Voting For Better With Action in Northern Michigan

Every action we take is a vote for the kind of community we wish to become. And no single act will drive change, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of what’s possible. Evidence that our actions are making a difference. Evidence that builds the confidence and courage required to keep going.Continue reading “Voting For Better With Action in Northern Michigan”

Northern Michigan Youth Mental Health: Know Science = No Stigma

46 years old and I’ve said the words “anxiety”, “depression” and “suicide” more this past year than all of my other years combined. As a physical therapist, I get physical health, but the behavioral and mental health world is brand new to me. Learning is a systems change strategy. I have so much to learn.Continue reading “Northern Michigan Youth Mental Health: Know Science = No Stigma”

Making a Promise To Do Better in 2023

“Young people don’t need to be our next crisis—but they do need us to do better.” One year ago, a small but mighty group of ordinary people came together to form We Fight Northern Michigan – a community with one agenda: leverage the Surgeon General’s Advisory to better protect the mental health of our young people. AndContinue reading “Making a Promise To Do Better in 2023”

Sharing Power with Ordinary People For Safer Kids, Safer Schools in Northern Michigan

“Ordinary people are capable of wonderful things.” I admire ordinary people like my friend Jay Berger. Jay raised his hand in June after Uvalde to help keep our kids safe at school here in Traverse City. Jay took responsibility. Instead of saying, “That’s not my problem,” Jay asked, “How can I help?” ORDINARY PEOPLE LEADING SixContinue reading “Sharing Power with Ordinary People For Safer Kids, Safer Schools in Northern Michigan”

When “Going Along to Get Along” is a Trap

“Get used to the awkwardness of turning right when everyone else turns left, and pursue what you know is true.” We tend to persuade ourselves that we have no choice but to “go along to get along” by placing the blame on systems that are larger than us. We: – don’t want to look stupid–Continue reading “When “Going Along to Get Along” is a Trap”

Practicing Courage for Climate Action in Traverse City

“If you want to play it safe, you shouldn’t be in the business of change.” And not ‘playing it safe’ requires courage. The problem is being courageous can be scary. We can: “Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the ability to look fear in the face and continue to walk forward. AllContinue reading “Practicing Courage for Climate Action in Traverse City”

Saving Lives With Your Neighbors — Permission Not Required

Last winter, I helped build a self-organizing network with my neighbors. This network, which is not a nonprofit or coalition of nonprofits, has one agenda — to better protect the mental health of northern Michigan kids. It’s been so refreshing to dream up something together with my neighbors and let it rip. No permission asking.No board approvalContinue reading “Saving Lives With Your Neighbors — Permission Not Required”

On Reimaging Power, Improving Lives in Your Community & Social Entrepreneurship

What’s next will require imagination: – Reimagining conventional wisdom– Reimagining problem-solving– Reimagining social scripts– Reimagining risk– Reimagining opportunity– Reimaginging power “True power to remake society rests with ordinary people, not politicians or courts,” Eric Liu. Build, Share, Shift & Deploy Power – Build power: Empower people. Change narratives. Develop technical expertise. Grow community. – Share power:Continue reading “On Reimaging Power, Improving Lives in Your Community & Social Entrepreneurship”

Things You Do and Don’t Need to do to Start Improving Lives in Your Community

Growing up in Manitoba during the ’80s, Terry Fox was — and still is — my hero. “The answer is to try and help others.” During my 10+ year career as a social entrepreneur, I keep coming back to this quote. From founding a nonprofit to get more kids on bikes and a social enterprise building supportContinue reading “Things You Do and Don’t Need to do to Start Improving Lives in Your Community”

Are We Working Hard Enough?

“Clues that you might not be trying hard enough: You usually succeed. You rarely feel like an imposter. You already know what you need to know. You’re confident it’s going to work.” ~ Seth Godin. I love Seth. I read his blog every morning.  September is Suicide Prevention month and as our kids go back toContinue reading “Are We Working Hard Enough?”