Project Kinect
The Social Change Firm For the Modern World
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Project Kinect is working on a food access initiative in Madison, WI.  We have a lot moving in the right direction but we have a ways to go.  Tulsa, OK on the other hand is already succeeding at this type of initiative. They have the Food on the Move Initiative that is kicking butt with using mobil food trucks and mobil grocery stores. The Food On The Move, mobile food initiative, is a collaboration of food and health experts and community partners to mobilize good quality food into hard to reach economically challenged areas, helping combat hunger in Tulsa and Oklahoma in a new way.  What they’re doing should be, and can be replicated through out the country.  Great job Tulsa!

 

Check out the Food on the Move website to see a great video about what is happening.

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When: February 26th, 2015. Registration begins at 8am. Day ends at 4:30

Where: Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St. Madison, WI

Cost: $25

Register at EventBrite

Details Below

How do we use our privilege to empower others and create greater inclusiveness in our communities and work place? The conversation around privilege and equality is growing in America. Here in Madison, we have many initiatives to generate greater inclusiveness, but time and time again, it is only stakeholders with privilege at the table. This year, the Social Change Forum is to help us begin a necessary ongoing conversation around privilege and inclusivity. This one day event will bring together interested parties in Madison to openly discuss and articulate how we can empower people citywide, thus creating the most impactful community possible. Both organizers and participants will leave energized, connected, and knowledgeable with action items to continue the conversation after the forum.

Overview

This first forum will only be one day long. The intention is to create a meaningful first forum with energy and excitement to build from in future years. Having the forum for only one day will also keep the cost down. Attendees will pay a fee of $25, which will include coffee and rolls, a catered lunch, snack, and all the materials needed for the forum. The forum is opening up an important conversation that should not cost a lot to have. By the end of the day, each participant should feel confident with tools and knowledge to create a more inclusive environment in their daily lives.

The day will begin with coffee and conversation, have an opening session, three workshops that will highlight tools here in Madison we can utilize, a lunch provided by a local social change maker, closing conversation, and a social change happy hour in the evening that will invite more stakeholders to the conversation. Each participant will be involved in each workshop, which will generate more thoughts, ideas, and results.

Intended Outcomes

The first intended outcome is to generate a conversation about privilege. There never seems to be an appropriate time to discuss this but in order for positive social change to be accomplished, we must acknowledge it. This forum will create tools and discussion points for attendees to feel comfortable discussing privilege and disadvantages created by it.

A second intended outcome is to strengthen relationships between stakeholders who are interested in having this dialogue. We must empower those who are interested in order to reach those who are resistant. Strengthening these relationships will also create a support network for those who need assistance when dealing with defiance and obstacles in having these conversations.

A third, but not final outcome, will be to create actions items that would hold participants accountable and keep integrity from what is discussed at the forum. The forum will be a lot of conversation and great ideas. Often, at similar events, ideas die off the moment people leave the venue. This forum will give attendees specific steps to take once they have returned to their lives. Communication chains will also be created so sharing at later dates can happen to discuss success and identify opportunities.

Invited Participants

The Social Change Forum will be open to the public. This being the inaugural year, there will only be 100 seats available. The hope is that participants represent diverse backgrounds and share similar goals of gaining greater inclusive practices. Targeted groups invited will be nonprofit organizations, educational institutes, community based for profit organizations, community organizers, and both formal and informal community leaders. To register, go to madisonsocialchangeforum.eventbrite.com.

Participant Take Away

Participants will receive:

  • Information on all workshops and speakers.
  • Action steps for future work.
  • A discount for the 2016 Social Change Forum.
  • Breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack.
  • Norm:al Africa reusable bag.

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Speakers

Amelia Brown- Keynote Speaker Amelia Brown is a consultant with more than 20 years of experience in advocating and activating social change spanning 30 countries and four continents.  She earned an MA from the University of Minnesota in Arts and Emergency Management.  She is the founder of Emergency Arts, a central resource and network for people working in art, emergency response and community development.

Also Speaking:

Becky Steinhoff- Executive Director of the Goodman Community Center, Becky Steinhoff, will greet the group and briefly share her journey on creating more inclusive environments. This welcome will set the tone for the events throughout the day.

Workshops

Us As Allies: This workshop will first look at privilege in our lives and how it either enhances, or hurts out lives. From those discussions, participants will evaluate and discuss how to become a better ally. This workshop will be facilitated by Beth Wright, one of the Directors of Academic Engagement from Peacework International.

