether you were able to attend or not.