Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes and General Mental Mayhem


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Tapestri Human Trafficking Forum 2018

IMG_8831Ok, so this is WAY overdue. Like almost six months overdue. This event was actually held at the end of January, which is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. I kept meaning to type these notes and post them, but it just kept getting moved to the back burner.

However, that is in no way a reflection of Tapestri‘s event. This is the second year I’ve attended, and I absolutely plan to go back if they offer it again in 2019. This organization is doing tremendous work here in Atlanta, and throughout Georgia, and I’m grateful for them. And, it’s hard to believe, but this is actually a FREE event!

If you’re in the Atlanta area and care about this issue, be sure to join Tapestri’s email list so you can find out about any future events!

And, now, here are my notes:

  • Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) overview by Alpa Amin of GAIN, Ambassador Susan Coppedge, Alia El-Sawi of ICE and HSI
    • They’re now trying to get moe steep penalties and victim services.
    • It’s up for reauthorization again this year.
    • 14 government agencies deal with the issue of trafficking.
    • There is a Survivor Advisory Council that was appointed by Obama.
    • New laws are trying to keep products made with slave labor out of the country.
  • Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network (GAIN) info presented by Alpa Amin
    • GAIN helps people get T-Visas and legal help for foreign-born people.
    • T-Visa requirements:
      • Victim of severe harm
      • Present in US due to trafficking
      • Would suffer if returned home
    • Age requirement for T-Visa has increased, which is a good thing
    • Less evidence is now needed to prove status, which is also good
    • Transportation is not required, though it is called “trafficking”
    • Continued presence: If someone is VIEWED (meaning potential) as a victim, this is a form of parole that lasts for two years.
      • Allows them to live and work here
      • Helps establish rapport with victim
      • Victim-centered approach
      • Stepping stone to receive T-Visa
      • Gets person a driver’s license and social security card
      • Allows for access to resources
      • Don’t need a successful court case for continued presence or T-Visa, only cooperation
  • Tapestri presentation by Gabriela Leon of Tapestri
    • Works with foreign-born victims
    • Most people do not self-identify as victims, and foreign-born people may not even know that term.
    • Our stricter laws and rhetoric toward victims and immigrants only serves to reinforce traffickers words to victims.
    • Most cases are domestic, but they are also more likely to report because they likely know their rights better.
    • Here in Georgia, most foreign-born victims are from Mexico and Central America.
    • There should be a PR campaign to fight the perception that victims of crimes will be punished.
  • Additional resources:
  • Health Consequences of Trafficking presentation by Dr. Jordan Greenbaum of the Stephanie Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
    • Risk factors:
      • Child
      • Female
      • Missing
      • No skills
      • Prior victimization
      • Marginalized
      • Cognitive delays
      • Homeless
      • Drug/alcohol abuse
      • Family secrecy
      • Violence/abuse
      • Poor
      • Corrupt legal system
      • High tourism area
      • Social intolerance
      • Economic disparity
      • Migration
      • Cultural beliefs
      • Social upheaval
      • Stigma
    • Labor trafficking in the US often involves these industries/professions:
      • Agriculture
      • Hospitality (ex: hotel or restaurant worker)
      • Manufacturing
      • Domestic service
      • Janatorial
      • Construction
      • Landscaping
      • Nail salons
      • Massage parlor
      • Textiles
      • Fishing
      • Most reported cases are foreigners being brought into the US, which is the opposite of sex trafficking.
    • Health consequences of labor trafficking:
      • Untreated chronic medical consitions
      • Work-related injuries
      • Exposure to chemicals
      • Weight loss
      • Infection
      • Breathing
      • Consequences of sexual assault (47% of victims had STD’s)
      • Violence
      • PTSD
      • Mental issues
      • Headaches
      • Fatigue
      • Victims are also often forced to commit crimes for compliance.
    • Consequences of sex trafficking:
      • Drug and alcohol abuse
      • Chronic pain
      • Mental issues (depression, PTSD, suicidal)
      • Malnutrition
      • Work-related injuries
      • Sexual violence
      • Pregnancy, abortion
      • 88% of domestic victims saw health care professionals while this was happening!
    • Challenges to identifying:
      • Don’t self-identify
      • Reluctant to disclose
      • Few clinically-validated quick screening tools
      • Threats
    • Speak using “trauma-informed” care approach
      • Minimizes re-trauma
      • Ensures safety (in all forms)
      • Treat victim with respect (explain what you want to do)
      • Only ask questions you need to know
      • Ask about mental health
      • Respect authonomy
      • Be transparent
      • Listen, explain, negotiate
      • Make appropriate referrals
      • Ask their opinions
  • FBI presentation by Mary Jo Mangrum and Jennifer Towns
    • Has seen an increase in cases in the last decade, but likely because more people are reporting.
  • Polaris presentation on illicit massage parlors by Eliza Carmen
    • New 2018 report
      • Over 9,000 known in the US
      • $2.5 BILLION business
      • Majority of victims are from Southeast Asia
      • Average age is 35-55
      • 37-45% of ads for massage parlor work were illegal
    • Why don’t victims leave?
      • Fear of law enforcement
      • Debt
      • Fear of deportation (may be unsafe to return home)
      • Shame
      • Threats to themselves or family
      • Cultural coercion
    • Only 12% of cities have laws to enforce against illegal massage parlors
      • Usually licenses for therapists only, not the business itself
      • If you see a ILM, report to Polaris via phone, email, or online. Reports can be anonymous.
  • Working with Foreign National Minors presentation by Mersada Mujkanovic of Tapestri, Yamile Morales of Tapestri, and Christina Iturralde Thomas of KIND
    • Much the same tactics as adults, but kids are more naive and vulnerable.
      • Sports are also used as a tactic. Recruiting for traveling teams or initial building of relationships.
    • Victims under 18 do not have to comply or be helpful to gain status or benefits.
    • There is a specific refugee foster care program.
    • The designation of unaccompanied minor affords some protection, but they must also soon after defend themselves from deportation.
    • Common asylum fact patterns for children:
      • Severe child abuse
      • Resistance to or witness to gang activity
      • Family claims (ex: land disputes)
      • Domestic violence (including gang-related)
    • You do not get a court-appointed lawyer for immigration court, unlike criminal law, which again is harmful in them not knowing and understanding their rights.
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Catalyst Conference Notes & Quotes

