This time a week ago I was about to board a plane to head back to Atlanta from San Francisco. I had the incredible opportunity to head out to CA with friends from the Georgia chapter of Not for Sale. We went out to Not for Sale’s Global Forum, a two day gathering of abolitionists from around the world. The energy in the room was contagious each day, as all of us had a common purpose- to end slavery in our lifetime. I want to recap the event and share a few highlights and takeaways from the week.
1. Leadership Lessons– I must confess, I was terrible at taking notes during the event speakers. I don’t remember all of their names. But many of the speakers gave incredible nuggets of wisdom that I will always remember. One lesson: be willing to compromise. Many of us take on a project, goal or cause and don’t compromise at all. It’s wise to pick a couple of things and details you are firm and will not compromise on, but then allow yourself to compromise on the other little details. It’s a much more efficient way to get things done.
2. A few heroes– One big highlight was the opportunity to meet and talk to other abolitionists. I was very excited to meet David Batstone, the founder of Not for Sale. Dave is an academic and college professor, but he has not allowed intellectualism to get in the way of his relevance and activism. I hope I can be as steadfast and intelligent as he is as I advance along in my academia career. There were others at the event, from a variety of fields, all working together to fight slavery. It was awesome networking and brainstorming with so many people.
3. New opportunities– My friend Kristi and I have been working on a huge project this summer and fall, which has resulted in a buying guide for the Atlanta area. We didn’t think that anyone paid much attention to our efforts in Georgia, but we were asked to help lead a breakout session at the Forum called “Consumers in Action”. It was a tremendous honor for both of us. I never dreamed six months ago that I would have the opportunity to go to San Francisco and lead a breakout session on purchasing with purpose to end slavery. It was awesome, and definitely a highlight of the week.
4. Collaborative efforts– My favorite session of the Global Forum was with Bob Goff and Francis Chan. These men are superstars of the Christian Faith, and are doing amazing things in the name of Jesus to proclaim justice. The Global Forum was not a Christian conference, and Not for Sale is not a faith-based organization. They just recognize the role of the faith community in fighting for justice. And these members of the faith community are willing to collaborate with people across religious affiliation to fight for a cause. It was beautiful to see everyone learning from each other. I don’t understand why the Christian community and the mainstream community don’t collaborate more together…. cause it seems to be working pretty well in the abolitionist community.
5. A beautiful break– I’ve been busy this season. Every opportunity has been amazing, but I have a hard time taking a break. After the Global Forum ended, we went up to Napa for a day and a half. It was relaxing, fun, and the scenery was utterly beautiful. I woke up early on Sunday morning and sat on the porch overlooking a valley. I put on some Passion worship music and spent time with God. I hadn’t devoted that much time to Him at one time in awhile. It’s embarrassing to admit that, but it’s true. It was refreshing to just ‘be’ for a little while that morning. The time in Napa was a good reminder to me that it’s okay to take a break every now and then, and can even be essential
So there ya go, just a few thoughts from the Global Forum. If you are interested in being part of the abolitionist community, check out Not for Sale to see how you can get involved. And if you’re in the Atlanta area, we’d love to have you at our next meeting. Check out the event info here.
Good stuff! Besides my enormous headache, I’d definitely say my highlight was speaking in the breakout with you, too!