"Who in this room was the class clown?"
"Who are stepparents?"
"How many of you love to dance?"
Last month we loaded up the flip charts and headed over to Montreat for our annual staff retreat. It was a great day, full of reflection on the work we accomplished in the year past, visioning for the coming year and a healthy dose of self-care to prepare us for the work ahead.
Each year we invite someone from our community who can share something about the history of our area. We’ve had local historians and community leaders share their knowledge about the Swannanoa Valley, the Enka Candler community and, this year, Tyrone Greenlee joined us to share his personal experience growing up in Asheville and attending school during integration.
Tyrone is an extremely active member of the Asheville community. In fact, just two months ago, he was featured in the Mountain Xpress as one of Asheville’s “Eight Influentials” for 2016. In all areas of his work, Tyrone works to eliminate disparities caused by racism.
When Tyrone arrived at our retreat, he opened with an exercise similar to the video posted below. Just like the facilitator in the video, Tyrone encouraged us to step out of our defining boxes and open our eyes to what binds us, rather than what divides us.
Many of us have worked together for years, but we’ve also had new staff join us recently and this exercise allowed us all to connect on a level that we haven’t before.
This video is a powerful example of ALL THAT WE SHARE.
Let’s all remember this in the coming year.
Let’s remember to Live United.