How We Pivot

How We Pivot

Move to End Violence came to be because there was a collective need for a pivot in this movement; this need was repeated across hundreds of interviews and conversations with movement leaders across the country. Friends, we have come to the point in the training where we are being called on to finally make that pivot.

I liken it to our 3rd Tai Ji stance where we have finished “gathering it up” – finished the time where we are learning from our past (convening 1), each other (convening 2), and other work and strategies (convening 3 in India)—and are now making the pivot to “push it all out.”

Convening 4 emphasized skills that we need to be able to make that pivot, together. Understanding how to recognize “critical mass,” how to put out a message that could move a targeted audience—how to even target a particular audience. As a youth organizer, I am familiar with “temperature checks” with our youth to see where they are in the work, if they are “feeling” the message and issue. I’ve come to learn that polling, with Celinda Lake, is a way to “temperature check” a nation.

To this end, the 4th convening felt different than the other convenings. There was a palpable anxiety in the air, clouding us as we tried to figure out how to design and develop a message to tip off a new movement in the US. This anxiety was conceptualized by Norma Wong as us pushing up against our personal (and collective) gates—fear, doubt, delusion or suspicion. “Open the gate”—she said.

So now it is time for us to dig in, “get our hands dirty” as our faculty says—to really be able to “push out” a message that will “activate” (Saul Alisnky) our people to action. A mentor closer to my heart asks me day in and day out: how are you igniting your folks? As we move forward in our work together, this will be the question we grapple with.

Nancy Dung Nguyen
Nancy Dung Nguyen
Executive Director
VietLead

Nancy Dung Nguyen currently serves VietLEAD as the Executive Director and one of its co-founders. VietLEAD empowers the community through youth empowerment and organizing through a lens of social justice and anti-violence, health promotion and navigation, civic engagement, and community building projects. Learn More

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