Where Humors Fits in Advocacy: Often jokes are made that are funny but inappropriate. Sometimes humor is needed to lighten a mood and assist with conflict mediation. This workshop creates a space for participants to work through humor in these delicate situations. This workshop will be facilitated by Lisa Loniello from Next Generation Consulting and the founder of Light of Love Consciousness, Dina Martinez.

Bringing Inclusiveness Home: The conversations had at the forum are just a beginning. This workshop will allow participants to work on one specific opportunity to create better inclusiveness in their lives. The workshop is also created to empower participants to have the conversation with others. This workshop will be facilitated by Gregg Potter, Executive Director and Founder of Project Kinect.

Schedule

8:00-9:30: Morning Keynote speaker, coffee, pastries.

8:00-8:45: Registration and breakfast

8:45-8:50: Welcome

8:50-9:10: Defining Inclusivity

9:10-9:30: Opening Key Note

9:45-11:15: First Workshop

11:30-1:00 Second Workshop

1:00-1:45 Lunch (provided by Slide Food Cart and Catering)

1:45-3:15: Third Workshop

3:25 – 4:00: Large group facilitation on creating action items and accountability

4:00-4:30pm Closing words and ‘Call to Action’ with action steps for moving forward.

6-9pm: Social Change Happy Hour at Ale Asylum with further discussions.

To registrar, go to madisonsocialchangefirm.evenbrite.com.

 

Thank you to our sponsors!!!

Next Generation Consulting

Next Generation Consulting

 

 

 

 

Morgridge Center of Public Service

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For Immediate Release


Social Change Firm Launches in Madison

Project Kinect will make its official home Madison, Wisconsin


Madison, WI, January 12th, 2015: Project Kinect will be officially launching in Madison, WI Monday, February 23rd. The week will be filled with events, Meet Ups, and community engagement activities. The culmination of the week will be the first annual Social Change Forum that will be held Thursday, February 26th, at the Goodman Community Foundation.

The Social Change Forum’s theme this year is ‘Using Privilege to Become More Inclusive’. The goal is to better develop advocacy skills to make room for everyone’s voice and bring a more inclusive community to the table when planning and developing. This one day event will bring together interested parties in Madison to openly discuss and articulate how we can empower people citywide, thus creating the most impactful community possible. Both organizers and participants will leave energized, connected, and knowledgeable with action items to continue the conversation after the forum. The forum will cost $25 per participant and will begin at 8:30 am. Tickets for the forum can be purchased at EventBrite.

Following the forum, the first quarterly Social Change Happy Hour will take place at Ale Asylum at 6pm. Food will be provided and drinks will have special discounted prices. Social Change Happy Hours are open to the public.

Project Kinect is a firm that connects resources and tools to people and groups seeking to accomplish their own positive social change endeavors. Project Kinect can be contracted for single task objectives or can work as a project manager and assist in entire projects. Currently partnerships have been made with Let’s Eat Out, MadCity Bazaar, Goodman Community Center, 100 State, and many more. For more information about Project Kinect and the official launch week, check out Projectkinect.com.

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This last week, Dane Buy Local added Project Kinect to the extraordinary group of local businesses that make up this initiative.  The mission of Dane Buy Local is “to create a sustainable, vital local economy through education, collaboration, and promotion as a nonprofit member organization.”  To date, there are nearly 800 members with Dane Buy Local, and they are the #1 Largest Buy Local Organization in the United States.

Some values and vision points:

• Importance of local ownership and purchasing
• Supporting small business practices and ethics
• Sense of community
• Desire to learn
• Belonging and inclusion
• Sustainability
• Respect
• Value of uniqueness vs. sameness
• Commitment to future generations
• Better quality of life for all
• Building social and economic capital

 

We thank you Dane Buy Local for including us in this very unique and groundbreaking organization.

 

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This isn’t brand-new news, but it is still newsworthy.  This early polar freeze we are experiencing has shaken us all up.  This cold coming early also makes life as a homeless person more difficult. Our founder, Gregg Potter, has worked extensively with homeless populations globally.  His view is that homelessness is not a problem, it is a circumstance.  Each one of us could find an unfortunate path that leads us to life without a place to rest our head. Because it is a circumstance, and not a problem, we need to aid people in their individual situations.

Occupy Madison is taking steps to assist the homeless population in south central Wisconsin. This last Saturday, there was a ribbon cutting for the Tiny House Village.  This village is creating homes that people from the homeless population can partner with to obtain. Each person must volunteer, agree with the mission and vision of the village, and abide by strict rules. The idea is that this will be enough a stepping stone to reach personal goals.

