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Meet a New Board Member: Jenny Calhoun

Jenny Calhoun is committed to improving organizations and society by facilitating authentic human connection. In her current position as Manager of Learning and Organizational Development at the Seattle Colleges, she brings that commitment into how she designs and delivers professional development workshops for staff, faculty and administrators. During her 12 years of training and development experience in nonprofit, healthcare, and higher education, she has seen the positive effects of learning environments that honor all voices, invite people to be vulnerable, and encourage collaborative learning.

 

Jenny’s understanding of the power of community came from her 6 years of living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was there where she and her daughter experienced a way of living that honored the unique gifts that each community member, young and old, could provide. The community openly talked about issues it faced, and worked together to find a collective solution. Jenny deeply believes that it matters how communities are brought together to discuss and find solutions to their shared concerns. That’s why she was drawn to Pomegranate Center’s work. Their collaborative and inclusive approach didn’t just make sense to her, it felt like coming home to a deep knowing about how we should treat one another and work together, for the betterment of the whole community. Given Jenny’s educational background in Geography and Organizational Psychology, it’s not surprising she found her way to Pomegranate Center, where her love for place and effective civic engagement go handin hand.

 

How did you first hear about Pomegranate Center and get involved with our work?

I heard about Pomegranate Center while I was working for a nonprofit that provided leadership development training to international community development leaders. I organized a visit to Pomegranate Center for those leaders so they could learn about the Pomegranate approach of engaging diverse groups of community members on projects that matter to the whole community. Over the years I’ve followed Pomegranate Center’s work and attended one of their trainings.

 

Why did you decide to join the Board?

I joined the Board because I connect on a deep and personal level with the work Pomegranate Center does, and more specifically, with the WAY they approach their work. I wanted to be a part of and support work that honors and encourages the contributions of all voices in a community, and that uses approaches designed to give people a positive and inspiring experience of what community engagement can look and feel like.

 

What does community mean to you?

When I think of community, I picture a place where each member shares their unique gifts in support of the wellbeing of self, others and the whole.