February 26, 2020
The Power Shift Network 2020 Annual Meeting
Sunlight skies over snow-kissed lands blessed the weekend, as Power Shift Network members gathered for this year’s annual meeting in Hudson, Wisconsin for a weekend of strategizing, planning and bonding. As a newer staff member for Power Shift Network, I didn’t know what to expect, but I was ready to receive whatever the weekend had in store for me.
The Annual Meeting kicked off Thursday night with dinner and the first activity, organizational tinder. Member organization representatives created Tinder profiles for their respective organizations, sharing what their organization likes and what they have to offer. Folks then went around the room and “swiped right” on organizations they wanted to connect with by putting up sticky notes with their contact information.
Afterward, festivities always began with an early morning breakfast before opening up with grounding activities led by our awesome facilitators Jessica, Nicole, and Erika. Member organizations partook in several activities and planning sessions meant to evoke connectivity, alignment and building momentum around our next Power Shift convergence in 2021. Friday was extra special because everyone took a trip to the State Capitol for a direct action to stop the construction of the Line 3 Pipeline. It was a defining moment that had us in all our feelings. There were feelings of togetherness, strength, and courage all throughout the room. It was truly nice to see everyone build power by supporting our local network members and allies and expressing their concerns to representatives of the state Governor.
Upon our return, we had dinner and downtime to experience the Tar Sands storytelling project, which is a collection of artwork that expresses the detrimental impacts of tar sands on the earth. Saturday, we got to work splitting up into breakout groups of various topics, discussing strategies for the year and how we can continue the collective work we’d accomplished over the weekend. We also announced the location of the Power Shift 2021 convergence which is New Orleans! The night ended with some dancing, games, and karaoke.
Sunday was a bittersweet but inevitable day, the last day and the day folks begin to go their separate ways. We ended with plenty of thanks and gratitude, exchanged contact information and a lot of hugs. It was clear that many people found the annual meeting valuable,
“This annual meeting is meaningful because it helps me connect and grow with amazing individuals who come from all walks of life. I have been able to have meaningful conversations, but also dance and laugh with the same people. When I think of the Power Shift Network, I will think of leadership, power building, connectivity, love, diversity, growth, earth, health, and so much more.” -Tatiana Environmental Action Group
I too am so grateful to have been able to be a part of this amazing weekend. It really helped ground me and will help inform my work going forward. Until next time, network!