I'm excited to announce that the Hunger-Free Leadership Institute is underway! On October, 1, all seventeen fellows, H-FLI Advisory Council and PHFO Board and staff members gathered for the first time at Zenger Farm.
Michelle Harreld, a member of the H-FLI Advisory Council, welcomed the H-FLI fellows, and we all introduced ourselves by sharing what motivated us to be a part of this program. Much like the application essays (parts of which we shared in a recent blog post), fellows shared everything from their grounding values to personal experience of food insecurity as motivation for wanting to get involved in ending hunger in Oregon. Within the first moments of H-FLI, the fellows opened up to each other and established a strong sense of connection.
Annie Kirschner, PHFO's Executive Director, gave an overview of the Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, who we are and what we do, and I gave a brief overview of the H-FLI curriculum, including our upcoming trainings, the concept of "co-mentoring" with nonprofit professionals, and the capstone project that each fellow will carry out in the spring of 2017. Rob Cato, PHFO Board Member and Advisory Council member, led the fellows in a training on one-to-one conversations, a foundational tool for community organizing. Over the next month, each fellow will complete three one-to-ones with community members, neighbors and each other. They'll report back at our next training on how the conversations have been going; I'm eager to hear what they say!
The inaugural training for H-FLI was grounded in building relationships and orienting ourselves to the next nine months. Now, it's time to dive into the meat of our work and learning. Stay tuned for what's next to come!