Hosting the first DJJ listening party was a fun and thoughtful experience. Co-hosts Barry, Allie, and I filled the house with snacks and then DJJ leaders started arriving one by one. This gave us a chance to catch up with friends and also to meet new leaders showing up to their first DJJ event. As we settled in and got to talking, Ben, the facilitator, did a nice job of offering a mix of facilitated group conversation as well as the opportunity to interact with other leaders one on one.
We went through DJJ's long-term goal statement in detail:
"Develop a dynamic, agile multi-issue organizing structure and process with multiple clear entry points that seeks to empower and resource leaders while showing up as a respectful and productive partner in coalition"
Afterwards, we used it to inform our thoughts about the direction DJJ should head in the future. We got up and wandered around to big sticky notes that were placed on the walls asking us about issue areas of importance to us, the time commitment we could offer, and our thoughts about DJJ in general. It felt empowering, challenging myself to consider where I would like to direct DJJ rather than letting someone else chart the course and then taking direction from them. Allie, as the DJJ staff member in the group, also left the room at one point so that we could give candid feedback without fear of judgement, a move that was thoughtful but unnecessary as DJJniks long ago proved that we are always willing to say exactly what we think. Overall, hosting the listening party was a fun, low stress experience that gave me a chance to open my home for good conversation with people I care about. And to eat lots of snacks.