catalyst-nametag-and-bookI believe this was my 12th year to attend Catalyst Conference here in Atlanta. It’s a great time of learning about Christian leadership, as well as seeing old friends. And, yet again, there were some great moments this year.

Andy Stanley, Senior Pastor of North Point Ministries

  • Jesus didn’t predict a place. He predicted a people. We are very different, but have Jesus in common. they were the same.
  • John 17:20 – that they may be one (which is uncommon fellowship = theme)
  • Disunity disrupts the mission.
  • John 12:34-35, final instructions
  • Unselfish love fuels uncommon fellowship.
  • Mutual submission is the most powerful dynamic in the world.
  • If we miss the love thing, it doesn’t matter what else we might get right.
  • Uncommon = uncomfortable
  • Acts 15 takes place 20 years after the resurrection, and they are still having trouble including Gentiles.
    • One of the most important chapters in the Bible for us to understand.
    • Oneness has to win the day.
    • Immorality tears down unity. Eating is a consideration
    • 600 laws were narrowed down to two so they could participate
    • Jesus sacrificed his life so you could have uncommon fellowship with God. – Romans 5-6

Mike Foster, Founder of People of the Second Chance

  • Just because you made a mistake doesn’t mean you are a mistake.
  • Being able to identify with someone is a powerful thing. “Me too” brings healing to brokenness.
  • We are not defined by our brokenness. We are defined by God’s unfailing love.
  • Romans 9:25

