Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes, and General Mental Mayhem

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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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Not for Sale Quarterly Meeting

This morning I attended Not For Sale Georgia‘s quarterly meeting. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the three-day conference they hosted just a few weeks ago because it was opposite Orange Conference. But this quarterly meeting was a way to catch up on what’s happening here locally. There was a lot of really great information presented, as always, so I thought I’d recap a few points here for any of my fellow abolitionists who were unable to attend.

  • The Global Forum on Human Trafficking will take place on November 1-2, 2012. I’m really hoping to be able to attend this year as I think it would be an unforgettable experience.
  • Think slavery doesn’t touch your community? Take a look at to see cases reported all over the world. Of course, these are only some of the cases that people have taken the time to input. There are thousands of others that go unreported or unrecorded on this map.
  • A guest speaker from Tapestri in Tucker spoke on their organization, mission, victim tragedies and survivor stories. It is an amazing organization doing incredible work. I need to look into them a little more. There seems to be a lot of great information on their site local to Atlanta and Georgia.
  • Orange Label Denim will be coming to Atlanta this year. It’s a sustainable denim company that will have fair labor practices. I’m excited to hear more about them as they launch. And they need to be at The Orange Conference with us next year!
  • There is a Trafficking in Persons app that you can download as an info source. This App is intended to provide training and reference material about the realities of Trafficking In Persons (TIP). This training was created by the Office Under the Secretary of Defense (OUSD) and is intended to increase public awareness of TIP, and to help serve to end it.
  • Out of Darkness was mentioned again, and it reminded me to check them out. I absolutely hate that Atlanta and Georgia rank so high in modern-day slavery incidents, but I’m always excited to hear how many organizations we have here dedicated to ending it.
  • Buying power was discussed as it has been before. We are all encouraged to “buy differently” meaning to support socially conscious brands. I have been trying to do more of this since working at Captain Planet Foundation but have incorporated it even more after becoming aware of modern-day slavery. One place you can check isFree2Work. Granted it is just getting off the ground so it’s a little limited now, but it’ll grow. Sometimes you just have to do a little leg work and research to trace a product’s supply chain. I have even sent emails to stores I frequent asking about their products and policies, as well as encouraging them to stock more of these items. It takes some getting used to, but it does get easier with time…just like taking your own grocery bags into the store. If you aren’t sure where it comes from and how it’s sourced and made, try not to buy it. It’s always a good rule of thumb to buy fair trade or organic products, though. I realize this action also takes getting used to because it is more expensive. But if it’s cheap, there may be a good reason for it. It could very well be exploiting the laborers. Chocolate is a great example. It’s taken a lot of effort to make this switch in my life because anything that contains cocoa or chocolate may be harmful, and that includes A LOT of items, speaking as a chocoholic. I know I spend a lot of money on groceries and other items comparatively due to these choices, but I really want to not only feel good about the products, clothing, etc, that I use but I also want to do good with it. I want to know I’m not harming another individual’s life due to choices that I can control. My purchase power gives me a big voice.

I also recently finished listening to Not For Sale, the book by David Batstone that launched the organization. You can read an excerpt here: NotForSale_Introduction. It’s a remarkable and eye-opening book. I highly recommend. The organization’s main website also serves as a great resource and also has a small store of products that support them. I’m really proud to support this group, and count myself as an abolitionist among them.

Ok, that’s it! There was more but these are the highlights in my opinion. Read up and get involved! We could use your help!