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Monday Mayhem – Facilitating Joy While Speaking Truth to Power


On Friday and Saturday, I co-facilitated a workshop with a local pastor and folks from the Department of Public Health and the Department of Human Services. The topic was homelessness in our town of Corvallis. This is the first time that I have heard this group of people laugh together, usually they are yelling at each other.

There are many things about community capacity building that I love. These are the ones I want to share with you because I believe they can be translated to all areas of our lives:

  1. Hold the complexity – By being present in complexity we can bring joy and passion into the room and into our lives.

  2. Stay out of ego – Practicing being in complexity gives us the opportunity to be creative.

  3. Never assume – Assumptions create categories of people and keep us stuck. Whole people are not categories, putting people first creates change.

  4. Give it space – Process, not debate, gives us space for grace because we are talking not arguing.

  5. Look for the way – We don’t have to KNOW exactly HOW things will happen we just have to take action and move forward.

We can’t gloss over the difficulties. Life is complicated.

Speaking truth to power leads to changed minds. Change is worth it.

There is possibility in the process. Finding joy in the work creates the shift.

Change doesn’t happen alone, it happens together.

Create some mayhem, raise some hell. Dr. Melissa Bird

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