Just now, I was looking through an incredible list of speakers and volunteerism topics that will be covered at next week’s National Summit on Volunteer Engagement Leadership in Minneapolis. It’s an awe-inspiring lineup!
Every workshop leader has donated their time (and travel costs) to develop and present their talks and share their expertise. It’s a wonderful thing to see colleagues coming together in solidarity here in the US.
These kinds of convenings are also happening elsewhere. Last month, I was in Australia speaking at their five state conferences. When I signed up to come over, I thought these were regularly occurring events. But it was not the case. Some states had never had a conference before. Others were resurrecting them from the deep past. They were amazing gatherings — full of passion and commitment to real change.
Conferences aren’t a new thing in our field, but some of the kinds of conversations and topics we’re seeing lately feel different, or at least much more urgent and strategic. I’m seeing a global groundswell of advocacy work going on around volunteer resources management.
If you haven’t felt it yet, you will.
And it’s not about complaining from a victim perspective. It’s about taking concrete steps to move forward with an agenda that matters.
It’s as though years of feeling under-valued, under-represented, under-funded, have finally become simply too much for our entire field to bear. It appears that it’s time to get the respect and resources to do our jobs properly and there is much work afoot, formally and informally, to do so.
The chickens have come home to roost.
Ready to Set a New Horizon for Volunteerism?
If you can find a way to make it to the conference in Minneapolis, do it.
It’s not just about skill building. The final result of the conference will be a platform of strategies for moving volunteerism forward to be implemented at the local, state, and/or national levels.
And, if you plan on being there, stop by and say “Hi.” I’d like to meet you. I’ll be presenting in three sessions. We’ll also have our VolunteerPro exhibitor’s booth.
- Community Organizing 101: How to Activate Your Community for Social Justice and Change
Wednesday, July 26: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
- The 2017 Global Volunteer Management Progress Report: Key Trends and How to Use Them to Advocate for Our Field
Thursday, July 27: 2:15 pm – 3:45 pm
- National Strategy: Expanding the Higher Education Connection
Thursday, July 27: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
It’s not too late to register. You can do it here or at the conference.