Jen and Brandon Hatmaker, Authors and Humanitarians

  • We have to be willing to go into the hard spaces.
  • We are either in this world for it, or so set apart that we have no voice.
  • I would like to spend less time defending my voice, and more time being like Jesus.
  • The work of justice is not easy. You will be criticized and it will cost you. But it’s worth it.
  • Many of us pray for the Kingdom over and over, but we aren’t willing to make Kingdom moves. – B
  • We need to move from defending God to declaring Hm. – B
  • We need to focus on being good neighbors, and love well. – J

Craig Groeschel, Founding Pastor of of Life Church

  • We have a common enemy, and it is not the church down the street.
  • John 17:20-23
  • We desperately need each other.
  • Unity is not uniformity.
  • We should err on the side of being “for” not “against.” Build your ministry on this.
  • We should give everything we are to strengthen others.
  • We all have something we can give.
  • Lead the way with irrational generosity.
  • We need to love like Jesus loved.
  • I believe the world is sick and tired of hearing about the love of Jesus. I believe they want to see it in action.

Father Edwin Leahy, Headmaster of St. Benedict’s Preparatory School

  • Give up what you want for what WE need.

Brian Houston, Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church

  • It should be an adventure living with, and serving, Jesus.
  • Spontaneity is our friend in the Church.
  • Innovation doesn’t come from sitting and pointing a finger.
  • Criticizing breaks down. Let’s build.
  • Predictability can also be a friend. Example, the word of God is timeless.

Brenda Salter McNeil, Director of Reconciliation Studies at Seattle Pacific University

  • Acts 10: 28-35
  • The Civil Rights movement was born in the Church. #BlackLivesMatter was born in the streets. Why won’t you let it into the Church?
  • We have got to reclaim the credibility of the Church for the next generation.
  • Black Lives Matter is a catalytic event that can be an opportunity for the Church.
  • Catalytic moments are a wake up call.
  • Catalytic events make us ask questions.
  • Look for your invitation into uncommon fellowship.
  • God takes our feeble attempts and uses them anyway.
  • What God wants from us, He wants for them.
  • Scarcity thinking builds walls.
  • God wants all people to flourish.
  • May the generation looking for leadership find it in the Church.

Scott Sauls, Senior Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church*

  • The closer you get to the “other” the closer you’ll get to Jesus. This is a New Testament theme.
  • The hope of the universe rests on an Arabic man who was an outcast and never spoken English.
  • I am the minority Jesus included. (He’s white.)

Propaganda, Hip-Hop and Spoken Word Artist*

  • It’s hard for the dominant cultures to see themselves collectively, and the hurt of individuals you are different from them.
  • You can’t subjugate other image-bearers. to do so, you must assume they are less than human.
  • Implicit biases assumes you already know me without really knowing me.

Soong-Chan Rah, Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism, North Park Theological Seminary*

  • Colorblindness assumes equality is already at play.
  • Colorblindness removes our individuality. It reduces everyone to the majority.

Mark DeYmaz, Lead Pastor of Mosaic Church*

  • The statistics show us that whites are becoming the minority.
  • If there is no division in heave, why are we allowing it here on Earth?
  • Surely it breaks the heart of God that the Church is segregated by race and class.
  • Jesus had power, privilege and position…and He set it down.

Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy at World Relief*

  • The conversation of race is really about power.
  • There is a lot of pain in the people of color cultures that churches aren’t necessarily addressing.
  • They aren’t just issues; they are individuals.
  • American comfort and prosperity in large has been built on the back of the marginalized and people of color who had no rights.
  • By welcoming the “other,” we are demonstrating the gospel.
  • Any time we pursue our own comfort and prosperity over the needs of others, we are doing a disservice to the gospel.
  • Charity removes relationship with those who make us feel uncomfortable.
  • When we talk about refugees, this isn’t a test of our politics. It’s about what we believe the gospel says.

Rachel Cruze, Daughter of Dave Ramsey

  • Quit the comparisons.
  • Being grateful squashes comparison.
  • The road of comparison leads to debt.
  • Debit limits generosity.
  • Where there is no margin, there is no ministry.

