Photo: words describing how participants were feeling while participating in the virtual lab luncheon

What Is Your Word for the Day?

Posted on October 31, 2019 by Josephine Eisenberg
What happens when you are in a room full of people who are participating in the 2019 Fall Harwood Institute Virtual Labs? I will tell you. You automatically become inspired about the possibility for communities to become a collective force for change!

Through the generosity of The Patterson Foundation, 30 community leaders from DeSoto, Charlotte, Manatee, and Sarasota counties are taking part in an eight week Virtual Lab series to learn how to build stronger relationships with their communities and create relevant strategies that will deliver impact.

During a recent Aspirations to Actions luncheon, participants were able to meet in person and share some of the things they have discovered since beginning the Harwood Virtual Lab Series on September 23, 2019.

  • Becoming a better listener
  • Having more self-awareness
  • Learning how to steer conversations in a more impactful way
  • Moving forward with inclusion
  • Realizing it is important not to make assumptions about what others want and need
  • Being present
  • Feeling free from some self-imposed barriers. 
And that’s just the beginning. Participants have only completed four of the eight weeks of Virtual Labs.

What I learned from being a part of this conversation is that connecting with others is vital to our existence. Within our communities, we have many more shared desires and aspirations than we realize. What is really important is that we take the time to figure out how to meet people where they are, help each other feel comfortable, and continue to break down barriers. This is absolutely possible in every community.

At the closing of the luncheon, participants had the opportunity to share their word for the day. I was grateful to be surrounded by such positivity and hope! I can’t wait to hear more discoveries in the future.

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