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2019: Building gs for the Long Haul

 
In the past several months we have been assessing -- what do we need to do to meet the needs of our communities in these times? How do we bring gs' work to movements in the most powerful ways?  Through this reflection a number of things have become clear to us. We need to engage in organization-building; learn from what has worked and what hasn't; and deepen relationships with leaders and organizations in our strategic priority areas - environmental & climate justice, and fighting for freedom from political repression & state violence (more info about our Strategic Priorities, below).

 

Our work has grown dramatically since our beginnings in 2009. We have grown our teaching bench from 5 to 48 teachers who are at the heart of our programs. Just in the last 2 years, our course offer has more than doubled. In 2016, gs courses took place over 30 days; and in 2018, courses took place over 64 days and served 220 course participants. We also worked with 12 Movement Partners & funder partners, including 38 days of programming for 279 participants. In addition, we run the gs Practitioners Network, Teacher Training, Transformative Resourcing programs, and more.

 

Even with this tremendous growth spurt, we still don't come close to meeting the need. We now receive 100-150 applications for approximately 30 spots in each course, and similar levels of interest from organizations that want to partner with  gs. The growth and scale of demand on gs has been increasing exponentially. This is understandable given the heightened attacks on our communities.

 

In these last 10 years, we have been moving quickly.  We have built an organization and created a strategy to guide our work to be precise and strategic. It has been amazing and it's also been a lot.

 


We are making an important choice in 2019. We will focus next year on strengthening our organization, learning from the last ten years, deepening our politics and culture, and preparing ourselves for the next 10 years of transformative work. We are building gs to be in it for the long haul. We are making this choice to ensure that we develop gs in ways that meet the needs of the present, prepare for changing conditions, and allow for future possibilities of this work. We aim to be agile, powerful, and impactful in service of the movements that we are accountable to.

 

  In order to do this, we are dedicating 2019 to:

 

⭐️ Leadership: Bringing in new leadership on staff, and further developing our Strategy Team, Board of Directors, Transformative Resourcing leadership, gs practitioners, and gs teachers.

 

⭐️ Learning & Listening: Assessing short and long term impact of our programming so far, with our Movement Partners, teachers, and others. We will unearth best practices to offer the most relevant programming for movements.

 

⭐️ Culture & Politics: Being in our learning to deepen our practice of sustainability, racial justice, accessibility to this work, and more.

 

⭐️ Systems: Improving and upgrading grounded scalable systems to review hundreds of applications and inquiries, and communicate with our growing community.

 

The current conditions are putting intense pressure on movement leaders, who often look to gs for support. By addressing the needs listed above, gs will be better able to show up in the long haul, and make a strategic, rigorous, and transformative contribution. But this was a difficult choice to make, because it also means that, for a period of time, we won't be running the same level of programming.

Anchor

In 2019, there will still be ways to connect with gs and access support and practice. Click here to read about our 2019 programs.

 
 

Have questions about 2019?

 

Please check out these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about our 2019 plans.

 

If you are a gs student, alumni, teacher, practitioner, movement partner, donor, or funder -- please also  join us on JANUARY 28TH for a gs COMMUNITY CALL about our 2019 plans. Click here for details and to register.

 
gs Strategic Priorities
 
In social and environmental justice movements, there is a significant call for gs programs that offer embodied transformation and leadership development, trauma-healing and resilience-building. In an effort to be responsive to this, an amazing Strategy Team of gs teachers, partners and staff met for over 18 months. We set out to ensure that as gs grows, our contribution becomes even more powerful and precise. We are thrilled to share what we came up with --