22 Feb

Meditation, rumination, deliberation, cogitation, study, thinking, imputation, aspersion, reproach, criticism.

For Public Allies in Pittsburgh, mid year is fullllllll of everything stated above.  Reflection of what we accomplished… what we need to improve… our struggles and our successes. Reflections on diversity. Reflections on each other, our teams and whats to come.

To be honest, the whole process can be… well… uncomfortable. Not the negative sort of uncomfortable. Rather an intensive learning, “get out of your comfort zone to experience something new” kind of uncomfortable. The kind of uncomfortable you thank yourself for going through, sort of uncomfortable…

A perfect mid year retreat example: Comfort Zone Activity.
Before mid year retreat, Pittsburgh Allies were ask to step into a place where they felt they did “not belong” and have a conversation with someone/people in that setting.

Program Managers asked us to first write on a piece of paper what our comfort zone is. Then we were asked to write down our experience from the comfort zone activity.

Where did Allies go? Bars, Places of Worship, Homeless/Recovery shelters, Protests, Streets of neighborhoods in which they were not comfortable in for various reasons…

Overall it was a powerful exercise. It was interesting to see that some Allies’ comfort zone made other Allies uncomfortable, and vice versa. It made you think of what you may be able to learn from each others past experiences. Most importantly, as we described our experiences, we became aware of the assumptions we may have of this zone… allowing us to break down the barriers and learn what is holding us back from experiencing these places as well as the people in them.

Sadly I do not have any pictures of retreat… I left my camera at home… wahhh wahhh!

BUT I do have pictures of a mid year service day!!! Pittsburgh Public Allies beautified downtown Pittsburgh by picking up trash with Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.





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