By Theo Blair

Have you felt a crisp chill in the nighttime air? Maybe you caught the scent of a backyard bonfire from down the street? A season of change is slowly approaching, and this week for A Wider Community, we’ve got two great stories about how A Wider Circle strives to be an organization for change, including:

So get cozy, be nosy, and let’s learn a little more about what A Wider Circle was up to this week!

Caring for your business means caring for yourself!

If you’ve ever stopped in for a workshop with our dedicated Career Support team, you may be well aware that they are always seeking to find engaging and unique workshops to inspire neighbors to confidently take the next step on their career journey, whatever those steps may be. Most recently, they invited Life Coach Alisha Smalls to host a presentation and discussion about entrepreneurship and intentional self-care.

Through the lens of her own personal journey, Alisha was able to lead an open and unapologetic conversation with participants, celebrating their journeys as entrepreneurs and providing advice on how they could take their business goals into the future while maintaining a healthy level of self-care and actualization.

By sharing principles that helped Alisha reach where she is now on her career journey, like her 4 pillars to positive self-care, 5 steps to more intentional self-care, and everyday takeaways that entrepreneurs should remember, Alisha left participants with a bevy of resources!

Be sure to keep an eye out for more of Alisha’s coaching in the future!

If elements of this workshop pique your interest be sure to learn more about the services Alisha offers as well as the ever-expanding options provided by our own Career Support team!

Powerful conversations at Power Station and beyond!

In recent months, you may have noticed us talking a lot about increased media interest in the work of A Wider Circle. While we’re always excited to talk about the work we’re accomplishing across the region, and each of these opportunities has been immensely exhilarating, humbling, and educational, it’s also been a whirlwind! Perhaps one of the folks most swept up in the winds has been our President & CEO Amy Javiad, who’s becoming somewhat of a popular podcast guest!

Amy recently shared some thoughts on what being in the mix with the media has been like, and some hopes for what this increase in interest could mean for our community.

Amy’s (right) most recent appearance on Power Station with host Anne Pasmanick (left)

“Talking about our work is easy because it is so compelling and in the case of the podcasts — the hosts made it easy and even fun,” Amy shared while reflecting on her recent podcast appearances. “So many people know of us which is great, but we cannot and should not assume all of our neighbors know us, know all of what we do or know how best to engage.”

While Amy has been handling many of the recent media appearances, she is by no means the only voice at A Wider Circle. As we shared last week, Director of the Ward 8 Hub, YaVonne Boyd, recently had the opportunity to talk about how A Wider Circle’s Ward 8 Hub helps neighbors navigate tough topics like Medicaid.

There are also leaders in our organization like Lara Gagrica, Rachael Buck, Chris Tobias, and Brooks Reagan, who handle various aspects of outreach. Our hope is to see that circle of voices continue to grow! When looking at the future of storytelling at A Wider Circle Amy shared these aspirations:

  1. The story of the organization should be told by its stakeholders which includes staff, clients, volunteers, community, and more.
  2. The story of impact should be told by those impacted and complemented by data.
  3. The story of poverty and how it should be addressed should be led by those with lived experience — they are the true experts.

Rachael Buck (second from the left) Pictured with the recently elected leadership of A Wider Circle’s Social Justice Committee

In her closing thoughts, Amy replied to a hypothetical question of who, past or present, she’d wish was at the table with her to discuss how best to address the effects of poverty with an answer that strikes at the heart of A Wider Circle’s vision:

“My first choice would be to sit with those who have solved it — and eradicated it… so maybe those are the folks I will sit with in the future! In the meantime, I would want to sit with those who have lived it — they will best be able to answer what has not worked and help us better understand the realities behind the headlines. After that, if I could have a second round table, I would want to bring together those truly in positions to acknowledge challenges and create much-needed changes.”

“In the future, A Wider Circle should embrace lived-experience expertise more  — we should continue to create space before or at least at the same time as we push for more space elsewhere. The story in the future should be less about the size of our team, our office, or our budget, and should be driven by those most impacted and the changes that were achieved.”

Don’t forget to check out First Friday!

You can learn a lot more news from around A Wider Circle this week by checking out and signing up for our email-exclusive monthly newsletter First Friday!

Rounding out the circle

Upcoming events in the community:

Ways to get involved:

There are plenty of ways you can support the work of A Wider Circle right now!

Staff Recommendations:

This Week, A Wider Circle Career Counselor, Regina Robinson shared a recent piece of advice Tia Mowry (of Sister, Sister fame) shared with her followers on Instagram that she wishes she could have shared with her younger self:

“When you trust yourself, when you trust your intuition…Everything will work itself out! It may not be easy, you may be confused or worried about what path you’re on… but at the end of the day? Everything will work out the way it is supposed to. In the end, you will ALWAYS end up where you need to be!” – Tia Mowry

The quote reminded Regina so much of what she and her colleagues in A Wider Circle’s Career Support program strive to accomplish for the neighbors who come seeking support!

Furniture Finds:

Check out this recently donated eye-catching, elegant elephant end table ensured to enhance any environment it enters!

That’s it for everything going on around this side of the circle, but be sure to head over to First Friday for more! And check back next week as we talk about our latest Community Connection Event made possible by a generous donor, skill-development with volunteers from SEEC, and more!

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