Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Challenge Workday 9/11

9/11 Workday Stats

50 VMLers worked from 9am to 4pm... Contributing over 325 volunteer man hours.
6 TEDx18th&Vine Challengers, 4 Youth from KC JOBCorp and 2 Longfellow Community Association Members contributed over 80 volunteer man hours.  For a total of over 400 man hours in one day... Wow!  So what was accomplished??? Here is a taste... more documentation to come very soon. With the plan for moving the Lawn and Leaf Brigade forward... as an entrepreneurial movement. 
Special thanks to the Challengers: Spark Bookhart, Steve Mann, Rainbow Mooon, Beth Sarver, Lynessa Cook, Vivian Gibbens and Virginia Firestone for your awesome participation in this event.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thinking about Thinking

What are we thinking?

I truly believe that thought is the architect of reality.  I experience this everyday.  I have a ritual wake up practice.  As soon as I realize that I am waking up, I close my eyes tight and say thank you.  Go ahead, call me Pollyanna.  I am used to it.  Some mornings I forget or wake up grumpy... its a practice.  But I tend to always notice the quality of my thinking throughout the day... and not starting my day with gratitude tends to bend my thinking into the hurried "realistic" or limited mind. A morning moment of gratitude gives way to a short 2-3 minute visioning of the qualities that I foresee for my day.  The specifics are not as important as the experience... I focus on gratitude, joy, compassion, confidence, mental clarity, creative thinking, and being present.  Throughout the day I see this preparation working in my favor.  And I tend to notice these qualities of my experience throughout the day and then I am having another moment of gratitude.  How often do we think about thinking?  How often do we teach about thinking?  What would be different in our world, in KCMO Public Schools if this practice or other similar mindfulness practices were taught?

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Big Bold Vision!

In Twenty Years... All Scholars in KCMO schools graduate in the top 10% of graduating seniors in the Nation.

From this Vision we have identified 5 Challenge Teams to develop projects that will build the foundation of this activated grassroots movement.

  1. Mentoring

  2. IEP (Individual Education Plans)

  3. Nutrition/ Food

  4. Community Culture

  5. Infrastructure

Challenge Embraced and Embodied by 21!

The Radical Openness Challenge Ignites a Movement!

What an honor it was to share space and time with 20 KC community members!  I was deeply moved by the outcomes and have just completed the process of digitizing the hard copy documentation of our Asset Inventory and Visioning work.


These are just a few of the capital assets that we have identified... (Capital... Built/ Institutional, Social, Human/ Intellectual, Cultural, Economic, Political, Natural/ Environment)

  • Father of 6, Known in KC Politics as an Activist, 269 family members in KC immediate Family, Nuclear Engineer, Board Member of Transitional Housing Corp, Urban Farmer Training, Green Home Renovation, Curriculum Development & School Creation, Rites of Passage instructor for young males, 3 time millionaire, cook, medical biller, computer builder & programmer, Auto Mechanic, Community Organizer, Peace Activist.
  • Urban Agriculture, Amen Par Ankh Healing, Charged to be a Steward of the Earth!
  • Habitat for Humanity, Grassroots Organizations, Kauffman Foundation, City of Fountains, Libraries, Harvesters, Churches, Universities, Medical Schools
  • Mentor/ Youth Advocate, Adaptive Strategist, Member of CSL, Connected to BEU, EC, Troost Alliance, KU Alum, Community Living Opportunities, Reconciliation Services, Troost Village, Hip Hop Academy/ Community, Shout KC, Bold New Poets, KC Youth Explosion Hype Night, Teach InterPlay, Embodied Cognition/ Mindfulness Education, Program Direction/ Management, Interdisciplinary culture/ collaboration, MECCA (Mindful Educators Catalyzing Community Allies) Mentor Program Design, Artist Educator, Screen Printing, Storyteller, Performance/ Experience Art, Sculptor (BFA) Building objects to express ideas, PUPPETS!!, Creative Problem Solving, Solutionary, Professional Development Trainings, Entrepreneur.
  • Digital Arts & Design, Community Activist, Coding, Connections to Mental Health, Fundraising Ability, Photography & Cinema, Connections within the inner-city, ethnic awareness.
  • Do Research, Writing, editing, some web work.
  • Transit Community, Construction (know means and methods)
  • Singing, Dreams, Resources
  • Neshamah Healing Energy Work, Create Your Own Reality Groups, Youth Volunteer Corps- national non-profit, Meditation & Internal energy practice, ACLU2 (the young folk connected to ACLU), Rime Buddhist Center, MOCSA- rape crisis center/ NP, Social Media content on FB, Twitter, Youtube, KC Crafters Society, Grant Writing & Editing, Parisole Arts Foundation in the Crossroads, Boostive.com- online fundraising w/ no "limit" or minimum.
  • Civic Council, Compact 18th&Vine, Colleges & Universities, Black Chamber of commerce, City Depts and Staff, Crossroads Community Association, Downtown Council, BEU, 18th & Vine,NTDF, PIAC, KCIC, KCMOCDE, Social Media, Public/ Private Parnerships, Google Fiber, Rhythem n' Ribs, GDAP, Vine Steet Economic Dev. Plan.
  • Direct connections to several neighborhood and community groups, Ability to be available as a volunteer, platform to reach/ mobilize large # of older adults- Foster Grandparents, Ability to Facilitate Trainings, 
  • Experience with intentional community, relationship with director at IRS, Carpentry Skills, Food not Bombs, relationships with food banks and groceries, Basic education and Interest in Human Psychoneuroendocrinology, Ability to communicate effectively, artistic skill.
  • Soil, running water, empty buildings, vacant land, scrap metal, leaves and brush, trees, gardens, students, designers, healthy food, sustainable agriculture teacher, wind, sunlight, plastic, Garbage, people who can do work, teachers.
  • Illustration, Intern at American Jazz Museum, Chinese, Spanish & Japanese, Rosebrooks, DeLaSalle, teaching, West Bottoms, Downtown KC, Homegrown, Restart, Gardening, Music, Silk-screening t-shirts, marketing, popular culture.
  • Community Support Division, KCPD, Minister/ Mentor
  • Witness, Design with Purpose, abstract imagination in combination with deductive reasoning, leadership through advice, any composition of music
  • UMKC Economics Dept., community elders (retired), Urban Summit, UMKC Campus, Black United Front