Simon Sinek, Best-Selling Author

  • Leadership is not about being in charge. It’s about taking care of those in your charge.
  • Time and energy are the most vulnerable things you can give to others.
  • Great leaders have empathy and perspective.
  • Patience is required for the journey.
  • We have an entire section in the book store on self help, but not a “help others” section.
  • Organization health always results in sustained impact.
  • In a healthy org, everyone is convinced that everyone is essential.
  • You begin becoming a great leader RIGHT NOW.
  • Why are we doing? Why are we doing it? Where do I fit in?
  • Everyone knows what THEY are doing but do they know what WE are doing?
    • When everyone knows what we are doing together, most decisions are pre-made.
    • Going through this process is sometimes more valuable than the product.
  • “Why” is the inspiration.
  • Memorable is portable.
  • How does what I do contribute to what we do?
    • This is about the responsibility you carry, not the work you perform.
    • Everyone at your org needs to know your answer.
    • Develop one sentence responsibility descriptions for your direct reports.

 

*These folks were all part of a panel. It was my favorite session in the main conference, and you can watch it right here.

And if you just want some fun moments and entertainment, you can watch Jon Crist’s videos…


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Catalyst Labs Notes & Quotes

catalyst-labs-tag-and-bookOnce again, I attended the annual Catalyst Conference two weeks ago here in Atlanta. My favorite day of the conference is Labs. It’s the day where you get to choose who you want to hear, and tailor the topics more to your interest. I was able to sit in on some great ones this year! Check it out…

Reggie Joiner, founder of Orange

  • When you establish a habit of showing up for others, it may change you more than it does them.
  • You may need to change the way you think about influence. It’s not necessarily success, power, authority, etc.
  • Influence has to be earned.
    • You have to keep showing up.
    • Don’t pass judgement. Press pause.
    • Empathy amplifies the truth. It doesn’t change it.
    • Pause to imagine or pause to interact.
  • When you open the door to Jesus, you ope the door to wherever He takes you.

IF:Gathering Lab 1 (Jo Saxon, Vivian Mabuni, Jennie Allen, Tasha Morrison)

  • Jesus sets our example for racial reconciliation.
  • People of other colors are not our tokens. They need to become friends.
  • John 17, we must be a credible witness – Tasha
  • Creating new laws and amendments are not the same thing as dismantling the system. – Tasha
  • It’s ok for you to listen to someone else’s pain, and not know what to say. But please listen. – Jo
  • It’s ok for you to hear someone else’s pain and not know what to say. But we need to listen. – Jo
  • The Church has been the taillights when it comes to racial reconciliation, when it should be the headlights. Aren’t we the ones who have HOPE through Jesus? – Tasha
  • If you are someone with a platform, maybe you should use it to pass the mic to someone else with more knowledge on this issue. I have a black son, but I do not know what it is to be black. – Jennie Allen
  • Always start with prayer. – Tasha
  • Get to know People of Color as people first. Change happens when we find commonality and develop real relationships. – Tasha
  • Diversify your life in small ways first. – Tasha
  • Reconciliation will cost you. It could be pride or comfort, or even your politics. It’s hard work. – Tasha
  • I can support the police while speaking up for justice. – Tasha
  • Get off social media, turn off the TV, and get some real-life People of Color friends! Don’t try to understand our culture from a media perspective. It’s often wrong. – Tasha

IF:Gathering Lab 2 (Jenni Allen, Lindsay Nobles, Tasha Morrison, Rebekah Lyons, Esther Havens, Liz Curtis Higgs)

  • Romans 12:4-6 Message, Christ’s body and its many parts
  • In each of our life stages, we feel at some point that we are drowning.
  • Guilt and shame are entirely different. Shame is not of God. Guilt needs to get our attention. And guilt is the only time a good, Christian girl can say, “Go to hell!” – Liz 😉
  • Many times we are so overwhelmed in our world, we stay confined there. When in fact, we should get perspective and distraction from other people’s world. We forget that we are all living someone else’s dream. Be grateful for where you are, and run with it. – Esther
  • Look up “Simply Christian” by NT Wright (permanence, proximity and presence)
  • We all need 3:00 a.m. friends. Be the one to lead with vulnerability. – Rebekah
  • Be brave in saying what you need.
  • Your vulnerability is one of the greatest gift you have to give. – Rebekah

