May 4 ILC Founders’ Appreciation Dinner by Linda Hill

On May 4, 2014 the founding members of Inclusive Leadership gathered to elect three new board members and share our appreciations of the journey so far.  Linda Hill shares some of her thoughts as well as what other ILC members had to say:

To me this is incredible that eight of the thirteen founding members have taken a turn to join the board during this first year of cultivating the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative. So many thanks to Art Phipps, Glaucia DesRochers, Joy Emmanuel, John Scull, Kix Citton, Linda McDaniels, Marlee Dunlop, Somae Osler (and me) for this service. It turns out that by stepping in and stepping back, we are inadvertently practicing a form of sharing leadership pioneered by the Ojai Foundation in their efforts to share Way of Council practices with the wider world. Lori Austein calls this the Leadership Spiral. Lori is a Way of Council facilitator and trainer who has been a mentor to and been mentored by Inclusive Leadership. She writes, “Jack and Gigi (founders of the Ojai Foundation) left a path for becoming a Way of Council facilitator and for becoming a trainer. Many of us have taken turns in the leadership spiral to continue to reflect on that path and bring life to it. Jack and Gigi will pass from the earth and the work will continue.”

After a delicious potluck supper, Kix Citton facilitated an appreciation round in which each person took a turn sharing an object and words to symbolize and summarize something we appreciate about the people/process/presence of the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative. I wish I had taken notes, but here are some words that stayed with me from what people shared.

I appreciate how some of the origins go back to 1987 when Linda and I lived in Micronesia. We guided a group of Micronesian students who were heading off to American Universities to develop leadership skills for breaking through their shyness barriers. These skills that we taught were some of the first Inclusive Leadership skills.” (John Scull)

My experiences in Inclusive Leadership have been like this quartz crystal; healing and grounding. These are two reasons I have returned again and again to Inclusive Leadership Adventures and other gatherings” (Marlee Dunlop).

I appreciate the art of building communities through intercultural communication.” (Linda Hill)

This is a loving way of life that I first encountered when I was a young parent and returned to when I was searching for opportunities for my son to grow up feeling proud of his differences instead of ashamed and knowing how to be involved in his community instead of on the outskirts.” Glaucia Desrochers

I appreciate how well Glaucia cares for me and our children.” (Corey Desrochers)

This a flexible, playful and strong circle of practices that stretch endlessly to include and honour people of all ages and all identities.” (Kix Citton).

Inclusive Leadership is Multicultural Leadership, just like what we do in Cowichan Intercultural Society’s weekly MLG Group.” Melissa Parker

Even though it has been very challenging, I find I keep coming away feeling “nurtured” in some strange way and inspired – and with a new vision and understanding of people committed to living Inclusive Leadership values. As a favourite song goes, I live in you and you live in me.” (Joy Emmanuel)

This seems to be a way of welcoming new people that feels comfortable. What an interesting group of people I have met for the first time tonight!” (Kris Law)

I have dreamed of forming an Inclusive Leadership Cooperative for many years. This first year has been an on-going lesson in the art of setting goals without being attached to the outcomes.” (Linda McDaniels.

I appreciate the opportunity to inquire into how to engage the larger community in these practices of celebrating diversity, experiential education, inclusion and compassionate communication as part of my Master of Arts in Leadership” (Neil Dolan)

I think the act of stopping and checking-in that we are doing right now is deeply honouring and deeply acknowledging.”(Art Phipps).

In closing, deep appreciation to outgoing board members: Art Phipps, Joy Emmanuel, Linda McDaniels, and Somae Osler. Many thanks to current board members: John Scull, Kix Citton and Marlee Dunlop. I have volunteered to be the Inclusive Leadership Co-op Co-ordinator which to me means I will spend some time each week coordinating action. For this next few months the main actions are a membership drive and an August gathering. Our Annual General Meeting (when new members will gather and new people will take a turn being on the board) will also be held in August. Please email me at lindadiana.hill@gmail.com if you would like to get in on the action! It would be wonderful to share leadership with a group of co-co-ordinators.

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