oh! so you want to be the “only” influencer !

social change through meetings. Well it’s true even with Covid 19 if you know how to use social media. For a lot of people meetings are boring, useless, stressful, painful, and so they get viewed as kind of a necessary evil of working with other people to be avoided at all costs. What I would posit is instead poorly run meetings can be a drain of energy and joy from a group whereas a really well run meeting can be a source of not only great ideas and high quality decisions but also a lot of energy and excitement for the group.

I worked with organizations that are trying to create social change and helped them have much more productive meetings so that they’re more effective in their work. We made million projects  with tools and skills for running meetings more effectively and good decision making as well as how to interact with conflict constructively.

Also we live in a world with a number of different systems of oppression at work (racism, misogyny, ableism, homophobia, etc) and these systems are deeply ingrained in our culture and the way we think about ourselves and other people.

What this means for groups trying to create social change is sometimes we are fighting ourselves and each other to live out our lives the way we believe which can stop us from being as effective at creating the change we want to see. For example it’s very common for non-profits to be working on helping the poor and disadvantaged but for the staff of that non profit to mostly be white people, with affluent older men in leadership and younger white women working under them. All while the people that they need to be helping are not only poor but often black, hispanic, muslim, lgbtq, etc.

I helped groups like this recognize what they are doing and figure out ways to put into practice their beliefs not just for their clients but for themselves and their organization. I do this by talking about how oppressive systems maintain and strengthen themselves and try to give tools for countering those systems and creating new ways of thinking and doing.

So you can influence by meetings through zoom though your organization or  one to one or on a Cup of coffee not only on Social media!


About Rita Chahwan

ريتا بولس شهوان، صحافية وباحثة ساهمت في عدد من الكتب منها "الكويت وإرادة الاستقلال في الوثائق العثمانية" و "ماذا فعل مدحت باشا في الخليج"(ذات السلاسل) وعملت في عدد من الصحف والمواقع الالكترونية العربية. تلقت تدريبات دولية على الاستقصاء وتخصصت في الاستقصاء الاجتماعي – الاقتصادي كما تولي اهمية كبيرة للشأن السياسي.

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