IF:Gathering Lab 3 (Lindsay Nobles, Esther Havens, Tasha Morrison, Vivian Mabuni, Jennie Allen, Jo Saxon, Liz Curtis Higgs and Rebekah Lyons)

  • Don’t put the pressure on others to come to you. Go to them. If you are white, put yourself in a place locally where you are in the minority. Sit in it for a while. – Tasha
  • Joshua had to be told to be ‘strong and courageous.’ We all feel inadequate in the beginning of big dreams. – Jennie
  • We don’t have to be afraid of what God tells us to do because He has bigger and better plans ahead anyway. We just have to start down the path. – Liz
  • It’s better to proactively get counseling for a year than to wait and need it for 10. – Jo
  • Your platform is not a place to do your therapy. Go first as a good example, but do it in a good and responsible way. – Liz
  • What are the visuals that people see in your church? For example, are all your missions pictures of white people saving the poor, black people? What does this communicate to your children? – Jo
  • If you have a multi-ethnic or diverse church, it doesn’t mean that you’ve arrived. The issue of racial reconciliation isn’t a box to be checked. It’s an ongoing conversation. – Tasha
  • Your church needs to be a safe place for kids of all ethnicities. If it’s not, the children of color will take impressions, feelings, memories, comments and even micro aggressions into adulthood. I know I have, and so have my friends. The Church should be a place where all feel welcome and wanted. That is what the gospel is all about. – Tasha


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Plywood Presents: Notes and Quotes

FullSizeRender 11This is a conference I look forward to every year. It’s fun, I’m able to see old friends, and it’s locally-focused. The last item is what makes it truly unique. The people who speak are not only inspiring, but most often, they’re doing something remarkable in the Atlanta area. So, while I love hearing big names from big companies, Plywood is really awesome because I can also usually say that the speaker or company is just miles away from me. It gives me plenty of chills and warm fuzzies.

Jeff Shinabarger, Plywood founder:

  • Sit with people that don’t sound like you.
  • Learn from people that you want to sound like.
  • Share with people that engage your advice.
  • Everyone has something to give. Everyone has something to learn.

Gregory Ellison, Fearless Dialogues:

  • Sometimes things have to break down to have a break through.
  • “The longest journey we have in life is from our heads to our hearts.” – a lady he knew growing up
  • “I don’t know how to change the world, but I can change the three feet around me.” – his Aunt Dottie

Hank Fortner, Adopt Together:

  • World Adoption Day
  • People who need love don’t care how old you are.
  • 19 million orphans in the world, 500K in US foster care, 25% of kids who age out of the system are homeless, 80% in jail, 30% are pregnant, 80% end up in prostitution and 56% wind up unemployed. The system is seriously failing these kids.
  • Family is the answer to almost everything.
  • Lots of organizations are doing great things, but they are all working piece-meal instead of in concert.
  • Barriers to adoption are finances, information and community.
  • Adopt Together allows micro financing for adoptions.
  • Lessons learned:
    • Always throw a party.
    • Never give up space.
    • Always remember the details.
    • Never get stuck in the details.
    • Always solve a problem.
    • Never burn a bridge.
    • Always tell your story.
    • Never lose your story.
    • Always give.
    • Never forget extrinsics.
    • Always make money.
    • Always say thank you!

Ron Clark, founder of the Ron Clark Academy:

  • Met everyone of his neighbors and invited them to be a part of the work in this run-down, dangerous neighborhood. It took four months.
  • Passion. Innovation. Creativity.
  • When you bring good energy to a place, negativity leaves.
  • Your team determines your success.
  • Spend 15 minutes on an idea. Decide if it should continue, and then leave it or pour your heart into it.
  • Live like it’s your life!
  • Treat fairly, not equally.
  • Put your energy into the people that actually make a difference, not the negative slackers.

