They say that the Inuit have 50 words to describe snow. I am longing for a similar richness in how we talk about “community,” a word that is thrown around so loosely that it is in danger of losing its meaning.
A Note From Our Executive Director
Last week the Seattle Times’ front page story was about local resistance to safe injections sites, part of a proposal by public health professionals and local leaders to deal with our ongoing opioid epidemic. This local resistance is part of a larger pattern that has been playing out over the greater Seattle area over that past few years, and beyond. Whether it’s a temporary shelter for the homeless, safe injection sites, or micro apartments, well-intentioned residents are setting a clear message: not in our neighborhood.
Here at Pomegranate Center we are careful to distinguish between conveners and leaders. What’s the difference?
A leader is someone in charge, who has the authority to make decisions. Our current president, for example, is a leader.
A convener, on the other hand, is someone who has the ability to bring people together, capitalize on their diverse strengths, and move an issue toward collective action. Our current president, I would argue, is not a convener.
It is with honor and humility that I greet you as Pomegranate Center’s first Executive Director since Milenko founded the organization 30 years ago. I am well aware that I have big shoes to fill and that many of you are wondering how anyone could possibly replace Milenko.
Here’s the good news: we don’t need to replace Milenko. And this is not because he will still be involved with Pomegranate through training, mentorship, and our new Institute for Everyday Democracy. But it is because the nature of our organization is changing and we are entering an exciting new phase of work requiring a new type of leadership.