“No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

I had talked about the potential for partnerships and changes in leadership in my previous newsletters.  Well, it is slowly coming together. We are planning to form partnerships with theological schools, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations.  We want to provide a much needed training for women who want to enter into nonprofit while these establishments would hopefully provide some compensation.  However, this partnership does not limit our pool of participants. We will actively market our events to those who are not affiliated with any institution.  Also we are planning to run simultaneous workshops in Denver, San Francisco, and New York City. Yes. It was extremely difficult organizing the workshops in one city so you’re probably wondering why we are thinking about expanding.  When I initially began this organization, I always wanted to have people from across the US come to Denver. But financially and time-wise, it was not feasible. Sincerely, who has the money or time to get away for 3-4 days for any workshop, especially in social justice work?!  My idealism died the first year of running the workshops/roundtable. So we are planning to bring the workshops to the participants. We know that we have unique programs that will benefit the participants and the community they want to serve. This is the reason for new additions to the team.

To be honest, I am scared, very scared, that it will become a major fiasco.  Since I am planning to collaborate with some amazing people at these institutions, I am worried that I will fail them.  I know that they are relying upon me to deliver a great product for their institutions. They stuck out their necks for me. That can cause some major anxiety.  But I am also excited because I love a great challenge. And at this stage, I am more excited than I am scared. Why? Because I was able to recruit two phenomenal women for the job. Jessica Li will be heading the operations in the Bay Area and Mariam Rauf will be running shop at the one and only city, NYC.  Not my words, her words. And I am still looking for an organizer in Denver who can work alongside me. You can read about them in the new Meet the Team page (it will be up by the end of January). They are truly remarkable women; otherwise, I would not have asked them to work with us at Platform.

I am the first to acknowledge that there are really qualified organizations/institutions/individuals that run fantastic workshops in these cities.  Without question. Yet the unique feature of Platform is the space we create to transform our communities. We intentionally bring people with religious training and secular backgrounds together.  While social justice grew out of religious institutions, it has become almost insensitive to include religious talk in many movements.  However, I believe that religious language is the key to dismantle oppression, instigate transformation, and sustain change in our communities.  This is why historical figures, like Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, and Mother Theresa, were effective. So it is imperative that we learn to understand and use this language in the context of our struggle to serve our communities.  And we intend to do just that in our events.

Here is a tentative list of events we are planning to hold in 2019:

1. Empowerment - Empowering our community through self-discovery

- Knowing oneself

- Knowing the community

- Knowing one’s role in the community

2. StartNow - How to find and/or start one’s nonprofit organization

- Understanding one’s PTSD

- How to channel one’s trauma

- Exploring nonprofit organizations

- Exploring positions within the organization

- Exploring the possibility of starting your own nonprofit

- Mission/vision statement

- Creating a team/board

- Filing the paperwork

3. Intersectionality in our communities

- Specific examples of oppression

- Dissecting oppression

- Solutions to oppression

4. Roundtable on social entrepreneurship (Denver only)

Founder. Executive Director

January. 01, 2019

Samantha Joo