Brian Pape, founder of MiiR:

  • Buy consumer products, then decide where we want the money to be sent. We get follow-up info about the progress of the projects.

Andrea Sreshta, Luminade:

  • Add water to the vessel as the battery. Remove water for the light to go out. Great for disasters and places with little/no light.

Curious Katheryn, 10-year-old entrepreneur:

Patrick, Nisolo shoes:

  • Artisan shoes, ethically-made
  • Focus on work culture. A good culture attracts the right people.
  • They own their supply chain.
  • Check out the book “Essentialism”

Tripp Crosby, producer, comedian, sketch artist:

  • It’s easy to take yourself too seriously.
  • When you’re obsessed with expanding, you risk enjoying the process. And when you’re not enjoying the process, you risk the opportunity to expand.
  • What’s the thing you should be enjoying but you’re not?

Brent Trapp, Booster:

  • Lead with outrageous care.
  • Notice the good things.
  • Obsessive commitment to investing in people.
  • Act like a friend.
  • Live with ridiculous joy.
  • Outrageous care breeds outrageous loyalty.
  • How will you treat your people?

Ruthie Lindsey, speaker/stylist:

  • Love people well.
  • You can live a beautiful life despite your pain and circumstance.
  • Choose joy.
  • There is always hope.
  • When we are open and honest, it forces others to do the same.
  • When we live in our pain, it’s all we can see. We need to find the joy so we can live there instead.
  • Pain can make us better and more whole.

Chris Marlowe, Help One Now:

  • Doing good can be simple and easy. Love first.
  • Find your fight.
    • Find something(s) that you can really dig deep with. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Help where you can.
    • Stick around for the transformation.
  • Go far. Go the distance. Give your life.
  • Go forward. Innovate. Care. Solve.
  • Doing good can be simple and significant.
  • Do good. Do good well. Do good together.

John Lewis, activist and US Representative:

  • We must care for the spark of divine in ourselves.
  • Love may be a slow process, but it’s always worth it.
  • There is power in peace.
  • There is a price to be paid for the work of peace. You must decide if you’re willing to pay it.
  • Without music, the Civil Rights movement would’ve been like a bird without wings. We’d often sing to each other across our cells, both men and women, because we were separated by both gender and race.
  • When you see injustice, make a little noise. Don’t stay silent.
  • “Just love the hell out of everybody.” – MLK
  • Get into good trouble.

Safia Minney, People Tree clothing:

  • Check out her “True Cost” documentary about slavery in the process of making clothes.

Travis Mason, Public Policy and Government Relations at Google X:

  • Macro behaviors are derived from micro moments.
  • Reverse assumptions.
  • Combine domains.
  • Invite the novice.
  • Its the difference that makes the difference.

Kim Biddle, Saving Innocence project:

  • LA County  rescues from child sex trafficking.
  • Average age for trafficking victims is 12-14.
  • 100K children are trafficked per year in the US.
  • We are connected, and deeply affect one another.
  • We are all human. Empathy begins at that place.
  • Impact is relational.
  • Choose to love.
  • Know your season. Run the race. Rest when needed.
  • Keep yourself seen. Cultivate community. Get professional mentors. Find spiritual mentors. Redesign your failures.


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Watch The Orange Conference Live Stream!

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Next week, the company I work for, Orange, will be hosting The Orange Conference 2016 for over 7,000 of our closest friends in family ministry! If you can’t join us here in Atlanta, we’d love to have you participate from wherever you are…by way of the Live Stream!

You’ll be able to see on- and off-stage action, including select main sessions, speaker interviews, witty banter, poignant thoughts, new resources and plenty o’ giveaways—maybe even win a ticket to OC17!

Be sure to RSVP for the Live Stream for additional information and special offers. But you can watch at live.theorangeconference.com directly if you don’t want to RSVP. And I’ve heard that Wednesday night’s opening session (7:30 p.m. ET) is going to be amazing!

And just in case you won’t be glued to a monitor on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, you can also watch on the go through our iPhone App.

Hope you can tune in!