Monday, August 16, 2010

Turning a corner: Capacity Building as Millenials Working for Change

Who are we called to be? We are the generation of 9-11, of Katrina, and of the worst depression since that big one in the 1930's. We are living amidst two wars, environmental decline, and an uncertainty almost never mentioned but always present.

We are the children of the internet. We have access to technology unimaginable a few years ago. What will we blog about? Will our tweets be about what we just ate or a tool to link us together with intellectual curiosity just beyond our otherwise limited reach? How will we use the social media network Facebook affords us?

Oscar Romero might have called us prophets of a future not our own and we stand on the edge of a world in need, and our response to this fierce urgency of this very moment will set a tone for generations to come.
This is our burden, this is our greatest responsibility. And if you’re like me, you react in accordance: at times anxious that you aren’t doing enough to reach your potential, to mange genuine and lasting change, no matter how big or small it may be. Other times you an embodiment of what I think is our reality- incredibly confident that we are indeed the leaders we have been waiting for. This much we know: the world isn’t waiting for us as individuals, and paradoxically, the world can’t wait any longer for us as a group of people to come together, “to get it” so to speak.

And so this blog is going to be “turning a corner” if you will. It’s time to shift the tone from one of self reflection to group reflection and capacity building. I hope, In my own small and humble way, to build upon my work with City Year in Boyle Heights and as a graduate admissions counselor with the University of Southern California. To build upon experience as a social entrepreneur with Magis and move the conversation forward on how to do good in this world. And to continue to to build upon experiences volunteering with the Holy Cross Associates and the Working Boys Center.

I know about the power of service, the potential connectivity and solidarity can have on the ways in which we choose to live our lives. And I know about education, the limitless potential good education provides and the vast shortfall of our society in meeting the curiosity and possibility of so many young people here and abroad.

So I hope you will join me on Twitter. I hope you will contribute your input here and suggest other blogs and arenas in which to read, to dialogue, and to learn and grow. And if you would like to discuss volunteerism, post-graduate service, working in the nonprofits, or the graduate school admission process, please don't hesitate to comment here or email me at pjfurlong at gmail dot com.