Friday, March 23, 2012

Power Mapping at the Bread New Mexico Leadership Retreat

(Photos courtesy of Ellen Buelow, Robin Stephenson and Joanne Angel)
Back: Debbie Ruiz, Ellen Buelow, Patty Emord, Daniel Erdman  Center: Loretta Sanchez, Lucretia Tippitt, Carlos Navarro Front: Terese Bridges, Ellen Young, Robin Stephenson
The commitment to advocacy is only the first step. The next step is to determine how we become more effective and strategic in that advocacy. So a major emphasis of our Bread New Mexico leadership retreat on March 17 was on power mapping. Here is a basic definition from the Bonner Curriculum:
Someone who is interested and involved in promoting positive social changes, through service, advocacy and other vehicles, often needs to think about context and relationships within the spheres she/he works. Power Mapping is a conceptual strategy of determining whom you need to influence, exactly who can influence your target, and whom you can actually influence to start the dominoes in motion.
It is a valuable tool for individuals actively working with communities, providing a simple framework and a set of tools to better understand and leverage relationships and networks.
Speaking in practical terms, the question centered on how we turn one of our representatives in the U.S. Congress into a strong advocate for strengthening poverty-focused foreign assistance.  How do we get that legislator to write an Op-Ed piece in the local paper, make a speech on floor (C-Span anyone?), make a speech here at home?  We have our work cut out.  Stay tuned for updates.

But all that hard brain work required some green-chile chicken enchiladas from Abuelitas New Mexican Restaurant in Bernalillo, N.M.  And they were delicious!    
(It helped that we ate our lunch outside on such a beautiful day).

Thank You to the New Mexico Conference of Churches and Rev. Donna McNiel for renting us such a wonderful facility for a very reasonable fee.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

It was a very empowering retreat. Always good to meet with people who are committed to the least of these.