Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Democracy Summer Session 5

by Bryan Troupe

Democracy Summer Session 5 hosted by Catalyst Miami started with a hilarious and illuminative “public stoning” exercise between all of the members. The exercise was headed by Lori Deus, Community Engagement Coordinator for Catalyst Miami, and Gretchen Beesing, VP of Communications for Catalyst Miami.

The members of Democracy Summer were split into three groups for the first presentation, “It’s Raining Rocks.” The first group was labeled the extremely rich, the second group was the Servicers, and the third group was the Villagers. The group labeled the extremely rich had the “idea” to build a casino, but wanted to build on the same land that the Villagers lived on. The concept of the exercise was to create dialogue or find a way for all three parties to be satisfied. The end result was a chaotic scene of groups not being able to correlate with each other, much less with the other groups. The extremely rich threw balls of paper, “rocks”, at the Villagers to chase them away, which was the hilarious part of the exercise. 
 
LaRhonda Odom, Policy Director of Catalyst Miami, gave the second presentation which entailed members of the Democracy Summer event to consider ways of campaign planning. Members proposed ways of how they would go about organizing and reacting to the current issue of CBO funding being cut by local officials in Miami Dade County. This was a great exercise as it brought together knowledgeable individuals with experience to discuss viable ways to protest or build dialogue with local officials. This definitely showed the importance of communication and cohesion between nonprofit organizations. 

Susan Rubio Rivera, founder of the organization M.U.J.E.R., expresses her feelings about the Democracy Summer session:

video

The goal of Democracy Summer is to build strong social justice analysis, skills and strategy into the nonprofit sector of Miami-Dade County.

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