Solutionary Women: Alli Chagi-Starr
[img_assist|fid=114|thumb=1|alt=Solutionary Women: Alli Chagi-Starr]
Contributing Editor, Britt Bravo, also blogs at Have Fun * Do Good and NetSquared. During an interview with Oprah this week about her song "Stupid Girls", Pink said that to prepare for the show she asked her friends (men and women, young and old) to give her a list of 5 smart women, and they couldn't think of anyone except Natalie Portman, Angelina Jolie and Reese Witherspoon. It was one of those moments when something you already know shimmers in front of you bolder and stronger--we really don't have smart women role models in popular culture, especially for the next generation.
As a woman who has worked in nonprofits for the majority of her career, when I tell people I work for a nonprofit, they often say, "oh, that's nice," like I play with puppies all day. I'm sure I'm not the only woman who gets this response. The reality is that there are many smart and, what Julia Butterfly Hill would call, "resolutionary", women working at nonprofits and NGOs, and I think many of them would be great role models.
So, in honor of all the smart, resolutionary women who work in nonprofits, I am going to be posting short profiles of a Solutionary Woman each week who works for, or with, a nonprofit or NGO. If you have any women you'd like to suggest, please email me at britt at brittbravo dot com with their name, organization and contact info.
This week's Solutionary Women, is my friend, Alli Chagi-Starr. Alli is the co-founder of Art and Revolution and founder of Dancers Without Borders, the Radical Performance Fest and Art in Action. She also has an essay in the 2005 anthology, How to Stop the Next War Now. Alli is the Reclaim the Future Art and Media Director at the Ella Baker Center. Reclaim the Future is a program working to create a green workforce and green economy within urban communities. As part of her work with Reclaim the Future, Alli is producing an exciting event in Oakland on May 18th called a Solution Salon where leading thinkers and visionaries come together to discuss how Oakland can become a model city, and economic, environmental and social leader.
When I interviewed Alli for my Big Vision podcast a couple month's ago, I asked her how she stays energized as an activist. She said that is important to realize that
we are seed planters, and that we are going to probably die before we see all those seeds become trees, and it doesn't matter. You just have to keep planting and you just gotta hope that other people will come after you to water those seeds, and to know that the trees are for our children's children.
If you want to learn more about the Ella Baker Center and/or join Alli's list serv, you can email her at allistarr at ellabakercenter dot org.
image via Global Exchange