The Tiny House Blog mentioned this:

Occupy Madison, with help from numerous community groups, has built nine tiny houses, a day resource center, laundry facilities and a community gardening space in the village. The 96 square foot homes are made from reclaimed and recycled materials and include a bed, a toilet, propane heat and solar panels for electricity. Each building costs around $5,000 to build and the money was raised with private donations.

There may never be one definite solution to homelessness because each person, with or without a home, has their own story and their own set of circumstances.  The Tiny House Project is a great step towards helping out in specific communities.  Click here if you’re interested in doing this where you live.

Here is a Huffington Post article about the Tiny House Project.

And, even though we assume people know this, a list of things one should never ask a homeless person.

 

As we looked back at the year 2011, we can’t help to look at the political climate over the year as well as the outrage that citizens had all over the country.  Three months after the protests and demonstrations began in Madison, WI, I went for a walk with my friend Alyssa to check out what was happening in the middle of everything happening.  Here is that post as well as the video we took.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to witness everything happening in Madison, WI in the months of February and March but when I arrived into Madison, I wanted to make sure I got the feeling of what was happening over those two months.  Thankfully, my friend Alyssa was in the middle of it which made her the perfect tour guide for this video.  As you watch it, keep in mind that it was the middle of winter, covered in snow with an average temperature of 26 degrees.  Over those two months, there were hundreds of thousands of people with the largest protest maxing out at close to a hundred thousand people.  That was the protest where the state farmers came to support and brought their tractors right up to the capital and drove around it the entire day.

 Also keep in mind what this means to have a hundred thousand people in this space.  Over the last five months, we have been reading and hearing about hundreds of protests in the Middle East from places like Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya and so on.  The protests in Madison were as large and in some moments, larger than those.  Americans will rally too and we can’t forget what we can do when we come together.

In this video there are a couple references that are made and just in case you would like to check them out, here are a few links.

Kent State Massacre

Kloppenburg Recount

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to witness everything happening in Madison, WI in the months of February and March but when I arrived into Madison, I wanted to make sure I got the feeling of what was happening over those two months.  Thankfully, my friend Alyssa was in the middle of it which made her the perfect tour guide for this video.  As you watch it, keep in mind that it was the middle of winter, covered in snow with an average temperature of 26 degrees.  Over those two months, there were hundreds of thousands of people with the largest protest maxing out at close to a hundred thousand people.  That was the protest where the state farmers came to support and brought their tractors right up to the capital and drove around it the entire day.

Also keep in mind what this means to have a hundred thousand people in this space.  Over the last five months, we have been reading and hearing about hundreds of protests in the Middle East from places like Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya and so on.  The protests in Madison were as large and in some moments, larger than those.  Americans will rally too and we can’t forget what we can do when we come together.

In this video there are a couple references that are made and just in case you would like to check them out, here are a few links.

Kent State Massacre

Kloppenburg Recount

We only spent one night in Beaumont but I got a good chance to check things out the next morning though.  The night that we got in town however, the four of us just wanted to grab a drink so we headed downtown to find an open bar with some locals to chat with.  Our search became extremely limited when we only found one bar open, this little country gay bar called Beaumont Patio and Bar.  We walked in and were welcomed by a large empty bar area with a few people carrying things out to their car.  We sat, ordered a round from the bartender and waited.  The bartender was the owner, Chris, and she welcomed us and chatted with us for a bit but we didn’t get any information until Rhonda sat with us on the outside patio.

 Rhonda grew up in Beaumont and works part time in the medical field and the rest of her time cleaning vacation houses for a friend.  When we asked her why there was nothing open, she said that there was really no reason for anything to be open.  As for the gay bar, she told us everyone had

Rhonda was our welcome wagon into Beaumont

 started to go to a new spot down the road.  That is how things work in the LGBT community in Beaumont, when something new opens, the old ends up shutting down.

I find great sadness in this because if a community is working towards the same goal, then why isn’t there more cooperation?  This isn’t just for the LGBT community, this is for all communities.  In order to get things accomplished, we have to find common ground in order to move forward together.

In this example, yes I realize that these are business’ in competition, but there is still a way to make it work so that the entire community can flourish.  I take this from the example that Madison, WI made.  When I moved back to Madison in the fall of 2006, there were still only two GLBT friendly bars.  They were always competing against and defamating each other.  Now, in 2011, there are five successful gay bars that all have good standing in the entire city of Madison, find pride in holding winter dart leagues and summer softball tournaments and continue to build a larger and more successful pride celebration each summer.  That is a community working together.  We all have to find common ground and we can do it and I believe that Beaumont’s LGBT community will.  Everyone can take a lesson from Rhonda and “Just find it through love”