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Orientation Location Update

Our orientation event will take place at
UMKC Haag Hall Room 301
Building Address:
5120 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110
Get Directions to Haag Hall: Google Maps
Please remember that we are co-creating a Potluck for lunch.  Please bring food and drink to share, we will provide plates, utensils, cups, etc.
Reach Way Up High In the SKY... RADICAL OPENNESS!!

During TEDx18th&Vine we were given a small taste of InterPlay... it is an activating creative engagement method designed over 20 years ago in Oakland, Ca.  During our orientation we will experience a variety of opportunities to connect to each other through the ancient art of storytelling.  FYI, InterPlay was designed by an introvert and an extrovert.  These methods create space for mind sharing that in incremental and radically open to the diversity of ways that people can collaborate in community.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Challenge: TEDx18th&Vine

Radical Openness is an EPIC theme for a conference... Perfect for TEDGlobal 2012!!  

TEDx18th&Vine is a simulcast from this event, beginning tomorrow morning (June 28, 2012).  Our focus on Radical Openness comes at a fortuitous time in our city.  All throughout the KC Metro Area we have individuals, neighborhoods, community organizations and businesses seeking to be a part of making this city thrive.  WE all have lamented the many Kansas City struggles, the problems, the concerns and have been working hard to be a force for change.  WE are at a tipping point... there is a critical mass of people in this city, human beings seeking to be the change... READY... To... THRIVE!  

Cooperative Solution Seeking

An ancient art form that has been lost over the ages... is being reborn!!

Our goal is to make the TEDx experience more relevant to the 18th&Vine District and Kansas City by issuing a challenge rooted in the following values:
  1. Grassroots Organizing: local community members creating relevant solutions through “stakeholder” defined inquiry
  2. Ability/ Asset Awareness: a consciousness that focuses first on assets, abilities, abundance and seeks to leverage assets to build solutions.  As opposed to focusing on needs, disabilities, lack of resources.
  3. Law of Circulation: what goes around comes around... when we dwell upon what is not working, how bad it is or what went wrong, we create more struggle and strife.  When we dwell upon assets, abilities and abundance we begin to operate from a space of empowerment and possibility. (The flow of giving and receiving applies in all areas of life.)
  4. Seeking Serendipity:  building on our successes by sharing and accepting the partnerships, cooperation and collaboration that come into our path.                                                

Team Challenge

Brought to you by Spark Bookhart and Linwood F. Tauheed,Phd of Urban Engagement Solutions, and Beth Sarver of InterPlay KC.

Building off of the momentum from TEDx18th&Vine: Radical Openness
6-10 community teams (cross-pollinated community groups) work together to earn “buckets” of resources donated by sponsoring organizations.


7-7-12 Orientation:  Urban Engagement Solutions & InterPlay for team building and creative problem solving.  10a-2p Please bring a lunch with you.  Location: UMKC Haag Hall

8-4-12:  Teams reconnect to share their process and a chosen problem to tackle. 

9-1-12:  Teams share their brainstormed solutions and the initial scope for bringing select solutions to fruition.  Teams are coached by relevant experts.

10-6-12: Present Final Solutions in a 4 minute TED talk/ Findings/ Updated scope. Resource award “buckets” allocated through community jury vote.

11-3-12: Sunset Celebration...

We know that our individual efforts are simply not enough to usher in the vast change that is needed... but we also know that WE ARE NOT ALONE!!  The TEDx18th&Vine event will be the catalyst for this KC community challenge... Join forces with a broad spectrum of individuals in a cooperative solution seeking process.

This Challenge is designed to elicit a rebirth of community-centered empowerment using a holistic approach to cooperative solution seeking that catalyzes a culture of engaged community scholarship rooted in mindfulness and interdisciplinary collaboration. 

Register Here.