We Are Members of A Grand Body

Submitted by Lindsay Beal, Inclusive Leadership Co-ordinator

The Inclusive Leadership Co-operative Annual Report we collaboratively drafted at the Annual General Meeting last November, 2019 is not a dry cumbersome read.

This is Inspiration!

This is Affirmation!

This is Positive Action!

Our report is all of these things because our Inclusive Leadership Co-operative is all of these things.

We as members, are participating in a body that is Just, respectful, has Integrity and moves in harmony with the greater good. As individuals, we are like cells of the body. We all contribute to the whole in different ways.

All of this might sound quite grandiose. So, let’s take off the negative connotation and accept it for what it is: GRAND. We are members of a grand body.

You might be wondering how I got so turned on to the magnificence of our body, the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative, and why I’m lavishing it with praises. Well, since I started working full time last September as the coordinator, I’ve noticed two contributing experiences. One is a sense of liberation, that came by several changes in my circumstance. The other is an ever-deepening understanding of the ILC “body” which includes its formation (history), function, impact and sense of its location in the world.

A Sense of Liberation: Starting with the warm embrace of Inclusive Leaders, (members, facilitators, participants, allies) I was able to finally walk my talk unimpeded by a hierarchy of uninformed and therefore by default, discouraging overseers. At last my motives, intentions, actions were recognized and validated by the motives, intentions and actions of the whole to which I belonged. This was both a liberation and a substantial boost to integrity.

An Ever-Deepening Understanding:  As I connected with people in the community, I also buckled down to organizing and managing our files, communications and meetings, learning … learning … learning. ‘

The middle of the autumn brought a flurry of workshops and events.

  • As described in the report, Linda and I met with Moussa Magassa, Human Rights and Education Advisor at the University of Victoria, where I live in BC, Canada.and we followed up with three dates. The first was simply to attend an orientation for the Human Rights Education Volunteer program and offer a short introduction to Inclusive Leadership Co-operative. Second, we were given an opportunity to give a short presentation on the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative to Moussa’s Social Justice class. Third, I facilitated a 1.5-hour experiential workshop at U. Vic. called “Facing Human Rights Issues as an Inclusive Leader”.
  • On a completely different track, we held a community meeting in Ladysmith, BC for generating feedback to the Government of BC on the proposed framework for a new Accessibility Legislation. Our collective report was forwarded by SPARC BC.
  • ILC also contributed with many people and activities to the National Child Day Festival held in Duncan, BC at Cowichan Community Centre. Linda coordinated and facilitated the ILC involvement, and I observed with fascination as Linda appeared like an exercise-fueled nerve cell that propagates dendrites to make all the connections warranted for getting the job the done. It was an event I never have seen the like in Victoria. Duncan can be proud!

Once the flurry of workshops, events and meetings were done, I turned my attention to writing a couple of grants. It was as if observing, preening and exercising the ILC body was over for a time. Writing the applications, I needed to permeate the obvious and deepen my understanding of this organization.

This is when formation, function, impact and location all started to come together. Mostly I gained perspective of formation and function through conversations with Linda, and reading our materials. Then something exciting happened. we sent out a request for letters of support for one of our grant applications. We received 20 letters from a wide variety of public and private sources.

As I became aware of our impact, I began to “see” how ILC is dynamically situated and moving in the world. I could see how it is reaching, resting, propelled by purpose. I could see that it is propelling other bodies, small and large, near and far. The “location” of ILC became evident as both rooted in Cowichan Valley and as an ephemeral flowing energy that travels. It was a profound revelation and the reason why I say how great we are as members of a great Inclusive Leadership Co-operative.

I’m just starting an online course in basic anatomy. This explains the analogy I’ve used here. I like this analogy because the patterns of lifeforms are echoed in the micro and macro scope. Learning about the human body informs me about patterns and processes in general. If you were to think of yourself as one of the many cells of the ILC body, which one would you be at this time in your life (cells change, and we do too)?

Would you be part of the supporting skeletal structure, or the muscles that enable movement?

Would you be part of the connective tissue that attaches the movers to the bare bones.

Perhaps you’re a cell that puts out matter for growth, or a cell that cleans up debris.

Let’s not be too sure of what we are. A bone seems to be static and rigid, but its life force keeps it dynamic. It has enough flexibility to endure pressure, but not so much that it fails to provide stature.

Whatever role you play in the body of the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative, one thing for sure, is that we can never know ALL the implications of that role. There will always be an aspect of our contributions that remain a mystery. And this is why we celebrate the WHOLE.

Hoping you each make and receive the 2020 of your dreams.

With warmth,

Lindsay Beal, Inclusive Leadership Co-ordinator